CAE (Chalet A30) and Serco are continuing to provide helicopter simulator pilot training to the UK Royal Air Force and Royal Navy, having won an eight-year, £26 million (US$34 million) extension to their contract. The two companies opened the Medium Support Helicopter Aircrew Training Facility (MSHATF) at RAF Benson in 2007 and will now operate it until at least October 2025.
The contract involves Serco’s ex-military helicopter instructors delivering training using MSHATF’s six CAE simulators configured for the Chinook (Mk 4 and Mk6a), Merlin (Mk 3), and Puma (Mk 2) helicopters, as well as the facility’s Tactical Control Centre (TCC). The TCC can be used with the simulators connected together to recreate complex operational sorties involving multiple helicopters.
Alongside the simulated training, Serco’s instructors also provide full ground school training for each helicopter at all levels, covering everything from basic aircraft systems such as fuel and electrics to advanced avionics and self- protection systems.