Thursday, June 21, 2018
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Senegal acquires Thales helicopter training systems

A Senegalese Mi-35.Senegal’s Armed Forces will use a helicopter mission trainer from Thales to train its Mi-35 attack helicopter and Mi-17 transport helicopter pilots.

Thales on 20 April said its helicopter mission trainer will enable pilots to acquire and develop tactical skills and be mission-ready.

“The Senegalese Armed Forces are involved in a wide range of deployments in remote theatres, conducting operations beyond the scope of traditional homeland defence. For this reason, they need to improve the tactical training of attack helicopter pilots,” Thales said.

The Thales helicopter mission trainer will allow pilots to train in a diverse array of programmable tactical scenarios, such as combat search and rescue, naval operations or even commando insertion/extraction. All training will be analysed at a debriefing station to prepare for a successful mission.

“Thanks to a high definition visual database and to a rich, synthetic and powerful environment, the flexible, modular trainer can be configured to allow individual pilot and commander training as well as training of entire aircrews for collective operations, such as multi-crew and multiplatform coordination and combined arms deployments,” Thales said.

“These training tools of the future have been developed using Thales state-of-the-art technologies to enable highly effective instruction and training. The Senegalese Armed Forces will benefit from a training system perfectly matching the tactical training requirements of helicopter pilots, reconstructing operational conditions with a high degree of realism,” said General Joseph M. Diop, Air Force Chief of Staff of the Senegalese Armed Forces.

The helicopter tactical trainer is part of Thales’s portfolio of simulation products. For over fifteen years, French Army Light Aviation (ALAT) helicopter pilots have been using the EDITH helicopter tactical trainer platform from Thales for collective instruction and training.

Senegal’s helicopter training system will be installed at the Air Force academy near Dakar.

Senegal last year received three refurbished Mi-24V attack helicopters from Poland’s WZL-1 aviation company after ordering the aircraft from Slovakia in 2015. The first Mi-24 to be overhauled by WZL-1 was delivered in February 2017. WZL-1 also provided technical training for Senegalese personnel on the helicopters.

In addition to the three refurbished Hinds, Senegal in 2007 received two Mi-24/35Ps in 2007 after placing an order from Russia in 2005. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Senegal also received two Mi-171s from Russia.

In June 2016 it was announced that Senegal was upgrading its Mi-24 attack helicopters with Israeli Controp DSP-HD electro-optical systems.

Apart from the helicopter training system, Senegal also ordered from Thales this month an unspecified number of Ground Master 400 air surveillance radars along with SkyView command and control systems.