BANGALORE, INDIA -- A joint venture of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and CAE has finalized all necessary contracts and non-recourse financing to begin construction and development of a new C$60 million (Rs 240 crore) helicopter training center in Bangalore, India.
The Helicopter Academy to Train by Simulation of Flying (HATSOFF), the joint venture equally-owned by HAL and CAE, has secured long-term, non-recourse financing to support the development of the HATSOFF Helicopter Training Center. HATSOFF will have a CAE-built full-mission simulator featuring CAE's roll-on/roll-off cockpit design, which enables cockpits representing various helicopter types to be used in the simulator. HATSOFF expects to begin training at a new purpose-built facility in the second half of 2010. When fully operational, HATSOFF will be able to train up to 400 helicopter pilots each year and expects to generate annual revenues of up to approximately C$20 million (Rs 80 crore).
"HATSOFF will serve a critical need for enhancing safety and mission readiness by offering high-quality simulation-based helicopter training programs to India and the surrounding region," says Marc Parent, CAE's Chief Operating Officer. "We are also pleased that financial institutions recognize the value of our business plan and the required training assets, which gives us the ability to raise non-recourse financing to support our expansion efforts in India."
Initially, HATSOFF will offer comprehensive training to civil and military customers operating four helicopter types: the Indian Army/Air Force variant of the HAL-built Dhruv, the civil variant of the Dhruv, the Bell 412 and the Eurocopter Dauphin. The training center will feature multimedia classrooms, computer-based training, brief/debrief facilities, and a training management information system. The CAE-built full-mission simulator for HATSOFF will feature a common motion system, vibration platform, and visual display system, and four separate cockpit modules that can be used in the full-mission simulator. When a cockpit is not used in the full-mission simulator, it will be used as a fixed-based flight training device (FTD). The simulator will be certified to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Joint Aviation Authority (JAA) Level D, the highest qualification for flight simulators.
"We are excited to be part of the first Level D simulator training facility to be built in India for helicopter pilots and maintainers," says Ashok K Baweja, Chairman, HAL. "HAL is committed to being India's premier aerospace organization, and part of that commitment includes enhancing safety and efficiency throughout the aerospace community. The HATSOFF Helicopter Training Center will play a key role in training and producing skilled and mission-ready crews."