CAE announced today at the 2019 European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (EBACE) that new cutting-edge digital solutions are currently being deployed to deliver a superior training experience for the business aircraft pilot training market.
“Our digital team is dedicated to revolutionizing and elevating the training experience of pilots with the use of new and emerging technologies. We are making the training process much easier, allowing pilots to go back to flying much faster,” said Nick Leontidis, CAE’s Group President, Civil Aviation Training Solutions. “In a few simple clicks, using web tools or mobile devices, our customers can now plan training sessions at their convenience, submit training requests in an instant, and prepare in advance for their training event.”
CAE is continuously rolling out integrated technologies and services to reduce the complexity of managing pilot training before, during, and after full-flight simulator sessions. New digital solutions are improving the training experience at key customer interactions – from scheduling training events to preparing for ground school and simulator sessions, and from submitting training requests to viewing training records.
CAE recently launched an electronic training and checking authorization (eTCA) application to better manage booking requests for training centres dedicated to business aviation. The CAE eTCA is a digital solution that has simplified the process for pilots booking their training requests, which they can now complete in a few simple clicks. The eTCA form is sent to customers upon receiving their training request and changes to an eTCA can be submitted remotely. This new application can be accessed via desktop, tablet or mobile device.
This eTCA is available for booking requests at CAE Amsterdam and CAE London Burgess Hill and will soon be offered at CAE Dubai. Further deployment to additional CAE training centres that are part of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) network will follow in the upcoming months.
The CAE eTCA is the latest of CAE’s digital solutions such as the CAE Terminal™, an online customer portal that provides instant access to training requests, documentation, training records and reservation details. CAE also offers online reference materials which are accessible prior to training at CAE Dallas and CAE London Burgess Hill. Deployment of pre-course materials for other CAE training centres will be conducted starting next month.
Q4 revenue up 42% to $1.0 billion and annual revenue up 17% to $3.3 billion
Q4 and annual net income before specific items(1) up 55% and 13% vs. prior year periods
Q4 EPS of $0.46 ($0.48 before specific items(2)) up from $0.31 in prior year
Annual EPS of $1.23 ($1.25 before specific items) vs. $1.28 ($1.11 before specific items) in prior year
Record $4.0 billion annual order intake(3), including 78 Civil FFSs, and $9.5 billion order backlog(3)
Annual free cash flow(4) of $323.8 million for 98% cash conversion(5)
Return on capital employed(6) before specific items of 12.9% vs.12.7% last year
MONTREAL, May 17, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — (NYSE: CAE; TSX: CAE) – CAE today reported revenue of $1.0 billion for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2019, up 42% from the fourth quarter last year. Fourth quarter net income attributable to equity holders was $122.3 million ($0.46 per share) compared to $82.3 million ($0.31 per share) last year. Net income before specific items in the fourth quarter was $127.5 million ($0.48 per share), which represents a 55% EPS increase over the same period last year.
Annual fiscal 2019 revenue was $3.3 billion, up 17% from the prior year. Annual net income attributable to equity holders was $330.0 million ($1.23 per share) compared to $346.0 million ($1.28 per share) in fiscal year 2018. Before specific items, net income was $335.2 million ($1.25 per share) this year, compared to $297.9 million ($1.11 per share) last year, which represents a 13% EPS increase over the same period last year. All financial information is in Canadian dollars.
Summary of consolidated results
(amounts in millions, except operating margins and per share amounts)
Net income attributable to equity holders of the Company
Earnings per share (EPS)
Net income before specific items
EPS before specific items
* Financial results reported were restated to reflect the accounting changes required by IFRS 15.
Specific items for fiscal 2019 include the costs arising from the acquisition and integration of Bombardier’s Business Aircraft Training (BAT) Business.
Specific items for fiscal 2018 include the net gains on disposal of our equity interest in the joint venture Zhuhai Xiang Yi Aviation Technology Company Limited (ZFTC) and the remeasurement of the previously held Asian Aviation Centre of Excellence Sdn. Bhd. (AACE) investment upon acquisition and the impacts of the enactment of the U.S. tax reform.
“We had a strong finish to fiscal year 2019, with fourth quarter revenue up 42% and earnings per share up 55% compared to last year; and for the year as a whole, CAE delivered a record performance, meeting our annual outlook, and further establishing itself as the worldwide leader in aviation training,” said Marc Parent, CAE’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Annual revenue grew 17% and earnings per share grew 13% compared to last year, and we generated strong free cash flow. I am especially pleased with our record $4 billion in annual orders and $9.5 billion order backlog. Our continued success winning our customers’ trust further validates our training strategy and adds to the highly recurring profile of CAE’s business. In Civil, we delivered over one million hours of aviation training during the year and grew operating income by 13%. We also greatly expanded CAE’s position in business aviation training with the company’s largest-ever acquisition, making CAE the world’s leading provider of civil aviation training. Annual Civil orders totalled a record $2.8 billion, including additional airline training outsourcings and 78 full-flight simulator sales. In Defence, we grew annual operating income by 9% and booked $1.1 billion in orders, including training systems integration programs, for a record $4.5 billion Defence backlog. As well, we acquired AOCE, which together with our enhanced structure in the U.S., expands our market to include higher-level security programs. And in Healthcare, our new simulation products and expanded salesforce led to accelerated revenue growth toward the end of the fiscal year. We recently appointed a new Healthcare leader, with deep commercial experience in the healthcare field, to leverage our current progress and take the business to the next level of scale. As we look to the fiscal year ahead, we expect CAE to build on the positive momentum in training and to continue to deliver superior and profitable growth.”
Civil Aviation Training Solutions (Civil) Fourth quarter Civil revenue was $593.4 million, up 50% compared to the same quarter last year, and segment operating income(8) was $115.5 million (19.5% of revenue) compared to $74.5 million in the fourth quarter last year. Fourth quarter Civil segment operating income before specific items(9) was $122.3 million (20.6% of revenue), up 64% compared to the fourth quarter last year. Fourth quarter Civil training centre utilization(10) was 75%.
Annual Civil revenue was $1.9 billion, up 15% compared to last year, and segment operating income was $344.3 million (18.4% of revenue). Annual segment operating income before specific items was $351.1 million (18.7% of revenue) this year and $311.8 million (19.2% of revenue) last year, representing a 13% increase. Annual Civil training centre utilization was 76%, reflecting continued strong usage of existing simulators and the recent deployment of additional simulator capacity to meet new demand from customers.
During the quarter, Civil signed training solutions contracts valued at a record $1.1 billion, including a 15-year exclusive pilot training contract with Avianca, and the sale of 28 full-flight simulators (FFSs). For the year, Civil booked orders for a record $2.8 billion, demonstrating CAE’s increased momentum as training partner of choice. These included 78 FFS sales and comprehensive, long-term training agreements with airlines including easyJet, CityJet, Endeavor, Air Asia and Volaris. In business aviation, Civil won long-term training contracts with customers worldwide, including OJets, Icon Aviation and Windsor Jets.
The Civil book-to-sales(3) ratio was 1.87x for the quarter and 1.48x for the last 12 months. The Civil backlog at the end of the year was a record $5.0 billion, which is up 22% from the prior year period.
Summary of Civil Aviation Training Solutions results
(amounts in millions except operating margins, SEU and FFSs deployed)
Segment operating income (SOI)
SOI before specific items
Defence and Security (Defence) Fourth quarter Defence revenue was $387.9 million, up 34% compared to the same quarter last year and segment operating income was $50.7 million (13.1% of revenue) compared to $36.3 million (12.5% of revenue) in the fourth quarter last year. Before expenses related to the acquisition and integration of Alpha-Omega Change Engineering (AOCE), Defence segment operating income for the quarter would have been $51.7 million (13.3% of revenue), up 42% compared to the fourth quarter last year. Annual Defence revenue was $1,306.7 million, up 21% over last year, and annual segment operating income was $131.5 million (10.1% of revenue). Before the AOCE-related expenses, annual Defence segment operating income would have been $134.8 million (10.3% of revenue), up 9% compared to last year.
During the quarter, Defence booked orders for $265.0 million. Notable wins include a contract with Boeing to provide a P-8A aircraft simulator for the Royal Air Force and simulator upgrade programs with the U.S. Navy as part of a U.S. foreign military sale on the Royal Australian Navy’s MH-60R helicopter training systems, the Royal Canadian Air Force for their C-130J simulators, the German Air Force for their Eurofighter simulators, and with Lockheed Martin for C-130J full-mission simulators for the U.S. Air Force.
For the year, Defence booked $1.1 billion in orders including a contract for the U.S. Air Force C-130H Aircrew Training Services program and the U.S. Navy CNATRA CIS program involving instruction at five Naval Air Stations to support primary, intermediate and advanced pilot training. Defence also won a contract to provide a comprehensive training solution and long-term training services for the Royal New Zealand Air Force NH90 helicopter program, and a contract from General Atomics to develop the synthetic training system for the UK Protector remotely piloted aircraft system. In addition, through CAE USA Mission Solutions and the acquisition of AOCE during the year, Defence obtained several U.S. Defense contracts to provide training and engineering support services on higher-level security programs.
The Defence book-to-sales ratio was 0.68x for the quarter and 0.83x for the last 12 months. Defence contracts often include contract options that extend beyond the initial funded year of these contracts. The Defence book-to-sales ratio including options was 1.28x for the quarter and 1.03x for the last 12 months. The Defence backlog, including options and CAE’s interest in joint ventures, at the end of the year was a record $4.5 billion.
Summary of Defence and Security results
(amounts in millions except operating margins)
Segment operating income
Healthcare Fourth quarter Healthcare revenue was a record $40.7 million, up 16% compared to the same quarter last year, and fourth quarter segment operating income was $4.2 million (10.3% of revenue), compared to $6.7 million (19.1% of revenue) in the fourth quarter last year. Annual Healthcare revenue was $121.6 million compared to $115.2 million last year, and annual segment operating income was $4.8 million (3.9% of revenue), compared to $8.8 million (7.6% of revenue) last year.
CAE Healthcare reached several strategic milestones during the year, strengthening its position as the innovation leader in simulation-based healthcare education and training. Innovative product launches include, CAE Ares, an emergency care manikin; Anesthesia SimSTAT Appendectomy and Robotic Surgery modules, screen-based simulation approved by the American Board of Anesthesiology for maintenance of certification credits; two new Blue Phantom skills trainers for ultrasound simulation training; and CAE Luna, an innovative infant simulator. Healthcare broadened its market reach by expanding its sales force and entered into several new distributor agreements across the U.S. and internationally. On April 1, 2019, CAE appointed Rekha Ranganathan, an experienced healthcare industry executive, as the new CAE Healthcare group president, to achieve greater scale and return on investment.
Summary of Healthcare results
(amounts in millions except operating margins)
Segment operating income
Additional financial highlights Free cash flow from continuing operations was $116.8 million for the quarter compared to $117.3 million in the fourth quarter last year. Free cash flow for the year was $323.8 million, compared to $288.9 million in the same period last year. The cash conversion ratio for fiscal year 2019 was 98%.
Income taxes this quarter were $19.3 million, representing an effective tax rate of 13%, compared to 8% for the fourth quarter last year. The tax rate this quarter was higher due to the change in the mix of income from various jurisdictions and due to a lower recognition of deferred tax assets in Europe. Also this quarter, the company recognized deferred tax assets in Canada that were mostly offset by tax audits. Excluding the effect of the net deferred tax assets and the tax audits in Canada, the income tax rate would have been 20% this quarter. On the same basis, the income tax rate for the year would have been 19%.
Growth and maintenance capital expenditures(12) totaled $96.2 million this quarter and $251.8 million for the year.
Net debt(13) at the end of the year was $1,882.2 million for a net debt-to-capital ratio(14) of 43.9%. This compares to net debt of $649.4 million and a net debt-to-total capital ratio of 22.0% at the end of the last year. CAE issued US$450 million of unsecured senior notes and US$150 million term loans to fund the acquisition of Bombardier’s BAT Business and to monetize its existing future royalty obligations to the aircraft manufacturer.
Return on capital employed was 11.9% or 12.9% before the impacts of the recently acquired Bombardier BAT Business, compared to 14.7% last year or 12.7% before specific items.
CAE will pay a dividend of 10 cents per share effective June 28, 2019 to shareholders of record at the close of business on June 14, 2019. During fiscal year 2019, CAE paid $99.9 million in dividends to shareholders and repurchased and cancelled a total of 3,671,900 common shares at a weighted average price of $25.70 per common share for a total consideration of $94.4 million.
Management outlook for fiscal year 2020 CAE’s core markets benefit from secular growth and the Company expects to continue exceeding underlying market growth in fiscal year 2020. In Civil, the Company expects to continue building on its positive momentum in training, increasing market share and securing new customer partnerships with its innovative training solutions. Civil expects operating income to grow in the upper 20 percent range on continued strong demand for its training solutions, including maintaining a leading share of FFS sales, and the integration of the recently acquired Bombardier BAT Business. In Defence, the Company expects mid to high single-digit percentage operating income growth as it delivers from backlog and continues to win opportunities from a large pipeline. CAE expects Healthcare to achieve double-digit growth under its new leadership, expanded salesforce, and the continued launch of innovative products. Funding growth opportunities remains CAE’s top capital allocation priority and continues to be driven by and supportive of growing customer training outsourcings in its large core markets. The Company prioritizes market-led capital investments that offer sustainable and profitable growth and accretive returns and support its strategy to be the recognized worldwide training partner of choice. CAE currently expects total annual capital expenditures to increase modestly, by approximately 10 to 15 percent, in fiscal 2020, primarily to keep pace with growing demand for training services from its existing customers and to secure new long-term customer contracts. Management’s expectations are based on the prevailing positive market conditions and customer receptivity to CAE’s training solutions as well as material assumptions contained in this press release, quarterly MD&A and in CAE’s fiscal year 2019 MD&A.
IFRS 15 – Revenue from Contracts with Customers Effective April 1, 2018, CAE adopted IFRS 15 – Revenue from Contracts with Customers, which changes the way the Company recognizes revenue for certain of its customer contracts. The main impact of IFRS 15 to CAE is the timing of revenue recognized for certain training devices that were previously accounted for using the percentage-of-completion method that no longer meet the requirements for revenue recognition over time. Revenue for these training devices are instead recognized upon completion. While this change impacts the timing of contract revenue and profit recognition, there are no changes to cash flows from the contract. The financial results reported in the press release for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018 have been restated to reflect the accounting changes required by IFRS 15 as the Company adopted the standard retrospectively this fiscal year. For more detailed information, including the impact on CAE’s fiscal 2018 results, refer to Note 2 of the annual consolidated financial statements for the year ended March 31, 2019.
IFRS 16 – Leases Effective April 1, 2019, CAE adopted IFRS 16 – Leases, which introduces a single lessee accounting model and eliminates the classification of leases as either operating or finance leases. The main impact of IFRS 16 to CAE is the recognition of a right-of-use asset and a lease liability for substantially all leases. This will result in a decrease of our operating lease expense and an increase of our finance and depreciation expenses. The financial results reported in the press release for fiscal years ended March 31, 2018 and 2019 do not reflect the accounting changes required by IFRS 16 as the Company adopted the standard as of April 1, 2019. For more detailed information, including the expected impacts of the transition to IFRS 16, refer to Note 2 of the annual consolidated financial statements for the year ended March 31, 2019, and Supplemental Q4 FY2019 Presentation.
Detailed information Readers are strongly advised to view a more detailed discussion of our results by segment in the Management’s Discussion and Analysis (MD&A) and CAE’s consolidated financial statements which are posted on our website at www.cae.com/investors.
CAE’s consolidated financial statements and MD&A for the year ended March 31, 2019 have been filed with the Canadian Securities Administrators on SEDAR (www.sedar.com) and are available on our website (www.cae.com). They have also been filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and are available on their website (www.sec.gov). Holders of CAE’s securities may also request a printed copy of the Company’s consolidated financial statements and MD&A free of charge by contacting Investor Relations (email@example.com).
Conference call Q4 and full FY2019 Marc Parent, CAE President and CEO; Sonya Branco, Vice President, Finance, and CFO; and Andrew Arnovitz, Vice President, Strategy and Investor Relations will conduct an earnings conference call today at 1:00 p.m. ET. The call is intended for analysts, institutional investors and the media. Participants can listen to the conference by dialling + 1 877 586 3392 or +1 416 981 9024. The conference call will also be audio webcast live for the public at www.cae.com. The “Supplemental Q4 FY2019 Presentation” to accompany management’s discussion of CAE’s fourth quarter and full fiscal year 2019 results can be downloaded from our website at www.cae.com/investors.
CAE is a global leader in training for the civil aviation, defence and security, and healthcare markets. Backed by a record of more than 70 years of industry firsts, we continue to help define global training standards with our innovative virtual-to-live training solutions to make flying safer, maintain defence force readiness and enhance patient safety. We have the broadest global presence in the industry, with over 10,000 employees, 160 sites and training locations in over 35 countries. Each year, we train more than 220,000 civil and defence crewmembers, including more than 135,000 pilots, and thousands of healthcare professionals worldwide.
CAE announced at the World Aviation Training Symposium the sale of two Airbus A220-300 CAE 7000XR Series full-flight simulators (FFSs) and two CAE 500XR flight training devices (FTDs) to JetBlue Airways, which is preparing the entry-into-service of its new aircraft.
“We are pleased to extend our long-standing partnership with CAE,” said Steve Forte, Vice President JetBlue University. “These state-of-the-art training devices will help us develop industry leading training programs to ensure a smooth launch of the A220.”
“The Airbus A220 is a key component of JetBlue’s growth strategy and we are thrilled to be part of this airline’s journey,” said Nick Leontidis, CAE’s Group President Civil Aviation Training Solutions. “We have been partners with JetBlue for over 15 years, and the purchase of these new FFSs and FTDs is yet another testament to the value CAE brings to its airline partners.”
The two CAE 7000XR Series FFSs will be equipped with the innovative CAE Tropos™ 6000XR visual system. The first FFS and FTD will be delivered in the first half of 2020 at JetBlue University, located in Orlando, Florida.
With this addition, CAE has sold a total of eight A220 full-flight simulators to operators worldwide.
CAE and JetBlue Airways share a training relationship with the Gateway Select pilot provisioning program. To date, more than 60 aspiring pilots have started training in the Gateway Select Program. CAE also holds an exclusive training centre operations services agreement to support the airline’s growth at JetBlue’s University in Orlando.
Applications for the CAE Women in Flight’s scholarship program are now open to applicants of American Airlines’ cadet training program, American Airlines Cadet Academy. Apply today at http://www.cae.com/womeninflight
MONTREAL, April 30, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — (NYSE: CAE; TSX: CAE) – CAE announced today at the World Aviation Training Symposium its fifth partner for the CAE Women in Flight scholarship program, American Airlines.
“We are very excited to collaborate with American Airlines to offer a scholarship to aspiring female pilots in the US,” said Nick Leontidis, CAE’s Group President, Civil Aviation Training Solutions. “The program encourages passionate and exceptional women to accomplish their goal of becoming professional pilots and inspire a new generation of female pilots.”
CAE is a training provider of the American Airlines Cadet Academy, delivering training at the CAE aviation academy located in Phoenix, Arizona. This first-of-its-kind scholarship program provides an opportunity for future pilots to become first officers at one of American Airlines’ three wholly owned regional carriers, with the opportunity to eventually fly larger aircraft at the airline.
The CAE Women in Flight scholarship recipient will receive a full tuition scholarship that will cover the entire cost of training in the American Airlines Cadet Academy program at CAE, including accommodations and travel. Additionally, the recipient may have the opportunity to become a certified flight instructor (CFI) and work at the CAE aviation academy in Phoenix to gain the number of hours required for certification.
American Airlines joins four other global airline partners who offer CAE Women in Flight scholarships to cadet pilots: Aeromexico, AirAsia, Cityjet and easyJet. CAE will unveil the first scholarship recipients this summer.
MONTRÉAL, March 14, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Bombardier today confirmed the conclusion of the previously announced sale of its flight and technical training activities to CAE, for an enterprise value of $645 million. Net proceeds are expected to be approximately $500 million after the assumption of certain liabilities, fees, and closing adjustments.
“Bombardier and CAE share a deep commitment to providing outstanding support to their customers,” said Jean-Christophe Gallagher, Vice President and General Manager, Customer Experience, Bombardier Business Aircraft. “Bombardier’s talented employees and strong relationships with clients, combined with CAE’s network and expertise, will elevate the customer experience. As CAE grows its core training business, Bombardier continues to expand its service offerings and dedicated support, each to the benefit of Bombardier Business Aircraft customers around the world.”
Bombardier and CAE also agreed to continue their Authorized Training Provider (ATP) relationship pursuant to which CAE carries out the training activities for Bombardier Business Aircraft, including from the training centres located in Montréal and Dallas.
12 MArch 2019 by Michael Gubisch, London for FlightGlobal.com
Latvian carrier Air Baltic has ordered an Airbus A220 full-flight simulator from CAE for installation at the operator’s training centre in Riga.
The Level D device from CAE’s 7000XR series is Air Baltic‘s first directly purchased simulator and is scheduled for delivery by year-end, Air Baltic says.
Noting a plan to move to an expanded, all-A220 fleet, chief executive Martin Gauss states that its own simulator will provide “much desired training simplicity and cost reductions”. The carrier will require capacity to train hundreds of new and existing pilots.
So far, Air Baltic has trained its crews on an A220 simulator in Frankfurt, which is operated by CAE-Lufthansa joint venture Flight Training Alliance.
ASwiss has an A220 simulator at its home base in Zurich. But while Air Baltic‘s A220s are equipped with head-up displays, Swiss opted not to install the equipment on its aircraft.
Another A220 simulator is available near the aircraft’s Canadian assembly line in Mirabel, Quebec.
Air Baltic‘s simulator will be the third such device in Europe, and feature “the most modern visual system… for unprecedented realism”, the airline says.
Cirium’s Fleets Analyzer shows that Air Baltic has 14 A220-300s in service, another 36 on order, and further commitments for up to 30 more.
The carrier also operates 737-300/500s and Bombardier Q400 turboprops, but plans to retire these aircraft in 2019 and 2023, respectively.
FAA grants Extended Envelope and Adverse Weather Training qualifications to CAE 7000XR Series Airbus A330 full-flight simulator.
Montreal, Canada, March 4, 2019 (NYSE: CAE; TSX: CAE)
CAE announced today that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has qualified the first CAE 7000XR Series Airbus A330 full-flight simulator (FFS) for Extended Envelope and Adverse Weather Training. The qualification was obtained in October 2018 and CAE has already completed similar qualifications for Airbus A320 and Boeing 737NG, 777 and 787 platforms, in compliance with FAA regulations.
“We are committed to providing best-in-class full-flight simulators to our customers, and these qualifications will enable us to better prepare pilots for real-life situations,” said Nick Leontidis, CAE’s Group President, Civil Aviation Training Solutions. “Among other maneuvers, flight crews can now train for full stalls, upset prevention and recovery training on the CAE 7000 XR Series Airbus A330 as well as other Airbus and Boeing aircraft types. We will continue to work closely with regulatory authorities and original equipment manufacturers to complete theses qualifications on simulators of all commercial aircraft types.”
With these latest qualifications, flight crews can train for full stalls, upset prevention and recovery training (UPRT), icing conditions, gusting crosswind landings and bounced landing on CAE’s 7000XR Series Airbus A330 full-flight simulator based on Airbus modelling and flight test data.
According to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), Loss of control In-Flight (LOC-I) is the number one cause of fatalities in commercial operations over the past decade. The Extended Envelope and Adverse Weather Training will become a mandatory training requirement by the FAA this month. CAE expects to obtain qualifications for the Airbus A350 and Boeing 737MAX in the first half of 2019.
Amendola Air Base, Foggia, Italy, February 5, 2019
The Predator Mission Trainer developed by CAE and GA-ASI for the Italian Air Force is capable of delivering zero flight time training.
The world’s highest fidelity simulator for the Predator remotely piloted aircraft is now ready-for-training to support the Italian Air Force.
CAE today announced that the Italian Ministry of Defence and Italian Air Force have formally qualified the CAE-built Predator Mission Trainer for zero flight time training on the Predator B/MQ-9 variant and the simulator has been accepted as ready-for-training at the Amendola Air Base in Italy. The Predator Mission Trainer (PMT) is the highest fidelity simulator ever developed and fielded for the Predator family of remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) systems developed by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc.
Officials from the Italian Air Force and executives from CAE and GA-ASI celebrated the milestone during a ceremony today at the Amendola Air Base.
“The incredible realism of the Predator Mission Trainer gives us a critical training capability to efficiently produce the highly skilled Predator crews we need to conduct a range of operational missions,” said an Italian Air Staff Representative. “Having the world’s highest fidelity Predator Mission Trainer as part of our unmanned systems centre of excellence in Italy gives us unmatched training flexibility and the ability to leverage simulation-based virtual training throughout our curriculum.”
The Predator Mission Trainer was jointly developed by CAE and GA-ASI. Earlier in 2018, the Italian Air Force began training on the Predator A variant of the Predator Mission Trainer.
“The development of the Predator Mission Trainer for the Italian Air Force represents a new level of fidelity and capability in the use of simulation-based training for remotely piloted aircraft pilots and sensor operators,” said Gene Colabatistto, Group President, Defence & Security, CAE. “We have leveraged our decades of experience developing the highest fidelity flight simulators for commercial and military aircraft, and applied the same discipline to this ‘zero flight time’ Predator Mission Trainer so that aircrews could potentially conduct all training in the simulator without necessarily requiring further training on the actual aircraft. We believe this Predator Mission Trainer is the first Level D equivalent simulator for an unmanned aircraft.”
The Predator Mission Trainer was formally qualified by the Italian Ministry of Defence’s Directorate of Air Armaments and Airworthiness (DAAA).
As prime contractor on the program, CAE collaborated with GA-ASI and the Italian Air Force to perform flight testing on an actual Italian Air Force Predator aircraft to gather the required flight data used in the development of the Predator Mission Trainer. The use of actual flight data specific to an individual aircraft, which is required when developing Level D simulators – the highest qualification for flight simulators – is a first for the Predator family of RPAs. For the physical hardware, CAE used an actual Block 15 Mobile Ground Control Station (MGCS) provided by the Italian Air Force to ensure the highest level of fidelity and realism. The Predator Mission Trainer also features CAE’s high-fidelity sensor simulation, fully interactive synthetic and tactical environment for enhanced mission training, and use of the Open Geospatial Consortium Common Database (OGC CDB) architecture for interoperable and networked training capabilities.
“GA-ASI was pleased to collaborate with CAE to develop this advanced simulator for the Predator, and we expect this training capability will be highly desired by militaries acquiring our family of remotely piloted aircraft systems,” said David R. Alexander, president, GA-ASI. “The Predator Mission Trainer will play a key role helping the Italian Air Force develop highly skilled and well-trained aircrews who are prepared and ready to operate the proven Predator RPA systems.”
CAE will develop a comprehensive synthetic training system for the UK Protector program
The high-fidelity Protector mission trainers developed by CAE will be based on the General Atomics certifiable ground control station. Images courtesy of GA-ASI.
CAE today announced the company has been awarded a contract from General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) to develop a comprehensive synthetic training system for the United Kingdom’s Protector RG Mk1 remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS) program.
The Protector will be operated by the Royal Air Force and is the UK-specific variant of GA-ASI’s certifiable MQ-9B SkyGuardian RPAS, which can meet the most stringent certification requirements of aviation authorities.
Under terms of the contract, CAE will design and develop a comprehensive synthetic training system that will include desktop and high-fidelity mission trainers specific to the Protector RPAS. The high-fidelity Protector mission trainers will be based on GA-ASI’s certifiable ground control station (CGCS) and will be the first simulators developed for this advanced CGCS. CAE will also provide brief/debrief and scenario generation stations as part of the overall synthetic training system.
“We are pleased to continue our global training partnership with GA-ASI to support the UK Protector program,” said Gene Colabatistto, CAE’s Group President, Defence & Security. “Protector will offer a new level of capability in an unmanned air system and will require well-trained aircrews. We will leverage developments we have made over the past several years creating the highest fidelity training devices for the Predator family of remotely piloted aircraft to produce a world-class synthetic training system for the Protector program.”
Initial deliveries of the synthetic training system will be targeted for delivery in 2020 to RAF Waddington, the hub of UK Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) that will be the main operating base for the Protector.
“MQ-9B SkyGuardian, which Protector is based on, represents the next-generation of remotely piloted aircraft capabilities, including longer endurance and automatic take-off and landing,” said David R. Alexander, president, Aircraft Systems, GA-ASI. “The Protector synthetic training system will play a key role helping the Royal Air Force develop skilled aircrews and we are pleased to collaborate with CAE as our training partner on this critical program.”
CAE announced today the launch of the CAE Tech: Program your career! support and scholarship program, thus showing its commitment to work-integrated learning.
This program aims to encourage future technicians of varying backgrounds to begin their careers with CAE. Students who are passionate about IT, software development, digital technologies, systems integration, and avionics are invited to register in order to kick their career into high gear.
To launch the program, CAE worked with the following Quebec-based CEGEPs: André-Laurendeau, Bois-de-Boulogne, Édouard-Montpetit and its affiliated École nationale d’aérotechnique (ÉNA), John-Abbott and Montmorency, in collaboration with their respective foundation.
Every year for three years, CAE will offer the following to two students registered full-time from each participating institution:
a $1,000 scholarship.
A $300 scholarship per session for student tuition fees, for a maximum of six semesters;
paid summer internships or jobs;
an opportunity for an on-call work contract during the school year until the students complete their program. CAE will give priority to the interns’ studies and agrees to conform to their school schedule.
an opportunity for a full-time employment offer at the end of their studies.
mentorship services to guide students during their participation in the program.
In total, 30 students will benefit from this program. The admission of scholarship recipients into the program will take into account CAE’s values of diversity and inclusion.
Click here to watch a video about the announcement.
“As a world leader in training, we are very proud to present the CAE Tech: Program your career! initiative in order to support the development of technical careers and work-integrated learning. This program distinguishes itself in particular by the highly valuable training, mentorship and experience that will be provided to each scholarship recipient.
The aerospace industry is rapidly evolving and we need technicians to help us meet our growth objectives and support our efforts around the digital transformation. By joining our company, considered a leader in innovation, scholarship recipients will become key players in this transformation,” said Pascal Grenier, Vice President, Global Operations, Technologies and Innovation at CAE.