Senators push for US solution for new centrifuge

A bi-partisan group of Pennslylvania Senators has written to US Ambassador Jeffrey Bleich to request his support in a bid to supply a high-performance human centrifuge to the New Air Combat Capability Project Office.

Led by Senator Pat Toomey, a Republican, the December 12 letter notes that the US Environmental Tectonics Corporation is one of two manufactures world-wide, and the only US Company, to have responded to an Australian Department of Defence Request for Information on the project.

The letter, posted on Senator Toomey’s website urges Ambassador Bleich to ‘encourage’ Defence to consider the Pennsylvania-based ETC’s bid.

“As our nation continues to suffer through tough economic times it is crucial that we identify every opportunity to support economic stability and job growth in our military industrial base, particularly by awarding contracts to successful companies with a track record of delivering quality products and technology,” it states.

“We are therefore requesting your assistance to encourage the NACC to provide full and fair consideration for a U.S. company that is competing for the project.”

Toomey estimates the value of the contract to be between 23 and 45 million US Dollars (A$ 22 – 42.5 million).

ETC Aircrew Training Systems is proposing its ATFS-400 Phoenix centrifuge, which has been in service with the Royal Malaysian Air Force since 2005 and the US Air Force in 2012 and is currently in production for the Republic of Korea Air Force.

The ATFS-400 can simulate various effects, including high Angle Of Attack manoeuvring, departure from controlled flight training and G-tolerance training for fourth and fifth generation combat aircraft, and can be equipped with a high-fidelity cockpit.

In August 2011, Jacobs Australia was awarded a $148,500 contract to provide external Service Provider (ESP) support for the establishment of the NACC centrifuge capability.

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