Survitec and Netherlands to create EU Centre for F-35 pilotsSurvitec Group and the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) have agreed to work together to set up a dedicated Pilot Fit Facility (PFF) in Holland for pilots flying the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) and to study the feasibility for other legacy platforms.

Lieutenant General A. Schnitger, Commander-in-Chief RNLAF, along with other high-ranking officials, sealed the partnership during a meeting with Survitec personnel in London on 14th Sept 2015.

The agreement forms part of a wider strategy to create a European Centre of Human Performance Excellence in the Netherlands, that can be used by other partner nations on the F-35 programme. It fuses the RNLAF’s expertise in centrifuge, high altitude, water and survival training for pilots, with Survitec’s unique capability to deliver fitting, servicing, training and logistics support for PFE.

David Griffiths, Survitec’s Vice President Defence Sales sees the investment as an important extension to the Group’s global services footprint. “Our capabilities extend beyond the design, manufacture and supply of kit. We can add value through our specialist support services. We are delighted to have our colleagues from the RNLAF join us at DSEI so we can announce this unique partnership. Today’s announcement is the next step in our plans to set up more pilot fit facilities all over the world. “The new facility will mirror Survitec’s highly successful PFF at the US Eglin Air Force Base in Florida where Survitec’s expert technicians work directly with F-35 pilots to measure, fit and assemble each pilot’s flight equipment. This highly specialised work involves gathering data from over 30 anthropometric points before integrating the pilot’s PFE into the ejection seat and helmet mounted display systems. Each assembly requires bespoke fitting. Pilots are also provided with elementary training to familiarise them with the proper use of the equipment.

Added David Griffiths: “We have worked with the Dutch air force for many years and currently supply all their rotary platform life preservers, single and multi-seat liferafts and F-16 Anti-g trousers. Partnering together to set up a dedicated PFF on Dutch soil is a natural development. We are close geographically and we are familiar with how each other’s organisation works in terms of processes and procedures. We share the same vision for creating a Centre of Human Performance Excellence for pilots.”With the search for a suitable site already underway, the new PFF facility is expected to be operational by the end of 2016. Discussions have also begun with other suppliers on the F-35 programme to ensure they are on board as partners as early as possible in the process.

Source and image: survitecgroup