Boeing subsidiary Insitu Pacific has announced it has commenced the first pilot’s course for the Australian Army’s new Integrator uncrewed aircraft system (UAS).
Selected in March 2022 for the Army’s Project LAND 129 Phase 3 tactual UAS requirement, the Integrator is a growth development of the smaller ScanEagle UAS which was previously operated by the Army in Afghanistan and Iraq, and which is operated on a trial basis by the Royal Australian Navy’s 822X SQN.
The release says 12 pilot candidates will undertake the nine-week course which comprises classroom lessons and simulator pilot training, and practical Integrator flight training at Insitu Pacific’s flight training and testing airfield at Coominya west of Brisbane.
“Our fully-fledged training capability has been in operation for over 10 years and is geared to deliver proficient, hands-on training to ensure the Army is ready to operate the aircraft system from day one,” managing director of Insitu Pacific, Andrew Duggan said in the release. “It’s fantastic to have Army back in our facility and training on our proven Integrator platform as we mobilise the program with our Australian suppliers to bring Integrator into service.
“Many of our instructors, who are also veterans, have flown Insitu systems in areas of operation over the years and are fully qualified and experienced in delivering technical training, and the contract with Army has also contributed to a recent growth in our training team to meet the increasing demand,” he added.
PMO Director of the Navy and Army Aviation Acquisition Program Office, Andrew McKinnon added, “The commencement of this training is a significant step for the Australian Army’s tactical UAS capability. This training will provide the soldiers of 20 Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery, with the technical skills needed to successfully operate Army’s Future Tactical Uncrewed Aerial System.”
The LAND 129 Phase 3 contract awarded to Insitu Pacific includes the conduct of periodical pilot and maintainer courses for a period of five years.