Training is often the glanced-over or even forgotten part of US direct commercial sale and foreign military sale contracts. Such omissions fail to highlight top-notch training products and services OEMs and their S&T industry partners bring to operators and maintainers.
These shortfalls are not to be repeated for a recently announced DCS award.
Mesa, Arizona-based MD Helicopters is ramping up production line capabilities and increasing staffing to accommodate additional sales orders – to include its recent DCS contract for 12 Cayuse Warrior Plus scout/attack helicopters awarded by the Nigerian Army. The aircraft will assist in counter insurgency and counter terrorism operations in Nigeria. Of interest for MS&T readers, this Nigerian selection includes a complete ILS package, spares, pilot and maintainer training, and Flight Training Device (FTD).
Stephen Suttles, Senior Sales Director at the OEM, noted the scope of the training includes transition training for pilots, tailored mission training and maintenance training. “We do all of the training internally,” the executive told Halldale Group, as MD Helicopters has its own training academy, supplemented by adjacent live-training ranges. While MDH instructors are based in Mesa, they can provide exportable training – subject to US government approval – including in-country.
As part of MD’s training academy portfolio, the company also supplies maintenance training in-house.
For this DCS contract, the firm will provide a flight training device. “We will have to partner with a supplier of FTDs, but we’ll provide the data and the other details the simulation is supposed to perform. We’ll partner with a third-party provider for that training device.” Suttles did not provide the name of a prospective supplier due to the sensitivity of negotiations.
MD Helicopters has a rich history of providing international training for non-US defense services, including those in Malaysia (under DCS), Kenya (under FMS) and others.