Over seven weeks, the European Defence Agency (EDA) oversaw the ninth Helicopter Tactics Instructors Course (HTIC) at Sintra Airbase No1 in Portugal and Pápa Air Base in Hungary. It was the final course of its kind managed by EDA before being transferred to the Multinational Helicopter Training Centre (MHTC) in Portugal.
The course was structured in a two-week classroom phase, followed by a two-week simulator phase at Sintra Airbase No1. After a week of recovery and transfer of aircrafts, participants engaged in live flying exercises and demanding missions in a three-week deployment to the Pápa Air Base in Hungary.
Supported by personnel from the Hungarian Defence Forces and Pápa Air Base, the flying phase included a complex operational scenario employing dissimilar formation flying, Evasion Training against a range of airborne threats, Electronic Warfare (EW) exercises against both ground-based and airborne systems and performing a variety of additional tasks, such as Helicopter Assault, Convoy Escort, and Vehicle Interdiction. The course was led by the EDA HTIC Chief Instructor Maj Christian Kappl with participating crews from Austria, Czechia, Germany, Hungary, Portugal, and Slovakia flying on five different types of helicopters: AH-101, UH-60, OH-58, H145M, and Mi-171.
Throughout the course, the staff instructors from Austria, Germany, The Netherlands, and Sweden received specialised support from Inzpire Ltd. Units of the Czech Alca Jets and the Hungarian Gripens provided fixed wing support, acting mainly as threats during the training. In addition, EW assets and ground troops were provided by Austria, Germany, Hungary, and Slovenia.
In total, 15 Bronze, six Silver, and four Gold qualifications were awarded during the graduation ceremony, ensuring an important contribution to the international cadre of Helicopter Tactics Instructors (HTI) and the improvement of the national capabilities.
This year’s HTIC was the final edition managed by EDA. Following the training’s successful delivery, it has reached a high state of maturity, international recognition and has developed a growing cadre of HTI, facilitating a seamless and secure transition to the MHTC by the end of 2023.
For more details on EDA's helicopter initiatives, please see here.