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Rheinmetall’s simulation expertise has once again been called upon by the German Navy. The service awarded a contract to Rheinmetall last month (via the European NH90 procurement and management organisation, NAHEMA) for an Asterion classroom solution for Naval Air Wing 3 at Nordholz, the company announced on 19 January. Delivery is scheduled for this year.

The digital classroom will be used to train maintenance personnel for the NH90 NTH SEA LION naval helicopter. Among other things, the system features a soft panel cockpit in which the instruments are depicted by touchscreens, coupled with a mission control console necessary for naval helicopter training. The package also includes Asterion software, desktop hardware and tablets.

Asterion is a modern, integrated, holistic training concept for all phases of training. It accurately simulates the behaviour of the helicopter’s full panoply of functions, including its hydraulic, electric and tactical systems. The classroom marks another milestone in Rheinmetall’s longstanding partnership with the Bundeswehr – other iterations of the Asterion software have already been integrated into the functional cockpit of the NH90 NTH Maintenance Training Rig, which is used to train maintenance personnel assigned to Naval Air Wing 5. The German Army also uses Asterion simulation technology in its ground crew training systems at the International Helicopter Training Centre at Faßberg, where Army Aviation maintenance and repair specialists are trained in operational and maintenance procedures in Rheinmetall-built cockpits.

The NH90 programme is considered to be Europe’s largest military helicopter programme, for which Rheinmetall is now supplying additional training resources. In the meantime, moreover, Asterion simulation technology is listed with NAHEMA, meaning that it can now be procured by any NH90 user nation, a number of which have already announced serious interest in the concept.

Meanwhile, the German Navy has taken delivery of the first NH90 NTH SEA LION helicopters, whose maintenance crews will soon be undergoing comprehensive training in Rheinmetall simulators. Particularly in the initial phase, training and retraining of personnel to repair and maintain this highly sophisticated new helicopter is a top priority.

The Asterion-based cockpit simulator will be installed at Nordholz in late summer 2021. (Photo: Rheinmetall)

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