Suivre ce blog Administration + Créer mon blog
26 juillet 2013 5 26 /07 /juillet /2013 11:50
Hot Blade 2013: another fruitful training week for European helicopter crews
Ovar, Portugal | Jul 26, 2013 European Defence Agency

The second week of Hot Blade 2013 Helicopter Exercise is now close to its conclusion. This week offered some new and challenging missions testing the capabilities of the involved military and allowing European helicopters crews to train and qualify in complex scenarios, similar to real operations theatres, as well as to improve the interoperability among the participating Nations.


Formation flight session

To fly in formation was on one of the possibilities that the HB13 provided to its participants during this week of exercise. Formation flight means the disciplined flight of two or more aircraft under the command of a flight “Leader”. All the other aircraft involved are called "wings."

There are several possible formations and the 751 Squadron, EH-101 Merlin already had the opportunity to flight in formation with the Dutch and the Austrians in this edition of HB13. The Austrian OH-58 KIOWA and the Dutch CH-47D CHINNOOK joined the Portuguese EH-101 Merlin and put into practice the theory gained.

The military use this kind of flight for mutual support training and for capabilities sharing. It is a type of flight that increases the capabilities of the aircraft involved: greater security and the possibility of more cargo and personnel transport.

Furthermore, the flight formation can significantly increase the overall aerodynamic efficiency. It can also reduce drag, increasing the flight range. This fulfills one of the objectives of HB13: to increase the participating forces interoperability.


Aviation aficionados 1st visit

 Tuesday 23 July was the day dedicated to aviation enthusiasts, either professionals or amateurs. There were sixty people who assured their place at Ovar Air Base with a prior registration. The objective was to capture the aircraft best moments and images.

These aviation experts had the opportunity to go through several observation points which were set up for this purpose, a privileged access to all air operations.

At the end of the day, a closing briefing took place where an overall opinion about the day was collected. The enthusiasts said they had enjoyed each moment and the exercise had surpassed their expectations.


EDA’s HTP Project Manager interview

The EDA Helicopter Training Programme Project Manager Andrew Gray explains the importance of the exercise and the reasons that led to the success of Hot Blade in Portugal.
Watch the interview here.


More information

Visit EDA's HB13 webpage.

Partager cet article
19 juillet 2013 5 19 /07 /juillet /2013 11:50
Hot Blade 2013: Preparing Together for Operations
Ovar, Portugal | Jul 17, 2013 European Defence Agency

Starting today, Portugal hosts the multinational helicopter exercise HOT BLADE 2013 (HB13) at Ovar Military Airfield, near Porto. More than 700 military personnel, 26 helicopters and seven fixed wing aircraft from Austria, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and Portugal participate in the exercise, which lasts until 31 July 2013. HB13 is part of the European Defence Agency's Helicopter Training Programme.


HB13 allows European helicopter crews to practice operations in a hot, high and dusty environment, simulating the challenge and the dynamic conditions that participating forces encounter if they deploy to current theatres of operation.
Besides the focus on flying in challenging environmental conditions, the exercise is developed to train joint interoperability tasks including Air Assault (AA), Special Operations Aviation (SOA), Combat Service Support (CSS), Close Air Support (CAS) including Urban CAS and Emergency CAS, Convoy/helicopter escorts, Reconnaissance and Security (R&S) operations, Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR), Personnel Recovery (PR), Military/Non Military extractions (NEO Ops), Medical Evacuation (MEDEVAC) and Casualty Evacuation (CASEVAC).
The exercise is developed on a building block approach design, starting with cross-training activities on small COMAO missions, in order to build a mutual understanding of each participant’s equipment and standard operational procedures. As the exercises progresses the complexity and numbers of assets in each COMAO missions increase. Crews from all nations will use for the first time standing operating procedures.

Helicopter Training Programme

HB13 builds on EDA’s Helicopter Training Programme which is consisting of the HEP (Helicopter Exercise Programme), HTC (Helicopter Tactics Course), EHTIC (European Helicopter Tactics Instructors Course), OELC (Operational English Language Course), DisSim CCD (Distributed Simulation Capability Concept Demonstrator) and the Basic Helicopter Flying Training (BHFT) projects/programmes.
The exercise programme has so far delivered five multinational exercises with 123 helicopters, 227 crews and over 5,000 personnel participating. Over 50% crews that have attended these exercises later subsequently deployed to Afghanistan. In November 2012, defence ministers of thirteen nations signed a ten years programme arrangement for the Helicopter Exercise Programme. This commitment is a concrete indication that training together is an integral part of European capability and interoperability.

“HB13 is the 6th EDA helicopter exercise, but it is also the first in many ways. It is the first exercise in a 10-year programme agreed by thirteen countries, it is the first exercise where we are flying to commonly agreed procedures, and most excitingly for me, it is the first exercise where we have been able to introduce instructors – who themselves are graduates from the first European Helicopter Tactics Instructors Course. These instructors drawn from Germany, Sweden and UK are the ‘best of the best’ and I am looking forward to seeing them mentor some of the less experienced crews, as they meet the planning and flying challenges of the exercise”, said Wing Commander Andy Gray, in charge of EDA’s Helicopter Training Programme.

For further information, visit our HB13 web page.

Partager cet article


  • : RP Defense
  • : Web review defence industry - Revue du web industrie de défense - company information - news in France, Europe and elsewhere ...
  • Contact


Articles Récents