The NATO helicopter NH90 is the largest military helicopter programme in Europe to date. Various EU nations use one or more variants of the helicopter or plan to use them for future fleets. With 23 variants of the helicopter, maintenance engineers are facing a European challenge.

Teaching complex maintenance procedures on real aircraft is expensive and carries the risk of damaging the helicopter. Training tools that combine simulation and virtual reality are efficient alternatives to reduce costs and avoid these risks. This is why such simulation-based training tools are also used within the NH90 programme. 

Since 2010, Telespazio VEGA Deutschland has been commissioned by four European nations to develop a Virtual Maintenance Trainer (VMT) for the NH90 transport helicopter. France, Sweden, Norway and the Netherlands have been using it for regular training on five helicopter variants since the end of 2013.

The development of a VMT for another variant of the NH90 was commissioned by Airbus Australia Pacific in 2015. The Australian version, MRH90, has been in service since 2016 at the Australian Army's Rotary Wing Aircraft Maintenance School (RAMS) in Oakey, Queensland.

Simulation and training

The training objectives of the VMT include the acquisition and mastery of maintenance procedures and the use of mission equipment. The VMT simulates almost all subsystems of the helicopter and supports - as far as necessary for the above-mentioned training goals - approx. 450 different maintenance and operating procedures. These include inspection, functional test, adjustment, diagnostic, fault isolation and replacement and repair procedures.

Through the application of a simulation-based approach, Telespazio VEGA has already enabled five nations to improve their training efficiency. As an international company, we are looking forward to continuing to support the NH90 programme. Based on our experience we can offer comparable training tools for every helicopter type.

Case Study
CH-53
Modelling & Simulation
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