CANBERRA, Australia, May 30 (UPI) -- Three Australian companies, two of them subsidiaries of U.S. firms, have been shortlisted by the Australian military for an aircrew training system.
Senior Defense Department officials identified the companies as Australian Aerospace Ltd., Boeing Defense Australia Ltd. and Raytheon Australia Pty Ltd.
The contract they are seeking is for development of a new joint helicopter training system for the Australian army and navy under Phase 7 of the government's Air 9000 project.
"This new joint training system will overcome the broadening gap in training systems required for the advanced operational helicopters to be operated by the future ADF (Australian Defense Force), including 22 Tiger Armed Reconnaissance Helicopters, 47 MRH90 multi-role helicopters, 24 Seahawk Romeo maritime combat helicopters, and 7 CH-47 (F) Chinook medium-lift helicopters," the Department of Defense said.
"The new training system will comprise a combination of light- and twin-engine helicopters with options for basic and advanced avionic systems; a mix of synthetic training devices; and integrated through-life support."
The department said fielding of the joint training system will allow the retirement of 40 Kiowa helicopters operated by the army and 13 Squirrel helicopters operated by the navy.
Australian authorities plan to decide on the contract winner next year following continued proposal evaluations.