Minister Visits New HATS Facility at HMAS Albatross
March 2017. The Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, and Member for Gilmore, Ann Sudmalis MP, recently visited HMAS Albatross to receive briefings on the $157 million development of the Helicopter Aircrew Training System (HATS), and improvements to 816 Squadron at HMAS Albatross.
As part of the new Helicopter Aircrew Training System HATS will provide streamlined initial pilot training in a highly realistic environment for Navy and Army personnel by the use of simulators and 15 Airbus EC135 helicopters.
Based at Nowra, HATS will replace the 30-year-old Navy Squirrel and 40-year-old Army Kiowa helicopters.
The project includes a new training centre with three flight simulators, refurbished hangars and workshops and new living accommodation.
Once operational in 2018, the facility will support the training of up to 116 pilots, aviation warfare officers, aircrew, sensor operators and instructors per year.
Above: Member for Gilmore Ms Ann Sudmalis MP, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, Minister for Defence, Commander Fleet Air Arm, Commander Chris Smallhorn RAN, and CO HMAS Albatross Captain Fiona Sneath, RAN, during a visit to the Helicopter Aircrew Training Systems Hanger at HMAS Albatross. (Defence image).
Below: Senator the Hon Marise Payne, Minister for Defence, views the EC135 free flight simulator during a visit to the Helicopter Aircrew Training Systems building at HMAS Albatross (Defence image).