by David Oliver

Défense Conseil International (DCI), the reference operator for the transfer of the French armed forces’ know-how, has invested in a Diamond DA42 Multi-Purpose Platform (MPP) aircraft to expand its offer in airborne intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR). The twin-engine all-composite aircraft on static display at Le Bourget also has an aeronautical training role used for close air support (CAS) training of foreign trainees. It will be used for aeronautical maintenance training of student maintenance technicians.

Four trainees from a partner country of France recently came to Nancy Ochey Air Base to learn the fundamental notions of CAS in a geographical environment that is more complex than their home country. Supported by three instructors, all ex-military experts in this sector, the trainees acquired initial close air support capacities in accordance with French Air Force standards at the Franco-German close air support training centre, whose competencies are combat proven.

The DCI Diamond DA42 MPP Guardian ISR aircraft used for
close air support (CAS) training of foreign trainees. (DCI)

The DA42 is the most appropriate training solution for this purpose: as well as being more economical than a fighter aircraft, it is rugged and enables trainees to rapidly acquire the fundamental notions of CAS, including knowledge of phraseology and basic close air support procedures.

In another sector of aeronautical expertise, the French Defence Aeronautical Institute (FDAI), a training structure jointly created by DCI and Dassault Aviation, is offering ab initio theoretical and practical training in all the specialities of aeronautical maintenance featuring cutting-edge innovations and technological excellence. Around 150 trainees are attending the FDAI in 2017. Instructors have designed and implemented a technical training course that introduces the young trainees to the reality of work on the flight line. To complement the theoretical training and offer added value for trainees essentially centred on training related to flight safety reflexes relative to an aircraft on the flight line, the use of the DCI DA42 in real conditions allows realistic practical work to be performed. Training includes all aspects relating to the aircraft environment on the flight line.