Made to substitute Navy’ s Airbus AS350BA Squirrels and Army’ s Bell 206B Kiowas with one training program, HATS is a joint Boeing/Thales team supplying 15 Airbus EC135 T2+ helicopters, new synthetic training devices and courseware adopted under Project AIR 9000 Phase 7.
“ Following successful testing of the individual aircrew training courses during 2018, Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Michael Noonan declared that the conditions had been fulfilled for Initial Operating Capability, ” Defence Minister Christopher Pyne said in a statement on April 1.
Navy & rsquo operates the aircraft; s 723 squadron in Nowra, while Boeing staff teach students on the synthetic devices. A 94m multi-mission aviation training vessel, the MV Sycamore appeared to be acquired for HATS Trainers to put on deck landing and start experience.
“ At an acquisition price of AUD $436 million, HATS has given a modern helicopter training program for Defence which has the power to train up to 144 helicopter pilots, aircrew and aviation warfare officers each year, ” Minister Pyne said.
“ 723 Squadron is evidenced by Navy and Army aircrew, with added teachers, aircraft maintenance and support personnel given by Boeing Defence Australia, who use 108 employees in the Nowra region. ”
The helicopter wears ‘ NAVY’ and ‘ ARMY’ titles on the port and starboard sides of the vertical fin, respectively, over a fanged Taipan emblem, the unofficial emblem of Navy’ s 723 Squadron.
Following some initial delays to the development of the courseware, the first course commenced training in January 2018 and graduated in September .