Australian Navy teams with Army for helicopter training

The Royal Australian Navy has teamed with the Australian Army and industry to set up a new training system for a joint helicopter school.

Rotary wing crews are now set to benefit from the newly-established Helicopter Aircrew Training System (HATS) at a dedicated facility at HMAS Albatross.

The first intake of 37 future pilots, aircrew and aviation warfare officers started the 26-week training course this week, the navy said.

Commander Fleet Air Arm, Commodore Chris Smallhorn, said the establishment of the HATS within 723 Squadron represents a major step forward for next-generation military helicopter training.

“The ongoing partnership with Boeing Defence Australia ensures our aviators receive the best training we can offer to do their job,” Commodore Smallhorn said.

“Our Navy and Army aviators operate some of the most advanced equipment in the world, which is now matched by state of the art training facilities that combine full motion simulation, virtual reality and airborne instruction in a purpose built school house.”

Acting Director of Navy Aviation Systems Branch, Captain Steven Arney, said these facilities will do more than assist our future Army and Navy aircrews.

“Starting the first intake is a major milestone and a testament to the Commonwealth’s $500 million upgrade to facilities at HMAS Albatross and the strength of collaboration between industry and Defence.”

The school has been in development for the last three years. It provides opportunities for up to 380 contractors to work on the program and will train up to 116 students each year.