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French Army opens Tiger simulation centre and EA-ALAT army aviation simulation centre and EA-ALAT army aviation simulation centre

08 October 2009

Le Luc, France – Coinciding with the ceremony to mark the beginning of the 2009-2010 training year, the French Army Light Aviation training application school (EA-ALAT) today inaugurated two helicopter simulator training centres: the Tiger simulation centre at the Franco-German Tiger training school, and the EA-ALAT simulation centre. The commanding officers of French Army Light Aviation and Germany’s Army Air Corps presided over the inauguration.

· The Tiger simulation centre at the Franco-German Tiger training school is emblematic of the ongoing cooperation between the two countries. The facility is equipped to the highest standards, with four simulation suites, each including two full-mission simulators and two cockpit procedures trainers. The simulation systems reproduce the flight conditions of both French and German versions of the Tiger helicopter with an unprecedented level of realism. They simulate the full complement of weapon systems and provide operational scenarios for daytime and night flights with both light-intensification and infrared equipment. The simulation systems were built by Thales jointly with the German company Rheinmettal Defence Electronics.

· The EA-ALAT simulation centre houses a suite of systems developed by Thales: three Flight & Navigation Procedures Trainers (FNPT 2) for IFR (instruments flights) training on Fennec helicopters; the Edith six-seat tactical trainer, which provides 80% of the tactical training received by helicopter commanders and can be reconfigured on demand to simulate Gazelle, Puma, Tiger or NH90 helicopters; and the first EPSA combined flight and weapon system trainer to provide basic and proficiency training for helicopter pilots flying day/night combat missions and deploying a full complement of weapon systems.

Industry partners, the French defence procurement agency and operational personnel have worked together extremely closely for more than 10 years to design and build the simulation facilities. In 2003, simulation accounted for just 2,500 hours of training; in 2008, the EA-ALAT provided 20,000 hours of simulator-based training. With the two new training centres, the figure is expected to rise to 30,000 hours in 2010 and 50,000 hours in 2015.

Lieutenant-Colonel Merck, simulation coordinator for French Army Light Aviation, stated: “Mature simulation programmes and the intensive use of simulation systems by the Army are perfectly aligned with our current objectives of reducing training costs, improving the abilities of crews to deploy complex weapon systems, and conducting our operations in a sustainable manner.”

The inauguration highlighted the spectacular growth in the use of helicopter simulation that has occurred over the last 10 years. Building on its successful developments and a full range of capabilities covering every aspect of helicopter training, Thales is now a world leader in this field.

About Thales
Thales is a global technology leader in the Aerospace, Space, Defence, Security and Transportation markets. In 2008, the company generated revenues of €12.7 billion with 68,000 employees in 50 countries. Backed by some 25,000 engineers and researchers, Thales offers an unparalleled capability to design, develop and deploy equipment, systems and services that meet the most complex security requirements. The group has an exceptional international footprint, with operations around the world working with customers as local partners.

With a strong commitment to R&D, Thales provides state-of-the-art technology to the armed forces, the aeronautical and space industry, and the fast-growing security, transport and services market. The company has outstanding technological capabilities and invests heavily in R&D (19%) in order to maintain a high capacity for innovation.

Press Contacts
Thales, Security Solutions & Services
Victoire Le Barazer
Tel: + 33 1 73 32 13 20

Thales, Corporate Communications
Caroline Philips
Tel. +33 1 57 77 86 26

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