On 20 October, Airbus Defence & Space (DS) and Rheinmetall officially transferred the Cargo Hold Trainer – Enhanced (CHT-E) for the A400M transport plane to the Royal Air Force (RAF) in a formal handover ceremony in the National Training Centre at the RAF base in Brize Norton.

In the presence of Air Commodore Stephen Lushington, Commander of the RAF Air Mobility Force, and other high-ranking representatives of the armed forces and defence industry, Doris Lilkendey, Head of the Flight Simulation product unit of Rheinmetall Defence Electronics, presented the station commander, Group Captain Timothy T. Jones, and the Commander of the No. 24 Squadron, Wing Commander Daz Rawlins, with a lasered, illuminated model of the cargo hold simulator for the A400M.

At the ceremony, Lilkendey expressed her thanks for the outstanding cooperation with Airbus and the RAF during commissioning of the CHT-E: “With the Cargo Hold Trainer Enhanced, we are contributing to the operational safety of future A400M crews. We are proud of this. We would like to thank everyone involved in the project for the magnificent cooperation, which resulted in its swift, smooth implementation. This is what made today’s milestone possible.”

Airbus contracted with Rheinmetall to supply training simulators to several European Air Forces for Europe’s A400M aircraft. The prime mission of the CHT-E is to enable realistic training for cargo hold and ground personnel without needing to use the original equipment. Training options include mission-specific reconfiguration of the cargo hold, preparation for loading, loading and unloading, standard operating procedures while in flight and on the ground, and cooperation between multiple crews.

Back in June 2016, Rheinmetall already reached the “ready for training” milestone with the CHT-E, to the complete satisfaction of the end customer and Airbus DS. Just a little over a year ago, in July 2015, Rheinmetall transferred a CHT-E to the German Air Force. The first CHT-E has been in operation at the Airbus International Training Centre (ITC) in Seville, Spain since September 2013. Along with the CHT-E, Rheinmetall has also supplied related items of equipment such as the Load Master Work Station Trainer (LMWST). This system has been in service since November 2012 at the ITC in Seville, and since September 2013 at France’s national A400M training centre in Orléans. In the third quarter of 2014, another LMWST was supplied to the RAF National Training Centre in Brize Norton.

The CHT-E is an exact replica of the A400M cargo hold, encompassing all of the operator interfaces, control stations and technical features of the original equipment, right down to the last detail. The package also includes an instructor control station, where exercises can be prepared, monitored and evaluated. The system thus lends itself to initial and advanced training alike as well as refresher courses and preparation for specific operations. Moreover, difficult manoeuvres such as airdrop procedures can be practised in complete safety. Picture shows: Air Commodore Stephen Lushington (Commander RAF Mobility Force), Brigadier Colin Weir (Commander 16 Air Assault Brigade), Doris Lilkendey, Wing Commander Daz Rawlins (Commander No. 24 Squadron) and Group Captain Timothy D. Jones (Station Commander Brize Norton). (Photo: Rheinmetall)

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