TNO's involvement in helicopter studies dates back to the acquisition of the transport helicopters that the Royal Netherlands Air Force is currently using. A number of scenario studies were used to determine the desired composition of the transport fleet with the optimum mix of light and medium-heavy transport helicopters.
Because the helicopter fleet is frequently used to support Royal Netherlands Army operations, we have used our extensive expertise in ground operations for these studies. The models that were used laid the foundations for the current set of planning tools used in the helicopter industry, with examples including FELPATH 4.0 and Synchromatrix 1.0. In addition to these applications designed to address deployment issues, we also support the helicopter industry with lay-out projects, such as the set-up of the purple Defence Helicopter Command.
Furthermore, for the past few years, we have been doing extensive applied research, which includes examples such as the development of a tactical display for helicopter pilots that serves as an aid in low-visibility landings, and research aimed at the vulnerability of helicopters. The latter resulted in concrete measures that were taken in order to give the Air Force's helicopters extra protection for missions such as in Afghanistan.