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[German Army Aviation magazine article] Thales Training & Simulation Solutions for the German Army Aviation

The Army Aviation, with its helicopter fleet and together with the infantry forces, is capable to perform a variety of missions and jointly constitutes the main carrier of Air Mobility. Whether Mission Command Support, Reconnaissance, Transport or Close Air Support – the helicopters are not only powerful means of transportation, but also means of direct support and an important asset within the battlefield.

The modern highly complex missions are demanding for the helicopter crews who often operate in degraded visual environment, at night, during demanding weather conditions and within diversified terrain requiring capabilities such as NVG flight, mountain flight or brown-out landing. Moreover, the tactical aspects including communication and coordination within the helicopter and between the helicopter crews as well as infantry and other participants of air mobile operations, comprise additional challenge. Undoubtedly, competent and well qualified crews are mandatory to successfully achieve mission objectives of the Army Aviation, with the required training ranging from basic flight up to tactical training for complex operations. 

Effective simulation solutions of Thales on land, at sea and in the air are characterised not only by their realism, but also by flexible software and hardware architecture allowing ongoing adaptation of exercise scenarios to evolving threats and challenges of the real-world. In addition, distributed training in a common synthetic environment is enabled.

The core of the Helicopter Product line comprises high fidelity, level D certified Full Flight Simulators with Reality H™ Full Flight Simulator being the most realistic and immersive training system to ensure maximum training value and mission success for helicopter crews.

Reality H™ – Outstanding Realism and Eco Design for a Unique Training Experience

Thales Full Flight Mission Simulator (FFMS) draws benefits from decades of experience in designing simulators for a wide range of helicopters, e.g. Chinook, Sea-King, H225M, Super Puma, EC635, H145, Gazelle, but also Tiger and NH90 for the German Army Aviation. Reality H™, the last generation of Thales FFMS, satisfies the most demanding needs with Level D certification granted by all the external certification authorities (e.g. FAA, EASA, CAAC, CASA) and the technology validated for use in the most challenging operational environment. Given Thales’ excellent relationship with platform OEMs (especially Airbus Helicopters), the data pack can be of course 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 (e.g. HForce equipment). 

An innovative, new generation touchscreen Instructor Operating Station (IOS) with a Man-Machine-Interface providing intuitive, map centric, user-friendly control of the simulation environment, allows the instructor to be seated in the cockpit close to the pilot thanks to a complementary touch-pad. This modern IOS is currently being implemented within the frame of the NH90 MR1 upgrade of the 4 Full Flight Simulators of the Germany Army Aviation. 

Thanks to a mighty mission-environment generation software, the list of simulated missions and situations in the Reality H™ simulator is unlimited. Before, or even during the training, the instructor can easily create, change and adapt the training scenario. Scenarios can be created involving multiple simulated virtual entities (friendly forces, enemy forces, civilians, aircraft) thanks to SETHI® CGF (Computed Generated Forces) – a powerful tactical environment tool providing intelligent virtual entities with configurable doctrines and entity behaviour. 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!

The 4K high-definition wide field-of-view imaging which replicates customers’ training environment, the high definition projection for horizontal & vertical image projection as well as the globally-recognised ThalesView™ Image Generation System constitute the Visual System of Reality H™. Due to Thales’ extensive experience in providing night vision capabilities, NVG flight is possible in the Reality H™ simulator in various constellations, including integration of the original NVG equipment. 

The patented fully-electric Hexaline® motion-system of Reality H™ is based on a unique & extremely innovative design ensuring compelling smoothness with turn-around bump and power consumption reduced by 30% compared to jack-based motion-systems. Preventive maintenance of this system takes place only once per year.

There is no doubt that today, almost solely immersive technologies in training enable to meet the challenges of modern, multidisciplinary and cooperative combat sustainably and successfully. The simulation solutions of Thales cover the entire spectrum of training equipment for every requirement – from individual pilot to turnkey training services for mission rehearsal and complex joint operations. 

Thales’ simulators including Reality H™ possess natively by design the capability to be networked and to interact with other simulators by HLA protocol. This allows the helicopter crews to perform collective training. In the context of Air Mobility, the networking with Mixed-Reality Rear Crew Trainers such as Door Gunner (with AGSHP-Simulation Input Device such as M3M) or Winch Trainer, is possible.

With these innovative technologies, Thales simulators provide a completely immersive training environment that mimics real operational conditions to support helicopter operators’ key priorities of safety and mission success. Reality H™ enables ab initio, recurrent and mission training supporting all types of military missions.