ADF Joint Helicopter Aircrew Training School commences training

The EC135 (back) has replaced the Squirrel (middle) and Kiowa (front) in service as the key component of the new ADF’s .Joint Helicopter Aircrew Training School (JHATS). (Defence)

The first group of students has commenced training on the ADF’s new training helicopter, the EC135, at the HMAS Albatross-based Joint Helicopter Aircrew Training School (JHATS).

The JHATS, run by Boeing Defence Australia and its partners including Thales Australia, welcomed the first 37 trainee pilots and aircrew at 723SQN on January 17 at the Naval Air Station near Nowra in NSW.

The school aims to train up to 116 students per year, after which they will progress on to operational type conversion with the Royal Australian Navy or Australian Army.

“Our mission is to train professional and resilient aircrew with the teamwork and decision making skills to fight and win in the land and maritime environment,” CMDR Bruce Willington, Commanding Officer of 723 Squadron said in a statement.

“Boeing, Thales, Army and Navy have combined under 723 Squadron to deliver the best training possible for our junior aircrew.”

Boeing Defence Australia’s Helicopter Aircrew Training System (HATS) program director, Darryn Fletcher added, “The on-time commencement of the first training course after a three-year development demonstrates the strength of collaboration between Boeing, its industry partners and the CoA to deliver important Defence capability.

“This world-class system allows students to gain confidence and competency in a safe and cost-effective manner on the ground using reality training devices before moving to the operational aircraft.”

The EC135 T2 (now known to manufacturer Airbus Helicopters as the H135) replaces Navy Squirrel and Army Kiowa training helicopters in service.

The AIR 9000 Phase 7 HATS program acquired a common aircraft type and an increase in synthetic device training to centralise all ADF helicopter ab-initio training at Nowra.

Comments

  1. John N says

    Hi Raymond,

    Agree, with both JHATS and PTS, the ADF certainly does have two modern world class training systems for both rotary and fixed wing training for students before they move onto bigger and better things.

    On a side note, one thing still intrigues me, and that is, in the DWP and DIIP there is no future plan/project for additional LUH in a more ‘general’ light utility helicopter role across the ADF.

    Whilst the powers that be have determined that 15 H135 airframes are sufficient for the JHATS role (alongside all of the other training aids), I still can’t help but think that the ADF could still require a larger fleet of LUH for general light utility usage outside of JHATS.

    Cheers,

    John N

  2. Jasonp says

    I have read there is an unstated requirement for a LUH, but nothing is yet funded.

    The Bell 429s of Navy’s RMI fliight and the remaining Kiowas kind of fulfil that mission now, but a more permanent solution will probably come once MRH90 is off the projects of concern list, the Blackhawk is gone, and the EC135 is bedded down.

    They might also be waiting to see what will happen with the Army special ops support helo project, and then order a common type for training and LUH.

  3. Bob says

    Raymond wrote

    “Together with the RAAF’s PTS, ADF students now receive absolutely world-class training.”

    Well considering they’ve only just started training I think you’re a little premature. Once we see the finished students we’ll be better placed to see.