German Army Aviation Magazine Article – Thales Training and Simulation Solutions for German Army Aviation
Army Aviation, with its fleet of helicopters and with infantry forces, is capable of performing a variety of missions and together is the main carrier of air mobility. Whether in support of mission command, reconnaissance, transport or close air support, helicopters are not only powerful means of transport, but also means of direct support and an important asset on the battlefield.
Highly complex modern missions are demanding on helicopter crews who often operate in a degraded visual environment, at night, in demanding weather conditions, and in diverse terrain requiring capabilities such as NVG flight, mountain flying or l failed landing. Additionally, the tactical aspects, including communication and coordination within the helicopter and between helicopter crews as well as infantry and other participants in airmobile operations, present an additional challenge. Without a doubt, competent and well-trained aircrews are essential to successfully accomplishing army aviation mission objectives, with the training required ranging from basic flying to tactical training for complex operations.
Thales’s effective simulation solutions on land, at sea and in the air are characterized not only by their realism, but also by a flexible software and hardware architecture allowing continuous adaptation of exercise scenarios to changing threats and real world challenges. Additionally, distributed training in a common synthetic environment is enabled.
The core of the helicopter product line includes high fidelity Level D certified full flight simulators with Reality H™ Complete Flight Simulator being the most realistic and immersive training system to ensure maximum training value and mission success for helicopter crews.
Reality H™ – Exceptional realism and eco-design for a unique training experience
Thales Full Flight Mission Simulator (FFMS) benefits from decades of experience in designing simulators for a wide range of helicopters, eg Chinook, Sea-King, H225M, Super Puma, EC635, H145, Gazelle, but also Tiger and NH90 for aviation German army. Reality H™, the latest generation of Thales FFMS, meets the most demanding needs with Level D certification granted by all external certification authorities (e.g. FAA, EASA, CAAC, CASA) and technology validated for use in the harshest operational environment. Given the excellent relationship of Thales with platform OEMs (in particular Airbus Helicopters), the data pack can of course be provided either by the OEM or it can be collected. Realty H offers a full-scale cockpit replica with high-fidelity simulation models and flight instruments, including mission equipment (eg HForce equipment).
An innovation, Next-generation touchscreen Instructor Operating Station (IOS) with a human-machine interface offering intuitive, map-centric and user-friendly control of the simulation environment, allows the instructor to be seated in the cockpit close to the pilot thanks to an additional touchpad. This modern IOS is currently being implemented as part of the NH90 MR1 upgrade of the 4 German Army Aviation Full Flight Simulators.
Thanks to powerful mission environment generation software, the list of missions and situations simulated in the Reality H™ simulator is limitless. Before or even during the training, the instructor can easily create, modify and adapt the training scenario. Scenarios can be created involving multiple simulated virtual entities (friendly forces, enemy forces, civilians, aircraft) using SETHI® CGF (Computed Generated Forces) – a powerful tactical environment tool providing intelligent virtual entities with configurable doctrines and entity behavior. This tool has already proven its reliability and added value – it has been used for years in the German and French Tiger simulators – in the near future it will be the tactical system of the NH90 TTH simulators!
4K high-definition wide-field-of-view imaging that replicates customers’ training environment, high-definition projection for horizontal and vertical image projection as well as the ThalesView™ Image Generation System constitute the Visual System of Reality H™. Thanks to Thales’ extensive experience in providing night vision capabilities, NVG flight is possible in the Reality H™ simulator in various constellations, including the integration of the original NVG equipment.
The patented all-electric system Hexaline® The Reality H™ motion system is based on a unique and extremely innovative design ensuring convincing smoothness with a rollover bump and 30% less energy consumption compared to actuator-based motion systems. Preventive maintenance of this system only takes place once a year.
There is no doubt that today, almost only immersive technologies in training can sustainably and successfully meet the challenges of modern, multidisciplinary and cooperative combat. Thales’ simulation solutions cover the entire spectrum of training equipment for every requirement – from individual pilots to turnkey training services for mission rehearsal and complex joint operations.
Thales simulators, including Reality H™, have by design the ability to be networked and to interact with other simulators in HLA protocol. This allows helicopter crews to perform group training. As part of Air Mobility, networking with Mixed Reality Rear Crew Trainers such as Door Gunner (with AGSHP-Simulation Input Device such as M3M) or Winch Trainer, is possible.
Thanks to these innovative technologies, Thales simulators offer fully immersive training environment that mimics real-world operational conditions to support helicopter operators’ top priorities for safety and mission success. Reality H™ enables ab initio, recurrent and mission training supporting all types of military missions.