Indra said Monday it has been awarded the contract for the development and supply of a new FMS (Full Mission Simulator) for the most advanced helicopter of the Armed Forces, the NH90, for the Spanish Air and Space Force, for an amount of 19.2 million euros.
This is the third simulator of these characteristics that the company is developing, intended for the Cuatro Vientos air base in Madrid, on this occasion, and it will join the two already operating at CESIHEL, one of the most advanced helicopter simulation centers in Europe, implemented by Indra for the Spanish Army Airmobile Force at the Agoncillo base (La Rioja).
One of the important features of this state-of-the-art NH90 simulator architecture is that it is based on the use of real on-board avionics equipment, which provides the greatest realism during training and ensures that future aircraft evolutions are easily replicable in the FMS.
Thanks to its fidelity to the aircraft and its behavior, the simulator will reduce the number of real flight hours required to ensure the best training and education of pilots by 40%, as well as advanced tactical training crews need to take on missions with the utmost safety and efficiency, interoperating with a multitude of systems, just as in the real world.
This is made possible by the simulator’s ability to replicate scenarios with all types of threats within any imaginable training condition, thus avoiding putting people and the aircraft at risk, and allowing pilots and crew to practice complex maneuvers and manage stress in emergency situations.
The simulator also faithfully reproduces all possible weather conditions, both day and night, and allows the use of the helicopter’s actual image intensifier tubes (IITs) for flight simulation using night vision goggles (NVG).
Another functionality of the FMS system is a networked simulation architecture, based on the HLA (High Level Architecture) standard, which provides for joint tactical training in a mission from several simulators simultaneously, located at different bases and with a range of aircraft models and platforms. In this way, NH90 helicopter pilots can train on the same mission from different bases, which the Cuatro Vientos base in Madrid will be able to join thanks to the new simulator.
“Beyond instructing in the proper handling of an aircraft, joint tactical training is becoming increasingly important, allowing professionals to prepare for mission fulfillment in a real-world-like environment, interacting with other crews and becoming familiar with the increasingly numerous and complex systems that make up the combat cloud. Thanks to the Ministry of Defence’s commitment to incorporating the latest technologies in helicopter simulation for the Armed Forces, the NH90 simulator has already proven its effectiveness in this regard,” explains Rafael Junco, Indra’s Director of Simulation.
Advanced, sustainable technology
Thanks to the complexity of the NH90 and its advanced electronic defense systems, also developed by the company, Indra is one of the few companies in the world to offer training solutions for this aircraft currently being used by more than a dozen armies.
In addition to reducing training risks, these solutions avoid enormous operating costs, reduce maintenance work by more than 33% and save the atmosphere from a significant volume of emissions, reducing the carbon footprint. In fact, the use of all Indra simulators deployed around the world contributes to an environmental benefit of more than 500,000 tons of CO2 per year.
International leadership in simulation
With more than 200 simulators delivered to over 50 customers in more than 20 countries, Indra continues to strengthen its position as one of the world’s leading simulator manufacturers and a pioneer in the incorporation of virtual reality, augmented reality and new digital technologies into simulation.
It has extensive experience in the development of mission simulators for aircraft such as the Eurofighter, the Airbus A330 MRTT, the Airbus A400M, plus Level D civil simulators such as the A330, A320, Boeing 737 and the ATR 72. It is also one of the companies which has developed simulators for a wide range of helicopters, which include the NH90, Tigre, Cougar, Chinook, Blackhawk, Seahawk, AW159 Wildcat and the MH53, plus the C135, H135, H225, H175, AS350, H145, EC145, Bell212, Bell412 and Sikorsky S76 civilian models.