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The urgent need for an NH90 simulator for the Spanish Air Force-Noticias

The crews of the 48th wing of the Air Force, especially the 803 squadron, which are currently being converted to the NH90 helicopter, must travel continuously to the helicopter simulation center (CESIHEL) of the Army Aviation Academy (ACAVIET), at the Agoncillo military base (La Rioja), almost 350 kilometers from Cuatro Vientos and with no high-speed train connection.

In this Army Aviation base there has been a complete simulation center since November 2020, which was designed and built by Indra and consists of two level D FMS systems (Full Mission Simulator), one SAS system (Full Mission Simulator). Simulation support), a CBIT system (Computer Based Interactive Training) and two PTT (Part Task Trainers). Therefore, all NH90 crews must go through CESIHEL today to complete the synthetic flight hours necessary to obtain and maintain their flight qualification until economic availability finances the future Air Force simulation centers at Cuatro Vientos Air Force Base (Madrid) and later from the Navy at Rota Naval Airport (CDIZ) awaiting its first Navy NH90 in 2023.

The ET (Land Army) centralized all its activities with this material in the Agoncillo facility, where in addition to the installation of the CESIHEL, which depends on the MADOC (Doctrine Command), all NH90 received in the battalion are operated by Maneuvering Helicopters III (Maneuvering Helicopters III). BHELMA III), which is part of FAMET and this in turn is part of the San Marcial Division.

The problem for the Air Force 803 squadron crews, who already have two of these rotary wing aircraft and will receive more this year, is that there must be a virtual aircraft at the training stage where it is most necessary to have a flight system keep moving to Agoncillo.

If we follow the parameters published by other NH90 users, as is the case in France, an NH90 pilot will have to spend about 40% of his annual flight hours in a virtual system, taking into account that the parameters made in an FMS are validated are 100% in relation to those made in the helicopter. The hours in the simulator not only provide absolute safety and allow training in situations that cannot be practiced in a real aircraft, but also allow you to comply with the flight hour guidelines for each helicopter / each year, which according to the French will be 120.

In order to achieve the operational capacity or FOC (Full Operational Capability) of the 803 Squadron with the NH90 as quickly as possible, an FMS is required.

Although the Air Force has almost completed the infrastructure in which the simulator will be installed, the arrival of the Indra system is not planned for until 2023. Therefore, the financing and the construction of this system should be advanced in relation to the date foreseen in the second application for this very important program of the DGAM (General Directorate Armaments and Materials). (Julio Maz Sanz)

Photo: The NH90 FMS simulators installed at CESIHEL in Agoncillo (La Rioja). (Photo: Julio Maz / )

Accelerating the arrival of an NH90 simulator in Cuatro Vientos will be very important to achieve the FOC of its crews from the Air Force NH90. (Photo: Julio Maz / )

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