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Wedgetail simulator receives top-level accreditation

29 August 2008

Zero flight time (Level 5) status is the highest level of accreditation under Australian standards. It allows experienced pilots to undertake training using a high-quality flight simulator instead of an actual aircraft.

The award follows an engineering upgrade by Thales Australia, which transformed a simulator platform based on the Boeing 737-700 NG (Next Generation) into one tailored to the Wedgetail's specific requirements, configuration and aerodynamics.

The certification activities were completed on time and on budget.

As part of the process, one of Boeing's Wedgetail test pilots, Regis Hancock, flew in from Seattle to confirm the simulator's accuracy. And in its final report, Simulinc praised Thales for the OFT's high standard and its readiness for accreditation, adding that testing went well and quickly. The testing was completed well ahead of schedule.

The OFT is situated at the AEW&C support centre at RAAF Base Williamtown, near Newcastle, NSW.

The AEW&C (Airborne Early Warning & Control) Wedgetail aircraft is being procured by the Commonwealth from Boeing to provide surveillance, air defence, fleet support and force coordination. It features advanced sensors, avionics, navigation equipment, mission system and flight deck.

About Thales

Thales is a leading international electronics and systems group, addressing defence, aerospace and security markets worldwide. Thales's leading-edge technology is supported by 22,000 R&D engineers who offer a capability unmatched in Europe to develop and deploy field-proven mission-critical information systems. To this end, the group's civil and military businesses develop in parallel and share a common base of technologies to serve a single objective: the security of people, property and nations. The group builds its growth on its unique multi-domestic strategy based on trusted partnerships with national customers and market players, while leveraging its global expertise to support local technology and industrial development. Thales employs 68,000 people in 50 countries with 2007 revenues of AUD19 billion.

Thales Australia is the leading defence systems and engineering company in Australia and is also present in civil sectors ranging from air traffic management to security systems and services. Employing 3,700 people in over 35 sites around the country, Thales Australia recorded revenues in 2007 amounting to over AUD1 billion.

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