Philippine Air Force commences S-70i Black Hawk synthetic training at CAE Brunei MPTC, aims to acquire 32 more helos

The flight simulator training
The flight simulator training at the CAE Brunei Multi-Purpose Training Centre.

Black Hawk S-70i helicopter pilots from the Philippine Air Force (PAF) have commenced flight simulator training at the CAE Brunei Multi-Purpose Training Centre (MPTC), the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs announced on 3 December.

The training comes after the PAF and the Royal Brunei Air Force (RBAF) signed an agreement as part of the continuing implementation of a bilateral memorandum of understanding (MoU) on defence co-operation signed in 2001.

“The Philippine Government conveys its deepest appreciation to His Majesty the Sultan and the Ministry of Defence of Brunei Darussalam for its continuing active engagement and valuable contribution to the Armed Forces of the Philippines,” said Philippine Chargé d’Affaires Pete Delfin.

“This is a milestone in our bilateral defense relations with Brunei. Notwithstanding the strong and dynamic defense cooperation between our countries, the programme represents a practical option for S-70i Black Hawk training as PAF pilots need not proceed to outside the ASEAN region,” added Delfin, noting that the RBAF is also providing instructor pilots to supervise the PAF trainees. “It opens up more opportunities for PAF pilots and allows greater interaction and exchanges between our Armed Forces.”

PAF pilot trainees arrived on 8 November and are being trained in six batches from 16 November to 27 December. Under a multi-year contract, subsequent batches of PAF pilots will also participate in the training programme over the next few years.

Located in Rimba, the MPTC houses fully certified synthetic training systems, a full flight and mission simulator representing the Sikorsky S-70i and S-92 medium transport helicopters – which are based on the CAE 3000 Series system and used to train local and international pilots – as well as a Pilatus PC-7 Mk 2 flight training device (FTD) that is being used for pilot screening, initial and advanced flight instruction, as well as qualified flight instructor (QFI) flight training.

The 3000 Series is designed around CAE’s latest Medallion 6000 image generators, which can deliver high-resolution physics-based sky modelling, particle-based weather simulation, and special effects including tracer/missile trails and explosions. Medallion 6000 generators are also capable of simulating sensor equipment such as forward-looking infrared, night vision goggles, and electro-optical day and low-light TV cameras.

The MPTC is a joint venture between CAE and Brunei’s Ministry of Finance, with CAE holding a 60% stake.

As part of the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ Modernization Program, the PAF has acquired 16 S-70i Black Hawk helicopters from Polish company PZL Mielec. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana announced on 7 December that the government had allocated 62 billion pesos for a further 32 S-70i helicopters and six offshore patrol vessels, although a deal has yet to be finalised.

by Jr Ng