The Royal Australian Air Force has accepted a new C-130J Fuselage Trainer (FuT) from CAE.
The C-130J FuT was officially handed over to the Royal Australian Air Force during a ceremony at RAAF Base Richmond.
The new C-130J FuT, an exact replica of the essential systems in the real C-130J aircraft, will help the RAAF conduct vital training while alleviating the burden on the RAAF's aircraft.
"Our C-130J Hercules are some of the busiest aircraft in Defence, and having a Fuselage Trainer relieves the burden of using a real aircraft to conduct essential training," Minister for Defence Marise Payne said.
"The Fuselage Trainer is an exact replication of the cargo bay and systems in a real C-130J Hercules aircraft, and will provide loadmasters with a purpose-built classroom ideal for training."
The overall design and development of the C-130J FuT was led by CAE, which included leveraging simulation software from other C-130J training programs and tailoring the development to meet RAAF training requirements.
CAE designed and manufactured the C-130J Full-Flight and Mission Simulator (FFMS) used by the RAAF at Richmond, as well as desktop trainers and instructor tools used as part of the C-130J groundschool. In addition, under the Management and Support of Australian Defence Force Aerospace Simulators (MSAAS) program, CAE Australia provides a range of training services on site at RAAF Base Richmond, including academic, simulator and live flying instruction. CAE Australia will now provide maintenance and support services on the C-130J FuT.
Airbus Australia Pacific also provided the physical hardware by using two ex-RAAF C-130H airframes to recreate the fuselage of the C-130J aircraft, and Lockheed Martin provided consulting services and spare parts used in the production of the fuselage trainer.
"We are pleased to continue our longstanding relationship with the Royal Australian Air Force as their C-130J training partner, and delighted to work closely with Airbus and Lockheed Martin who provided valuable hardware and support that helped deliver this key project for the RAAF," said Ian Bell, CAE vice president and general manager, Asia-Pacific/Middle East.
"The RAAF continues to be one of the world’s leading air forces in the application of simulation-based training, and this new C-130J Fuselage Trainer is another example of the RAAF investing in new technologies and capabilities to best prepare their aircrews for operational missions and requirements."
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Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne said the new FuT will not only aid the RAAF but will also help upskill local engineers and loadmasters in designing new load carrying techniques for the Hercules transport.
"The next-generation of vehicles and systems that can be deployed by the Hercules will utilise the Fuselage Trainer to determine what is the best practice," said Minister Pyne.
A RAAF spokesperson also backed the new equipment.
"This new C-130J Fuselage Trainer will enhance operational availability of our C-130J fleet while enabling us to provide a safe, cost-effective and realistic training environment for our loadmasters and rear crew," said the spokesperson.
"In addition, we will now be able to network with our C-130J Full-Flight and Mission Simulator and other training assets to provide full-crew mission training and rehearsal in a virtual environment."