Less than a year after being awarded the contract, Thales has completed a full hardware and software upgrade of the visual system of the flight simulator for the E-2C HAWKEYE airborne early warning (AEW) aircraft deployed by the French Navy’s CHARLES DE GAULLE aircraft carrier. The contract was awarded in 2018 by France's military aircraft maintenance service (Service Industriel de l’Aéronautique - SIAé).

The HAWKEYE flight simulator now features the ThalesView high-performance image generator, a new projection system and an updated visual database, all integrated seamlessly with the existing configuration.

With the new image generation system, the simulator will provide a more immersive experience for trainees, with high-resolution imagery of the air and maritime environment, offering a more realistic representation of its surroundings, to enhance operator safety during deployments. Pilots can also train in the delicate manoeuvres involved in deck landings and catapult launches in daylight and at night.

The project illustrates Thales's expertise in flight simulation systems for naval aircraft and its expertise in upgrading earlier-generation systems to the latest levels of realism and performance. Thales provides long-term support for the French defence procurement agency (DGA) and the French Navy on its simulation-based crew training programmes, which also benefit from the Group's substantial investments in digital technologies (€7 billion invested since 2014).

The visual systems upgrade will assist trainees in more realistic scenario generation, especially in the critical area of deck landings and catapault launches. (Photo: Wikipedia Commons)

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