Work is well underway on the two Helicopter Underwater Escape Training Simulators (HUETS) ordered by the UK Ministry of Defence for the Royal Navy Centre of Maritime SERE and Underwater Escape Training (RNCMSUET) under a £1.5M contract placed with Survival Systems Limited (SSL). This was awarded in June 2020 is scheduled for delivery in early 2021.
SSL will be providing two of their proprietary Modular Egress Training Simulator (METS ®) systems to satisfy the contract. A larger METS® Model 40 will be used to simulate MERLIN and similar sized aircraft and a METS® Model 5 will represent the smaller WILDCAT and equivalent aircraft. The modular METS® is constructed to a base design and additional replacement panels are provided to represent specific windows, doors, and hatches for specific aircraft configurations. A similar concept is applied to customise internal layouts for specific mission configurations.
Swapping between configurations only takes minutes, enabling the highest tempo of training to be maintained amongst a training population involved in different missions and roles including troop transport and anti-submarine roles. The internal configurations allow accurate representation of hazards and escape paths particular to the role.
Progress so far has included construction of the basic frame of the METS®, the rotating ring which allows the METS® to safely invert and be recovered, and other basic structural components. The METS® standard frame is then customised by fitting an outer skin and internal components to allow representation of the platform be it helicopter, small maritime craft, amphibious vehicle or light aircraft. The size of the operational platform dictates the size of the basic frame constructed. SSL’s METS® starts to adopt the appearance of the operational platform when the outer skin is attached, which is the work now under way.