Home' Asia Pacific Defence Reporter : APDR April 2010 Contents 16 | Asia Pacific Defence Reporter
pilots, and the Bell OH-58 Kiowas, used by Army students; an aviation
training vessel; air, ground and maritime facilities; and a synthetic training
environment including full-motion simulators, fixed base simulators, part-
task trainers and computer-based training.
HMAS Albatross at Nowra, New South Wales, has already been selected
as the location for the new helicopter training school. The A$100 million
school will train up to 60 pilots, 40 aircrewman/loadmasters and 12
observers per annum, with construction to start after second pass approval.
Since 2007, Boeing Defence Australia has been supporting the Army’s
Black Hawk and Kiowa helicopters with pilot, aircrew and technician
training, as well as operational fleet maintenance and support services
at the Army Aviation Training Centre in Oakey, Queensland, under the
Army Aviation Training and Training Support (AATTS) contract. The AATTS
contract was modified earlier this year to reflect the Army’s current and
future aircrew training requirements. Under the updated contract, Boeing is
also responsible for delivering the initial Army pilot helicopter qualification
course, using the Kiowa; 85 per cent of S-70A-9 Black Hawk pilot training;
and CH-47 Chinook helicopter instructor and technician training.
The new A$44 million agreement also includes the first one-year
extension – out of a possible five one-year extensions – of AATTS, with the
contract now running through to September 2013. “The Commonwealth’s
decision to both increase the scope of AATTS and extend the contract until
2013 reinforces Boeing Defence Australia’s position as the pre-eminent ab
initio training provider to the ADF,” says Mark Brownsey, Boeing’s senior
manager for Global Services and Support – Training Operations.
Whilst the AATTS contract has provisions for contract extension to
cater for delays in Air 9000 Phase 7, the existing fixed-wing flying training
contract does not have that luxury. Slippage in Air 5428’s timeline has
meant that the DoD has been forced to seek an interim solution to provide
training once the current arrangement expires in December 2011 until Air
5428 delivers a new PTS.
Basic flying training and screening is currently provided to the ADF by
BAE Systems Australia, which has held the contract at its Flight Training
Tamworth facility in New South Wales since 1992. The Tamworth centre
also provides air grading for the Republic of Singapore Air Force, and flight
training for a number of air forces in the region, including Brunei, Malaysia
and Papua New Guinea.
BAE currently graduates around 90 ADF students from a 25 week basic
flying training course each year, with army students conducting a further
period of training before they proceed to rotary-wing flying training.
Last July, the DoD issued an expression of interest for the provision of
Interim Basic Flying Training (IBFT) services for the ADF as the first part of
a two-phase procurement process. The second part of the process, the RFT,
followed late last year and closed in February. The IBFT contract period is
expected to be six years, according to the DoD, starting in January 2012.
“Although it will contain options for the Commonwealth to extend the
contract to ensure a smooth transition to the Air 5428 PTS,” Defence adds.
The DoD is expecting a very competitive tender process, with a down
select expected around June.
APDR understands that bids for the IBFT were received from BAE Systems
Australia, Boeing Defence Australia and Thales – the latter in partnership
with Flight Training Adelaide, which is more traditionally associated with
the commercial flying training business, and Hawker Pacific.
The majority of bids proposed Sale, in Victoria, as the site for the IBFT
facility with backing from the state government, while BAE has proposed
its existing Tamworth facility, believing that this option would provide true
value for money and would ensure the existing standards remain, according
to John Quaife, BAE Systems Australia aviation solutions general manager.
The DoD’s existing contract with BAE could not be extended further and
under the terms of the free trade agreement with the US it had to be opened
up for competition. In the RFT, Defence has called for some changes to
the existing system, in particular the move to a more performance-based
contract, but it is mostly built around the current approach, says Quaife,
with BAE’s bid largely an extension of its current provision but meeting
Boeing, meanwhile, says its response to the IBFT RFT is “an innovative
approach based on a crashworthy platform, and will provide the ADF with
a world’s best practice aircrew training system”.
Boeing says its IBFT bid is similar to its existing AATTS contract. “Besides
the provision of aircraft and facilities, Boeing will deliver highly capable
instructors supported by state-of-the- ar t systems, including logistics,
maintenance, courseware, a limited synthetic training environment and a
training management system,” Boeing says.
Boeing says its IBFT bid leverages capabilities within the aerospace
company which will also be critical elements of Air 5428. “For example,
Jeppesen Australia has played an integral role developing the overall solution
and Aviall Australia will provide a wide range of cost-effective logistics
HMAS Albatross at Nowra, New South Wales,
has already been selected as the location for
the new helicopter training school
Basic flying training and screening is currently
provided to the ADF by BAE Systems Australia,
which has held the contract at its Flight
Training Tamworth facility in New South
Wales since 1992
An Australian Army Black Hawk training helicopter used by Boeing
instructors to teach Australian Army helicopter pilots at Oakey, south-
east Queensland, Australia. Credit: Heidi Snowdon photo
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