School will get weaponised version of helicopter simulator

The city-based Helicopter Academy to Train by Simulation Flying (HATSOFF) that has been imparting simulation-based training to civil and military pilots from the country and abroad will add another simulator soon.

The academy that has one mother ship and four cockpit modules for the Bell 412, Eurocopter Dauphin, ALH Dhruv (civil and military variant) helicopters will add a simulator for the Light Combat Helicopter (LCH).

Officials said the LCH simulator would be a weaponised version and be based on the combat chopper being developed by HAL in Bengaluru.

The LCH simulator will be different from the military variant of the ALH Dhruv that has side-by-side seating for the pilots whereas the LCH has tandem seating options (the pilots sit one behind the other).

The 5.5-tonne class LCH is equipped with day and night targeting systems for the crew, including a helmet-pointed sight and electro-optical pod consisting of CCD camera, laser rangefinder and laser designator.

The LCH is fitted with a self-protection suite consisting of radar and laser missile warning systems and countermeasures dispensing system.

The helicopter expected to be inducted into the armed forces is designed to carry out dedicated combat roles such as air defence, anti-tank, scout and support combat search and rescue missions. The prototypes of the chopper have been developed and have undergone extensive trials in different conditions.

Even as the chopper gets ready for induction into the forces, the LCH simulator is expected to ease the training process, especially weaponised training. Training imparted through simulation is expected to be more pocket-friendly. Apart from the flight safety aspects the savings are even greater in weapons training.

“There is no additional cost involved in firing weapons on the simulator; higher level of proficiency is achieved by the crew in weapons operations in difficult environmental conditions that can be simulated on a full-mission simulator,” an official said.

The academy has already trained over 300 military pilots.

The machine ::

* The academy already has simulators for the Bell 412, Eurocopter Dauphin and ALH Dhruv (civil and military variant) helicopters

* LCH simulator to have tandem seating

* LCH specialities include day-and-night targeting systems; self protection suite consisting of radar and laser missile warning systems

* The simulator will help train pilots before the LCH is added to the fleet

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