UK Invests $119M in CAE-Operated Helicopter Training Facility

The U.K. defense ministry has invested $118.8 million in a helicopter simulation center to support the training of future U.K. navy and air force pilots.

The British government said Tuesday the deal will maintain 70 jobs within the Medium Support Helicopter Aircrew Training Facility at the RAF Benson air force station in South Oxfordshire, England.

CAE built and currently operates MSHATF as part of a private finance initiative contract with the U.K. defense ministry.

The ministry’s procurement organization awarded CAE a contract amendment to administer training for Chinook, Merlin and Puma helicopter aircrews for another eight years.

MSHATF includes six CAE-made simulators that support training for Chinook, Merlin and Puma aircraft and are designed to replicate various scenarios such blizzards, enemy fire, power failure events and electronic warfare attacks.

CAE will deliver training for Chinook and Puma aircrews until Puma’s scheduled retirement.

Merlin Mk3 training will be administered at MSHATF for at least two more years until the navy migrates from Mk3 to the Mk4 helicopter.

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