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Exercise #HotBlade2014 - Overview - @EUDefenceAgency - Helicopter Exercise Programme (HEP)/ Helicopter Training Programme (HTP)

Exercise #HotBlade2014 - Overview - @EUDefenceAgency - Helicopter Exercise Programme (HEP)/ Helicopter Training Programme (HTP) | D-FENS | Scoop.it

The multinational helicopter exercise supported by the European Defence Agency will kick off on July 16th at Ovar airbase, Portugal. It will gather about 3.000 military personnel and more than twenty rotary-wing aircraft from six different countries in “hot, high and dusty” training conditions.


From 16 to 30 July 2014, Hot Blade 2014, the seventh exercise supported by EDA under the umbrella of the Helicopter Exercise Programme (HEP), will take place in Ovar, Portugal. Six countries are expected to participate (Austria, Beligium, Germany, The Netherlands, Portugal, and UK) with 24 helicopters, 14 fixed wing aircraft and over 800 helicopter personnel. Observers from Italy, Sweden, and NSHQ will also attend and a total of 3000 military personnel will be directly involved.




HB14 will be delivered by the Portuguese Air Force. The HEP is part of the EDA Helicopter Training Programme (HTP) which is consisting of the HEP, HTC (Helicopter Tactics Course), HTIC (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 overall objective is to prove that at very low cost, immediate operational output can be achieved. HB14 will allow crews to practice operations in a hot, high and dusty environment replicating the challenges and dynamic conditions that participant forces are expected to encounter when deploying to a theater of operation. The exercise will also implement “Joint Interoperability Training” based on 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). All missions will be launched from Ovar air base, functioning as a Deployable Operating Base (DOB), and the aircraft will return to the DOB each day. This model will maximize coordination and ensure a joint briefing and debriefing, where emphasis will be given to flight safety and lessons learned. As air operations will be developed largely in a TRA (Temporarily Restricted Airspace), a Helicopter Forward Operating Base (FOB) will be implemented in the civilian aerodrome of Seia. This option will increase operational flexibility and ensure the dynamics and realism of the scenario.




Christian Albrecht's insight:

Hot Blade 2014 Factsheet:


EDA Helicopter Initiatives:


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Defence Helicopter - Publications - Shephard

Defence Helicopter - Publications - Shephard | D-FENS | Scoop.it

• AFSOC defends CV-22 following crash
• Italians prepare for Afghan NH90 deployment
• Kaman confident of ex-Australian Seasprite contract
• Scandinavian NH90 operators build experience, fleet numbers


Teutonic efficiency
The armed forces of Germany are facing a radical shake-up, with helicopter regiments the focus of efficiency drives. Defence Helicopter takes a close look at the changes.


Blades of glory

Carbon-fibre rotor blades offer improved structural and performance capabilities. Defence Helicopter finds out how composite materials are shaping helicopter design.


FACE value
The days of platform-specific avionics suites and physical refits could be numbered. Defence Helicopter faces the future.


Divide and conquer
With counter-cartel strategies high on the agenda, Mexico’s military helicopter fleet is an integral component of both regular and special forces operations, Defence Helicopter reports.


Maxing out
New improvement programmes targeting engine efficiency and capabilities are being expedited by industry and governments in order to meet more demanding requirements. Defence Helicopter explores recent developments.


Making light work of it
Demanding service requirements are making heavy-lift helicopter manufacturers find innovative solutions to push the capability boundaries of their platforms. Defence Helicopter examines some of these big lifters.


If it ain’t broke...
When it comes to replacing old and worn-out Mi-8/17s, many existing military operators are opting for new-build improved derivatives of this modern classic. Defence Helicopter visited Kazan Helicopters to find out why.


Tail Spin
Colonel Frank Best, commander of Helicopter Wing 64 of the German Air Force, describes how the reorientation of the Bundeswehr is affecting his command and what challenges his country’s helicopter assets are facing.

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Netherlands moves forward with Apache upgrade - AH-64

Netherlands moves forward with Apache upgrade - AH-64 | D-FENS | Scoop.it

The Dutch AH-64D upgrade programme is gathering pace with the first Apache now undergoing its Block II upgrade with Boeing.

Once the upgrade is completed, the trial aircraft will be used to evaluate its new characteristics and how this corresponds with Dutch requirements.

According to current planning, a second Apache from the Joint Netherlands Training Detachment (JNTD) at Fort Hood, Texas will be inducted into the upgrade programme at Mesa, Arizona in mid-2013. All eight JNTD Apaches should be upgraded by late 2014.

Upgrades on the 21 Apache attack helicopters based at Gilze-Rijen air base, home of the Defence Helicopter Command in the Netherlands, will then commence in 2014 and continue until 2016.


The Dutch attack helicopter fleet has recently already been retrofitted with the Lockheed Martin Arrowhead Modernized Target Acquisition Designation Sight/Pilot Night Vision Sensor (M-TADS/PNVS). Concurrently, Elbit Systems was contracted to deliver its Integrated Helmet and Display Sight System (IHADSS) which provides good compatibility with Arrowhead’s high-resolution thermal imagery.

The Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) intends to introduce blue force tracking systems onto the Apache during the Block II upgrade process.

In addition, there is a separate requirement for the introduction of a Level 2 manned-unmanned teaming capability. This should lead to the acquisition of a batch of Apache Video from Unmanned Aircraft Systems for Interoperability Teaming (VUIT-2) systems in the near future. With VUIT-2, UAS video can be displayed in the cockpit on the Apache’s multi-purpose displays or transmitted to another Apache or to troops on the ground. The same applies for its MTADS imagery.

The RNLAF is also looking at fitting its complete Apache fleet with non-line-of sight communications. The Rockwell Collins AN/ARC-220 High Frequency (HF) Airborne Communications System has been selected and is currently undergoing trials.

Dutch AH-64D crews will continue to rely on Terma’s AMASE (Apache Modular Aircraft Survivability Equipment) for self-protection for the time being and plans to integrate a directed IR countermeasures (DIRCM) capability onto AMASE have been cancelled. There is a requirement for a follow-on system to AMASE with enhanced self-protection features which could be introduced from 2015 onwards.

It has also emerged that the RNLAF is currently working on a number of proposals to navalise its Apache and Chinook helicopters. In order to improve the Apache’s suitability for naval operations and air transport, there is currently a requirement for six sets of main rotor blade folding kits.

The Dutch attack helicopter community is also awaiting the introduction of new weaponry, with 70mm precision-guided rockets soon to be acquired.


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