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Rheinmetall is to supply the Bundeswehr with two additional cargo hold simulators for the Airbus A400M transport aircraft. In January 2021 the A400M’s maker, Airbus, contracted Rheinmetall Electronics to supply not just one, but two additional training simulators for the European A400M. Earmarked for German air bases in Wunstorf and Altenstadt, the two simulators will be delivered and ready to operate at the end of 2022 or the beginning of 2023. The order is worth a figure in the lower two-digit million-euro range.

In Wunstorf, Air Transport Squadron 62 will receive an A400M Cargo Hold Part Task Trainer (CPTT). This will augment the A400M training centre’s existing suite of simulation and training systems, which includes the advanced Cargo Hold Trainer Enhanced (CHT-E). This is used for training cargo hold crews, especially loadmasters and ground personnel.  Specially configured for the mission, a second CPTT will be installed at the Airmobile and Air Transport School in Altenstadt, where it will be used for training airfreight handling personnel and paratroopers. The CPTT will be the base’s first A400M simulator.

A400M Cargo Hold Simulator Features

The A400M CPTT is an exact full-scale replica of the A400M cargo hold, including the operator interfaces, permitting highly realistic training of cargo hold crews and ground personnel. Highly versatile, the CPTT enables mission-specific configuration of the cargo hold. Trainees can practise the preparation of cargo, loading and unloading, in-flight and ground procedures while the crew also learns to operate as a team. The system lends itself to initial and advanced training as well as refresher courses and mission preparation.

Complex scenarios and emergency situations can be practiced in complete safety, since there is no need to use the original equipment, which therefore remains ready for real-world operations, ensuring personnel are well-prepared and qualified to carry out their tasks. In addition to training operations, the CPTT lets users evaluate, test and qualify procedures and configurations for new types of loads. This is possible thanks to the CPTT’s highly accurate replication of the original equipment. Constituting a systematic expansion of Rheinmetall’s line of cargo-related products, the CPTT also enables the complete spectrum of cargo training assets to be adapted for other platforms.

Other A400M Cargo Hold Simulators

Besides the CPTT, Rheinmetall has supplied various A400M user nations with other types of cargo training equipment, including the Loadmaster Workstation Trainer (LMWST) and the aforementioned CHT-E. Now official, the latest order brings to ten the total number of sophisticated, high-fidelity Rheinmetall A400M cargo training systems. This assures a high standard of instruction and training in the A400M cargo domain.

Rheinmetall supplied the first A400M CPTT to the Royal Malaysian Air Force in 2019. CHT-E simulators are now in service at:

  • the Airbus International Training Centre (ITC) in Seville
  • with the RAF at Brize Norton in the UK
  • the German Air Force in Wunstorf
  • with a French Army airborne brigade near Toulouse

The LMWST is on hand at the Airbus ITC in Seville, France’s national A400M training centre in Orléans and at the RAF National Training Centre in Brize Norton.

Jack Richardson