SSL starts fitting outer skins to METS® for Royal Navy HUETS destined for RNAS YEOVILTON

Work is now well underway on the 2 HUETS (Helicopter Underwater Escape Training Simulators) ordered by the UK Ministry of Defence for the RNCMSUET (Royal Navy Centre of Maritime SERE and Underwater Escape Training) under a £1.5M contract placed with Survival Systems Limited (SSL) of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada. The contract placed in June 2020 is scheduled for delivery in early 2021.

SSL will be providing 2 of their proprietary METS® (Modular Egress Training Simulator) to satisfy the contract. A larger METS® Model 40 will be used to simulate MERLIN and similar sized aircraft and a METS® Model 5 will represent the smaller WILDCAT and similar aircraft. The modular METS® is constructed to a base design and additional replacement panels are provided to represent specific windows, doors, and hatches for specific aircraft configurations. A similar concept is applied to customise internal layouts for specific mission configurations.

Swapping between configurations only takes minutes enabling the highest tempo of training to be maintained amongst a training population involved in different missions and roles e.g. troop transport and anti-submarine roles. The internal configurations allow accurate representation of hazards and escape paths particular to the role.

Progress so far has included construction of the basic frame of the METS®, the rotating ring which allows the METS® to safely invert and be recovered, and other basic structural components. The METS® standard frame is then customised by fitting an outer skin and internal components to allow representation of the platform be it helicopter, small maritime craft, amphibious vehicle, or light aircraft. The size of the operational platform dictates the size of the basic frame constructed. SSL’s METS® starts to adopt the appearance of the operational platform when the outer skin is attached, which is the work now under way.

Commenting on progress so far Paul Douglas, President and Chief Executive Officer of SSL, commented “Work is progressing well on the build for this prestigious customer and joins that for other prestigious Commonwealth Naval customers currently in our production facility. Our relationship with the end customer and the Merlin Delivery Team who are handling the contract for MoD is good and together we are resolving a series of minor issues associated with the Covid-19 situation and service specific customisation. It reflects well on everyone in SSL, our supply network, MoD, and the Royal Navy involved in the project that the design and implementation has been accomplished so smoothly so far. In these very different times there will inevitably be issues that arise but they will be resolved between us by the open nature of the dialogue we all enjoy”.

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