The first EC135 T2+ helicopter in a planned fleet of modern, twin-engine, rotary-wing aircraft being acquired by the Australian Defence Force (ADF) for its new Helicopter Aircrew Training System (HATS), successfully completed its first flight in Europe, on January.
Under the HATS project, a joint training scheme for both Army and Navy aircrew will utilise some 15 Airbus Helicopters EC135 T2+ trainers, along with EC135 flight simulators and a new flight-deck equipped, sea-going training vessel
Boeing Defence Australia (BDA) is the prime contractor for the new training system, partnered by Thales Australia which will provide the flight simulators.
While the EC135 T2+ is a civil design helicopter, it has also proved to be a consummate military trainer. With a high-visibility glass cockpit, multi-axis auto-pilot and the performance and safety of a twin-engine helicopter replacing current single-engine types, it is similar to the multi-role and combat helicopters now in service with the ADF – including new-generation Tiger ARH and MRH90 helicopters – and meets all training, technical and safety requirements for future Army and Navy aircrews.
Initial Operating Capability (IOC) is scheduled for late 2018.

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