The German Air Force has turned to Rheinmetall’s simulation and training expertise for training its personnel in the A400M military transport aircraft. In December 2021 Rheinmetall won the tender from Germany’s Federal Agency for Bundeswehr Equipment Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) for advanced training rigs and augmented reality (AR) systems for training maintenance and repair personnel for the A400M. The order is worth a figure in the lower two-digit million-euro range.
The plan currently calls for equipping the Technical Training Centre of the German Air Force’s Department North at Wunstorf Air Base with several high fidelity training rigs, including an AR capability. Developed specially for this user, they will enable effective, highly realistic training of maintenance and repair personnel, without tying up the actual aircraft. As a result, training operations will not adversely affect the availability and readiness of Germany’s A400M fleet.
By combining the training rig with supplementary AR, the concept developed by Rheinmetall Electronics enables a comprehensive, integrated approach to training that encompasses the relevant maintenance procedures, including all work steps. It is also possible to use the training rigs without the AR system.
The training rigs are detailed replicas of various parts of the A400M aircraft. Thanks to an integrated concept comprising the training rigs and supplementary AR system, maintenance personnel can practise maintenance procedures just as if they were working on a real aircraft. This includes pre- and post-operational activities in and around the aircraft as well as the actual mechanical procedures. The AR system is able to depict activities that cannot be practised on the training rig, ensuring better overall comprehension in each training situation, while simultaneously placing tasks conducted on the individual rigs into the proper context.
Instruction conducted with the training rigs is certifiable in accordance with DEMAR, Germany’s military airworthiness regulations.
This training concept for the A400M platform is a beacon in the modern training of maintenance personnel pointing the way forward not only for the Bundeswehr but also for the armed forces of other A400M user nations. Moreover, the concept can be adapted for use with other platforms.
Representing a well-aimed expansion of the Group’s comprehensive A400M Rear Crew Training product line, the training rigs and AR system significantly widen the spectrum of Rheinmetall training assets. Besides the training rigs and AR, Rheinmetall supplies additional cargo training devices to various A400M user nations. These include the A400M Cargo Hold Part Task Trainer (CPTT), different advanced Cargo Hold Trainer Enhanced (CHT-E) systems as well as the Load Master Working Station Trainer (LMWST).