The CESIHEL of the Spanish Army Aviation Academy (ACAVIET) has reached 50,000 flight hours with Indra-developed simulators.
The centre has Chinook, Cougar, Tiger and EC135 helicopter simulator models and, since last October, the NH90 helicopter. Indra say the NH90 is the most sophisticated simulator it has developed for a helicopter to date.
One of the centre’s distinctive features is that it is distributed in three different bases; Colmenar Viejo (Madrid), Almagro (Castile – La Mancha) and Agoncillo (La Rioja).
All the simulators are connected by a high-level architecture (HLA) that enables them to exchange encrypted data.
In this way, pilots can share the same virtual scenario and prepare their missions jointly, regardless of how far apart they may be.
This is a key feature, which makes tactical training in complex missions possible, while allowing pilots to train on the same base where the real aircraft is located. This streamlines the training and makes it much more convenient.
For Indra’s Helicopters Simulation Director, José Sánchez Corbera, the Army’s vision has always been “to ensure that the pilots are trained in the same way they operate in the real missions in which they participate”.
In recent years, the Spanish Army has had a strong commitment to simulation as a complement to real pilot training, which means significant savings in fuel, armament and maintenance.
Pilots from NATO and the rest of the world have been trained at CESIHEL facilities, in addition to civilian pilots.
Indra sells the excess hours that the Spanish Army does not use. This contributes to covering the maintenance costs of the systems and increases CESIHEL’s efficiency.
Simulation has also helped to increase the crews’ safety, by reinforcing training in risky operations, such as emergencies or flights in complicated areas or conditions (meteorological, tactical, environmental…).