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12 Feb 20. Royal Thai Air Force joins H135 military training operators. New order of six H135s will increase its Airbus fleet to 18 helicopters. Airbus Helicopters has signed an order for six H135 military training helicopters from the Royal Thai Air Force, as part of its pilot training enhancement programme. The very first military training helicopters ever ordered by the Royal Thai Air Force, these new twin-engine H135s will be utilised for an array of training missions, including ab-initio flight training. They will complement the Royal Thai Air Force’s existing H225M fleet, bringing its Airbus fleet to 18 units.

“We are extremely honoured by the Royal Thai Air Force’s decision to expand its training fleet with the H135. The FAA IFR-certified H135 is well regarded by military customers worldwide for its versatility, excellent performance and reliability, which explains our full confidence that this helicopter is the perfect platform for the Air Force’s training needs,” said Fabrice Rochereau, Head of Sales, Asia Pacific at Airbus Helicopters.

“We look forward to the H135 enhancing the training capability of the Royal Thai Air Force from 2021 onwards, where every one of its pilots will learn to fly a helicopter through the H135 trainer, and smoothly transit to more complex helicopters,” he added.

With over 130 units operated by military agencies worldwide for training missions, the three-tonne-class H135 is a proven benchmark for military training helicopters globally, having already achieved more than 320,000 military training flight hours. This new order expands the global fleet to 11 military customers.

Equipped with Airbus Helicopters’ state-of-the-art Helionix avionics suite, the H135 offers optimal safety conditions for basic and advanced mission training, while providing a platform for easy and safe pilot transition onto more advanced helicopters.

In addition, the Royal Thai Air Force’s H135s will each be configured with two external cameras, providing pilots with a 360-degree view of the external environment. They will also be equipped with tactical systems and the Euronav7 moving map, enhancing situational awareness while offering the highest levels of functionality, interface capability and flexibility to meet the Air Force’s demanding mission requirements. Additionally, the H135s will be fitted with air-conditioning systems, tinted windows, and height-adjustable pilot seats for enhanced comfort.

This latest contract includes comprehensive maintenance support under the HCare Smart full-by-the-hour programme and continuing airworthiness management organisation services.

The Royal Thai Air Force will benefit from the support of the Airbus Helicopters Thailand team, providing access to a dedicated local pool of parts to ensure maximum reactivity. As part of the HCare contract, Airbus Helicopters will provide the customer with all parts needed for the maintenance of the aircraft, guaranteeing the highest level of availability for this fleet.

11 Feb 20. Chinese Military Conducts Joint Air-Sea Drill Near Taiwan Island.  Following the combat-readiness patrol on February 9, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Eastern Theater Command organized its naval and air forces to conduct a joint drill in waters off the southeast coast of Taiwan island on Feb. 10, said Senior Colonel Zhang Chunhui, spokesperson for the Chinese PLA Eastern Theater Command on Tuesday.

According to the spokesperson, the joint drill focused on real-combat subjects such as air-to-ground assault and fire support and further honed the multiple services’ capability in joint operations.

The spokesperson pointed out that the “Taiwan independence” forces ignore the overall national interests and continue to step up “independence” efforts, which is against the trend and unpopular.

The troops of the PLA Eastern Theater Command will always stay on high alert, keep a close watch on the situation, and resolutely perform their duties and missions, he added. (Source: defense-aerospace.com/China Military Online)

10 Feb 20. MASA Group (MASA), a leading developer of Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based Modelling & Simulation (M&S) software for the defence, emergency preparedness, serious games and game development markets, announces that the Spanish Army has signed a major contract for the use of MASA SWORD. It includes the acquisition and full customization to the Spanish requirements of SWORD, MASA’s flagship constructive simulation software. SWORD is an automated, aggregated, constructive simulation designed to improve training, analysis, and decision support for both commanding officers in the military and crisis managers in the emergency preparedness sector. SWORD offers users highly realistic scenarios as well as an open simulation platform which is interoperable with other simulations and Command & Control (C2) systems. It can be deployed via distant servers (in the cloud) and can be adapted into several languages (ongoing versions include English, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Arabic). SWORD also includes a cutting-edge Artificial Intelligence engine developed by MASA.

The Spanish Army will use SWORD to improve the training of its command posts from Company and Battalion up to Brigade and Division level by simulating combat actions and combat-support actions. The Spanish Army’s main goal in choosing SWORD is to have a versatile simulation which is deployable in many use cases like Command Post Training, Crisis Management and Disaster Response, Logistic Command Post Training and in Urban Conflicts.

In the first two months after the acquisition, MASA SWORD was integrated in el CENAD San Gregorio in Zaragoza. CENAD stands for Centro Nacional de Adiestramiento, the National Training Centre.

El CENAD has chosen MASA SWORD mainly for its overall capabilities, versatility and flexibility. The task for el CENAD and MASA Group was to install MASA SWORD and to have it fully operational in two months. This task was accomplished successfully.  Now the first exercise with military Units will take place at the beginning of June.

08 Feb 20. DEFENDER-EUROPE 20 ~ US ARMY ARMOUR MOVES. As CONUS-based US Army armour moves to Eastern seaboard ports for the forthcoming exercise a new video explaining DEFENDER-Europe 20 has been released, writes Bob Morrison. A few days ago soldiers from the US Army’s 3rd Infantry Division assisted in the movement and staging of armoured tracked vehicles in Savannah, Georgia, in in preparation for the DEFENDER-Europe 20 exercise which will take place across several European countries over the next few months. This exercise programme is intended to “train the joint, inter-agency and multinational force and help the US and NATO allies and partners better understand roles, responsibilities and requirements for global force deployment”. (Source: joint-forces.com)

11 Feb 20. ‘Cross Swords’ exercise melds cyber and traditional warfare tactics. The latest iteration of the ‘Crossed Swords’ cyber exercise focused on developing skills in both cyber and kinetic responses to attacks, training operators to choose the optimal mix depending on the challenges at hand, the organisers have told Jane’s. The sixth Crossed Swords exercise was organised by the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCDCOE) and CERT.LV, the Information Technology Security Incident Response Institution of the Republic of Latvia, along with a range of Latvian and Estonian military bodies and private companies. This year’s event was held in Riga, Latvia, and comprised just over 120 participants from 26 countries. (Source: Jane’s)

06 Feb 20. US Army soldiers receive training on breathing apparatus equipment. US Army soldiers from the 720th Ordnance Company (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) have received training on self-contained breathing apparatus equipment. During the two-week Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear Hazardous Material Technician Course, soldiers gained skills and knowledge to help them respond to a weapon of mass destruction incident.

Through this training, the 720th EOD unit is able to get its soldiers certified on the SCBA, a CBRN equipment recently issued to the unit.

720th EOD unit platoon sergeant Christopher Story said: “This training is important because it expands the capabilities of the EOD for the chemical realm, giving us equipment that we didn’t currently have, but were are now expected to perform the procedures for chemical.”

Training will be provided on various CBRN equipment and soldiers will be made familiar with personal protective equipment, fundamentals of toxic industrial chemicals / materials, sampling and collection procedures.

Department of Tactics and Training hazardous material training specialist Edgardo Garcia said: “We teach them a wide variety of equipment ranging from presumptive identification to detection, protection and decontamination.

“This is beneficial to the EOD units as it adds a combat multiplier towards the detection of WMD and provides early warning against toxic industrial chemical, that could cause severe health issues, or immediate dangers to life and health and possibly death towards unsuspecting soldiers.”

Garcia further added that with the training, the responder will be able to decontaminate upon completion of the mission without assistance from outside agencies.

At the conclusion of the training, the 720th Soldiers will receive certification to the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress Hazardous Material Technician Level of training.

Last November, US Army Contracting Command Orlando awarded a contract to Ravenswood to support the Army National Guard’s (ARNG) training programme. (Source: army-technology.com)

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Meggitt Training Systems, makers of FATS® and Caswell technologies, a division of Meggitt PLC, is the leading supplier of integrated live-fire and virtual weapons training systems. Meggitt Training Systems continues to grow its capabilities based on the legacy of these two industry leaders.

Over 13,600 Meggitt live-fire ranges and 5,100 virtual systems are fielded internationally, providing judgmental, situational awareness and marksmanship training to the armed forces, law enforcement and security organizations. Meggitt Training Systems employs more than 400 people at its headquarters in Atlanta and at facilities in Orlando, Canada, the United Kingdom, Netherlands, UAE, Australia and Singapore. It can deploy service personnel anywhere in the world for instructor training, system installation and maintenance. Learn more at https://meggitttrainingsystems.com/.

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