World premiere: The Tiger ARH simulator is accredited

On 15 November 2007, the full flight mission simulator (FFMS) based in Oakey, Queensland, was accredited. The FFMS has therefore received the highest level of certification, and will be an essential part of the training of the Tiger ARH(1) pilots in Australia.

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“Training-related services were a major element in the contract for the 22 ARH versions of the Tiger, and included the provision of this simulator,” explains Frédéric Dussol, the head of the Tiger training programmes. “This simulator consists of two coupled domes which reproduce the two separate cockpits of the helicopter. The simulator is the result of the cooperation between prime contractor Australian Aerospace, Eurocopter’s subsidiary in Australia, Thales, which provided the moving platform and the visual system in particular, and Eurocopter, which developed the main software that represents the cockpit equipment and the helicopter itself.”
All this confers an exceptional level of realism on the simulator, which is a prerequisite for obtaining an accreditation that is more or less equivalent to the certification of an aircraft.
“This accreditation was a requirement of the Australian Army and is unique in the world of the military,” insists Frédéric Dussol. “It is the first time that a simulator equipped with coupled domes has received this level of certification.”
The very high degree of realism has two immediate advantages: an hour in the simulator is the exact equivalent of an actual flight hour, but at a much cheaper cost and with no risk. The training in failure procedures and other emergency situations can also be performed without danger (2).
Officially handed over to the Australian Army on 13 December 2007, the simulator is currently being used to train the crews of the first Tiger ARH squadron. This is a key step towards obtaining the initial operational capability (IOC) which is expected sometime in 2008 for the Australian combat helicopter.

(1) Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter
(2) Because the simulator will be used intensively throughout 2008, it will not be possible to install the armament-related functionalities until 2009. This year, these functionalities will be integrated on the Cockpit Procedures Trainers, which are identical to the FFMS but static. The accreditation of the military mission functionalities will be another world premiere.



The accreditation of the simulator is the result of successful teamwork between Sabrina Barbera, the programme manager, who was sent to Australian Aerospace to provide hands-on management, Thierry Velter, who coordinated the Thales and Eurocopter technical teams in Europe and Australia (and whose work was rewarded by the congratulations of the Australian Army), Fabrice Bonne, the Tiger test pilot, and Michel Deparis, the head of certification at HELISIM.