Lockheed Martin announced a teaming with Bristow Helicopters to jointly bid for the ADF’s Air 9000 Phase 7 Helicopter Aircrew Training System (HATS) at the Avalon Airshow yesterday.
The team is yet to announce its preferred platform for its bid; instead it says it will wait until a more defined list of requirements has been issued before it makes a platform selection. But through its worldwide resources and programs, including its operation of 35 helicopters in Australia, Bristow says it has vast experience in buying and operating helicopters worldwide, including for the UK military’s program on Squirrels and Bell 212s, which means it has the knowledge and buying power to make the right decision when appropriate. At this stage, the company would only say it has a “short list” of platforms in mind.
“The Lockheed Martin-Bristow team matches the leading developer of proven aircrew training systems with the world and Australian lead provider in offshore helicopter provision and maintenance,” MD of Bristow Helicopters Australia, Allan Blake said. “I am delighted the team has come together to offer the ADF all of its combined experience and capabilities in support of Australia’s military helicopter aircrews.”
Team principals also said they are yet to decide on whether to bring a synthetic training device provider into the team or not. Although Lockheed Martin has experience in developing and operating simulators, this too will depend on what platform is chosen for the bid and whether there is a suitable off-the-shelf simulator solution available.
Lockheed Martin currently operates the UK’s fixed wing Military Flying Training Scheme, and the Republic of Singapore Air Force’s basic Wings Course, and provides training services to many US service branches and other services worldwide.