February 16, 2017 – The Royal Australian Navy’s reputation for delivering world-class training received a boost when five members of the Royal Danish Navy visited HMAS Albatross to learn how the Fleet Air Arm teaches pilots and aircrew.
Led by Commander Aksel Primdahl, the group studied the Australian experience of introducing the MH-60R Seahawk and integrating it into the Fleet.
The delegation visited the state-of-the-art Helicopter Aircrew Training System (also known as HATS) facility, which will include three full-flight simulators and 15 EC-135 training helicopters when operational next year.
Commander of the facility, Commander Bruce Willington, said the Danes were impressed by the modern facility, describing it as professional and innovative.
“The tour was an opportunity to research the training inputs for pilots, Aviation Warfare Officers and aircrewmen of the MH-60R,” Commander Willington said.
“TheEC-135 is already a common sight over the skies of Nowra and is now backed up with contemporary facilities that include the simulators and a number of aircrew, aircraft and tactical synthetic trainers.”
The MH-60R is the Australian Navy’s next generation submarine hunter and anti-surface warfare helicopter.
It is equipped with a highly sophisticated combat system designed to employ Hellfire air-to-surface missiles and the Mark 54 anti-submarine torpedo.
Secondary purposes of the aircraft include search and rescue, logistics support, personnel transport and medical evacuation.
Denmark is the second foreign nation to purchase the MH-60R from the United States Navy after Australia.
Their order of nine aircraft will be completed in 2018 and will be used to defend Danish interests in the North Atlantic and during international deployments.
The Training System facility will train personnel from Navy and Army, and will graduate 50 pilots, 11 Aviation Warfare Officers and 32 aircrewmen each year.
These aviators will crew the Australian Defence Force’s new range of combat helicopters: the MH-60R, MRH-90 Taipan, ARH Tiger and CH-47F Chinook.
Fleet Air Arm at HMAS Albatross, Nowra, is the centre of Navy’s maritime aviation capability.