The US Army has selected Australian simulator manufacturer Ryan Aerospace to provide 31 HELIMOD Mark III helicopter simulators to Fort Rucker, AL – the world’s largest helicopter training facility.

The contract, for which SAIC is the prime contractor, is part of the Army’s Aviator Training Next (ATN) programme, an experimental, yet innovative, new way to provide helicopter pilot training during the primary phase, using the latest in virtual reality (VR) technology and high-end, commercially available helicopter simulator equipment. The system is supported by an after-action review software package that automatically assesses, grades and logs the student’s performance.

This project is multi-faceted and many teams are working together to ensure the best possible outcome. A dedicated team based at the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY, will be conducting thorough research to objectively assess the outcomes of the project and report back on ways to improve it even further. The experiment will run until mid-2020, at which time the Army will decide if this is a valid means of training.

All 31 systems have been delivered and installed ahead of schedule and US Army Aviators have already commenced experimental training. Ryan Aerospace (Australia) has been working with Precision Flight Controls (PFC,) based in Sacramento, CA, to support the project.

This contract has helped win Ryan Aerospace a Queensland Premier’s Export Award and made them finalists in the upcoming National Awards. (Photo: Ryan Aerospace)

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