A temporary joint venture formed by SENER and INAER has received technical certification from the Spanish National Institute for Aerospace Technology (INTA) for the CT-1 configuration being developed for the upgrade of the Spanish Navy’s AB-212 helicopters. The certification includes approval for the operation of night- and day-time visual flight rules using night vision goggles, as well as of the new mission system proposed under CT-1.
The mission system integrates the tactical mission computer with the radar, visible- and infrared-spectrum cameras and the missile approach warning system in a new fully ‘glass cockpit.’ This will significantly enhance the helicopters’ capabilities for efficient operation in the increasingly demanding domestic and international mission scenarios they face, according to the companies’ announcement in October. The net result will be a considerable extension in the useful life of a key naval asset, according to the companies.
The Navy operates seven Agusta-Bell AB-212 helicopters, which entered service over 40 years ago. The joint venture expects to deliver three of them, upgraded to the CT-1 configuration, by the end of 2016, with the balance in 2017 and 2018. Both companies have invested heavily in the technology development to be able to craft this solution for the AB-212 and expect this programme to provide proof-of-concept for its ability to take on additional complex life-extension programmes.