Thales Training & Simulation

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Thales Training & Simulation Ltd.
Subsidiary (Private limited company)
Industry Aerospace
Founded 1946
Key people
Alex Dorrian (CEO)[1]
Products Full flight simulators
Services Commercial aviation training, military training
Number of employees
Parent Thales Group
Website Official site

Thales Training & Simulation Ltd. is a multinational company which manufactures simulators, including full flight simulators and military simulators, and provides related training and support services. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Thales Group.[2]


The origins of the company date back to the incorporation of Redifon in the United Kingdom in 1946.[2][3] In 1948, the company moved to the then new town of Crawley in West Sussex. In 1981, the parent company British Electric Traction changed the company name to Rediffusion Simulation Limited (RSL) to take advantage of the then familiar Rediffusion brand name.

In 1988, the company was bought by Hughes Aircraft and renamed Hughes Rediffusion Simulation (HRSL).

In 1994, the company was taken over by Thomson-CSF, who merged it with Link Miles (acquired by Thomson-CSF in 1990) and renamed the company Thomson Training & Simulation (TTSL). The merged companies were based at the Manor Royal site at Crawley.

In 1998, the simulation business of Wormald Technology of Australia was bought and renamed Thales Training & Simulation Pty Ltd (TTSP).

In the United States, Burtek, bought in 1979 by Thomson-CSF, was renamed Thomson Training & Simulation Inc.

At the end of 2000, the company was renamed Thales Training & Simulation (TTS) when the parent company re-branded using the Thales name.

Thales sold its civilian fixed-wing simulation business to L-3 Link Simulation & Training UK in August 2012.[3][4] The purchase included part of the TTS Crawley plant, but not Thales' military rotary-wing (helicopter) simulation business.[5]


Thales Training & Simulation has four main manufacturing plants:

  • United Kingdom (Crawley, West Sussex) producing military aircraft simulators and provides training and support services for military customers.
  • France (Cergy-Pontoise) responsible for the military aircraft, military helicopter and land vehicle (tanks, trucks) simulation product ranges;
  • Germany (Koblenz) where the small arms trainers are manufactured;
  • Australia (Sydney, New South Wales) which addresses Australasia requirements.

In addition, the company has joint ventures and/or customer support hubs in the United States, Saudi Arabia, China, etc.[citation needed]

Products and services[edit]

Thales have built and now operate numerous types of aircraft simulators, including:

  • Fixed based — No motion platform, normally housed in a dome, commonly military application. Full flight simulators can also be fixed based, these are generally basic training devices that have no visual and are control trainers only.
  • Full flight simulators — A fully immersed simulation that has a motion platform, can be either hydraulic or electric (Reality H helicopter simulator).
  • Military simulators — These can simulate parts of aircraft (fuselage), water based vehicles or ground systems, they are designed to simulate the look and/or feel of the environment.
  • The range of services offered in support of military simulators now extends to both PFI and PPP contracts. Thales Training & Simulation provides the Synthetic training service for Tornado GR4 Royal Air Force Pilots and Navigators. A similar service is provided to train Army Air Corps Lynx Mk 7 & Mk 9 Pilots. A further Thales training service took over the operation of several existing Royal Air Force Simulator training centres, Nimrod MR Mk2, C130K, VC10, Tristar, Tucano, Jaguar, Tornado F3 and SeaKing Mk3, under a PPP arrangement. As the PFI model has been adopted outside the UK, Thales is also part of a consortium to supply NH90 helicopter synthetic training to the German airforce under a PFI framework. Thales Training & Simulation has a joint venture with Eurocopter running a synthetic helicopter training facility, Helisim.
  • Thales also manufactures driver simulators for trucks (heavy goods vehicles), busses and military vehicles including tanks.
  • The range of simulators extends to nuclear power plant simulators (for operator training) and small arms simulators for training army, police, etc.


  1. ^ Thales Training & Simulation Ltd: CEO & Executives, BusinessWeek.
  2. ^ a b Thales Training & Simulation Ltd: Company Overview, BusinessWeek.
  3. ^ a b Walker, Karen (12 April 2012). "L-3 buys Thales' civil simulation business". Air Transport World. Retrieved 7 July 2012. 
  4. ^ "L-3 Completes Purchase of Thales' Civil Aircraft Simulation And Training Business". NASDAQ. 7 August 2012. Retrieved 8 August 2012. 
  5. ^ "Thales Sells Civil Fixed-Wing Sim Business to L-3". Military Training & Simulation News. Retrieved 4 August 2012. 

External links[edit]