ARGE TATM, a consortium consisting of Rheinmetall Electronics and Thales AVS France, successfully completed modernisation of the TIGER combat helicopter simulators a few weeks ago, the companies announced on 12 November.
The Organisation Conjointe de Coopération en Matière d'Armement (OCCAR), an organisation that fosters cross-border defence procurement cooperation in Europe, awarded the contract to ARGE TATM in December 2014. With the completion of this programme, the French and German armed forces are now able to train their crews in a state-of-the-art virtual environment that ensures full mission readiness and enhances flight safety.
For Rheinmetall Electronics and its partners, the contract to modernise the simulators in Le Luc, Fritzlar and Pau meant modifying them to match current configurations of the original aircraft: the Tiger Hélicoptère d’Appui et Destruction (HAD) Block 2 (France) and Kampfhubschrauber Tiger UHT Step 2 Krypto (Germany). In addition, two new simulators were installed in Phalsbourg, France, in a record 10-month timeframe, bridging a training capability gap for the French 1st Helicopter Regiment. Now that the modernisation programme is complete, a total of 20 flight simulators are in operation at various locations: eight full-mission simulators (FMS) and twelve cockpit procedure trainers (CPT).
The contract encompassed software modernisation for the basic management system, the updated ETCM navigation system and the mission equipment systems, together with new cockpit hardware. Other measures included integration of the German Operational Support System (OSS), into the simulator for mission preparation and tactical training, coupled with modernisation of the existing simulator technology by means of a new visual system, new visual data bases, new projectors for the display systems and the replacement of obsolete computer technology.
The upgrade process culminated in a binational joint exercise at the École Franco-Allemande (EFA - binational school for aircrew training) in Le Luc, involving six simulated helicopters in twelve networked simulators.
TIGER simulators number among the world’s top-performing FMS for attack helicopters. The multipurpose TIGER is a highly sophisticated weapon system whose replication in a simulator makes immense demands on both hardware and software. At the school in Le Luc, the focus is on flight and weapons training, while in Fritzlar, Pau and Phalsbourg, the primary emphasis is on tactics. Cooperation between Rheinmetall and Thales continues, with ongoing support of the 20 upgraded TIGER simulators.
“The updated system supplied by Thales and Rheinmetall offers full immersive conditions. It combines a genuine TIGER cockpit, accurate aircraft behaviour and a tactical environment reflecting current operational missions. The completely transformed system architecture points the way to future trends in aircraft development,” stated Bertrand Cornet, Project Manager for Germany and France at OCCAR.