The RAAF has accepted a new C-130J Fuselage Trainer (FuT) into service.
The C-130J FuT was officially handed over during a ceremony at RAAF Base Richmond.
“Our C-130J Hercules are some of the busiest aircraft in Defence, and having a Fuselage Trainer relieves the burden of using a real aircraft to conduct essential training,” Minister for Defence Marise Payne said.
“The Fuselage Trainer is an exact replication of the cargo bay and systems in a real C-130J Hercules aircraft, and will provide loadmasters with a purpose-built classroom ideal for training.”
The overall design and development of the C-130J Fuselage Trainer was led by CAE, which included leveraging simulation software from other C-130J training programs and tailoring development to meet RAAF training requirements.
Airbus Australia Pacific provided the physical hardware by using two ex-RAAF C-130H airframes to recreate the fuselage of the C-130J aircraft. Lockheed Martin provided consulting services and spare parts used in the production of the fuselage trainer.
Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne said the C-130J Fuselage Trainer will play a key role in helping engineers and loadmasters design new load carrying techniques for the Hercules transport.
“The next-generation of vehicles and systems that can be deployed by the Hercules will utilise the Fuselage Trainer to determine what is the best practice,” Minister Pyne said.
“This new C-130J Fuselage Trainer will enhance the operational availability of our C-130J fleet while enabling us to provide a safe, cost-effective and realistic training environment for our loadmasters and rear crew,” a RAAF spokesperson said. “In addition, we will now be able to network with our C-130J Full-Flight and Mission Simulator and other training assets to provide full-crew mission training and rehearsal in a virtual environment.”
CAE Australia will provide maintenance and support services on the C-130J FuT.
“We are pleased to continue our longstanding relationship with the Royal Australian Air Force as their C-130J training partner, and delighted to work closely with Airbus and Lockheed Martin who provided valuable hardware and support that helped deliver this key project for the RAAF,” Ian Bell, CAE general manager Asia-Pacific/Middle East, said.
“The RAAF continues to be one of the world’s leading air forces in the application of simulation-based training, and this new C-130J Fuselage Trainer is another example of the RAAF investing in new technologies and capabilities to best prepare their aircrews for operational missions and requirements.”