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Air Platforms

Delayed simulator hits German Navy Sea Lion preparations

15 May 2018
With the first of the German Navy's Sea Lion helicopters set to be delivered towards the end of 2019, the service is having to look at alternative training options due to a delay in procuring a new simulator for the platform. Source: Airbus Helicopters

The German Navy is having to adjust its plans to introduce the NH90-variant Sea Lion helicopter into service due to a delay in procuring a bespoke simulator system, a senior service official told reporters on 14 May.

Speaking at the home of German Naval Aviation at Naval Air Station (NAS) Nordholz, Commander Jan Keller of Naval Wing (MFG) 5 said the procurement process for a new simulator is ongoing, but that it will not be completed by the time that the first of the navy’s 18 currently contracted Sea Lion helicopters arrives at the type’s future main operating station next year.

“The simulator for the Sea Lion is in the process of being ordered, and though the ground is now being prepared it will not be ready for the delivery of the first three aircraft in October 2019,” Cdr Keller said, adding; “We would have liked the simulator beforehand, but we will [instead] be using German Army [NH90 Tactical Transport Helicopter (TTH)] facilities and we are looking at options for using Italy’s [NH90 NATO Frigate Helicopter (NFH)] simulator also.”

As noted by the commander, the Sea Lion simulator is being procured through the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA). With the requirement comprising infrastructure, a full-mission simulator (FMS), and a rear-cabin crew trainer, the bids from industry have all been received and the technical evaluations are in progress.

CAE, which already supplies all of the simulator hardware for the German Navy’s fleet of Lockheed P-3C Orion aircraft and Westland Sea King and Westland Sea Lynx helicopters (the service’s Dornier Do-228 and Eurocopter EC135 platforms do not have simulators), has confirmed that it is one of a handful of companies understood to be competing for the Sea Lion requirement.

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