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  • CAE USA a remporté un contrat en tant que fournisseur de services de soutien aux instructeurs pour la Marine américaine

    15 mai 2018 | International, Aérospatial

    CAE USA a remporté un contrat en tant que fournisseur de services de soutien aux instructeurs pour la Marine américaine

    CAE a annoncé aujourd'hui que CAE USA a remporté un contrat auprès du Chef de la formation aéronavale (CNATRA) pour des services d'instructions contractuels (CIS) visant à soutenir le programme de formation au sol de la Marine américaine. En vertu des dispositions de ce contrat CNATRA CIS de cinq ans, qui a été attribué en tant que contrat de base avec quatre options d'un an, CAE USA fournira des instructeurs pour des formations en classe et sur simulateur à cinq bases aéronavales (NAS) afin de soutenir la formation de base, intermédiaire et avancée des futurs pilotes de la Marine américaine. « Nous sommes ravis d'avoir été choisis pour participer à ce programme hautement concurrentiel visant à soutenir la formation des pilotes d'avion de la Marine américaine », a déclaré Ray Duquette, président et directeur général de CAE USA. « Au cours des dernières années, nous avons pu démontrer nos capacités quant au programme T-44C de la Marine, en tant que fournisseur de calibre mondial en solutions et en services de formation les plus complets. CAE USA se réjouit d'intensifier son soutien à la formation au pilotage de base et avancée afin d'assurer la réussite des futurs pilotes navals de la Marine américaine. CAE USA fournira des instructeurs en classe et sur simulateur aux cinq bases d'entraînement suivantes de la Marine américaine : Base aéronavale de Whiting Field en Floride – Entraînement pour la phase de formation de base, utilisation de l'aéronef T-6B Texan; Base aéronavale de Corpus Christi au Texas – Entraînement pour la phase de formation de base, utilisation de l'aéronef T-6B Texan; Base aéronavale de Meridian au Mississippi – Entraînement pour la phase de formation intermédiaire et avancée sur avion à réaction, utilisation de l'aéronef T-45C Goshawk; Base aéronavale de Kingsville au Texas – Entraînement pour la phase de formation intermédiaire et avancée sur avion à réaction, utilisation de l'aéronef T-45C Goshawk; Base aéronavale de Pensacola en Floride – Entraînement pour la formation des officiers de vol naval (NFO). Le programme CNATRA CIS procure des services de soutien aux instructeurs en classe et sur simulateur, pour la formation aéronautique navale de base, qui doit être suivie par tous les futurs pilotes de la Marine. Le programme CNATRA CIS assure également le soutien à la formation intermédiaire et avancée en entraînement d'attaque, qui est la voie à suivre pour les futurs pilotes de chasseurs ou pilotes « Tailhook »; le programme soutient en outre l'entraînement NFO, soit la formation de base pour maîtriser les systèmes de pilotage avancés à bord d'aéronefs navals. CAE USA soutient déjà le programme de formation intermédiaire et avancée relative aux appareils multimoteurs dans le cadre du programme de formation détenu et exploité par l'entreprise T-44C « Command Aircraft Crew » à la base d'entraînement de Corpus Christi. La formation des pilotes navals des aéronefs à voilure tournante est appuyée dans le cadre d'un programme de soutien distinct. « Le programme de formation CNATRA CIS est un autre exemple d'impartition à laquelle l'armée américaine a recours pour confier à l'industrie une partie des services et du soutien nécessaires à la formation de son équipage » a déclaré M. Duquette, pilote naval à la retraite et ancien instructeur à la base de Kingsville. « Comme notre entreprise demeure centrée sur la formation, elle est bien placée pour développer un partenariat fructueux avec nos clients militaires en vue d'aider à la formation et la réussite des pilotes de demain ».

  • Japan focuses on maritime security in new ocean policy

    15 mai 2018 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, C4ISR, Sécurité

    Japan focuses on maritime security in new ocean policy

    Japan approved Tuesday a new ocean policy that highlights maritime security, amid perceived growing threats from North Korea and China, in a reversal from the previous version which focused largely on sea resource development. The ocean program cited threats from North Korea's launching of ballistic missiles, and operations by Chinese vessels around the Japan-controlled and China-claimed Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea. “Amid an increasingly severe maritime situation, the government will come together to protect our territorial waters and interests at sea,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in a meeting of the government panel on ocean policy. The contents of the third Basic Plan on Ocean Policy are expected to be reflected in the government's defense buildup guidelines that are set to be revised in December. Since its first adoption in 2008, the ocean policy has been reviewed every five years. The policy pointed out that the maritime security situation facing the nation is “highly likely to deteriorate, if no measure is taken.” The government also plans to make use of coastal radar equipment, aircraft and vessels from the Self-Defense Forces and the Japan Coast Guard, as well as high-tech optical satellites of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, to strengthen the nation's intelligence gathering abilities. The policy underscores the need for cooperation between the coast guard and the Fisheries Agency to enhance responses to illegal operations by North Korea and fishing vessels from other countries, amid a surge in the number of such cases in the waters surrounding Japan. To ensure sea lane safety, it also stipulates the government's promotion of the “free and open Indo-Pacific” strategy advocated by Abe for maintaining and strengthening a free and open order in the region based on the rule of law.

  • RCAF change of command marks new era

    14 mai 2018 | Local, Aérospatial

    RCAF change of command marks new era

    by Chris Thatcher Against a backdrop of a Douglas DC-3, a Bombardier Challenger 604, a McDonnell Douglas CF-188B and a Boeing CH-113 Labrador, LGen Michael Hood passed command of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) to LGen Al Meinzinger on May 4, 2018. The ceremony was conducted at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa and included an honour guard parade from 8 Wing Trenton, Ont., which Hood led from 2007 to 2009, and a Colour Party from 429 Tactical Airlift Squadron, the last squadron he commanded. It also featured the central band of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and the pipes and drums of 8 Wing. A planned flyover of two CH-146 Griffon helicopters, two CF-188 Hornets and one CC-130J Hercules was cancelled due to poor weather. The transfer of command from Hood, an air combat systems officer, to Meinzinger, a helicopter pilot, marked the first time the new RCAF colours were paraded since they were presented by the Governor General in September. The former colours were passed to the custody of the Toronto Maple Leafs in a ceremony in February. The setting of historic Air Force and Canadian airframes was a fitting reminder of the importance of the RCAF legacy, a history both commanders referenced in remarks to an audience of several hundred personnel, families and dignitaries, including seven former commanders, three former Chiefs of the Defence Staff (CDS), and three former deputy commanders of NORAD. The change of command is more than passing a torch, “it's poignant,” said CDS Gen Jonathan Vance. “[It] marks the very cadence of life in the armed forces.” Hood assumed command of the RCAF in July 2015, culminating a 33-year career that included many years in a CC-130 Hercules as well as staff tours with the Governor General, the United States Air Force, and in senior positions with the CAF and RCAF. He praised the “exceptional people” of the Air Force and their skill on operations. “You are inheriting a great team you helped build,” he told Meinzinger. Hood's one lament, he said, was the pace and lack of political agreement on vital procurement programs, in particular the replacement of the CF-188 Hornets. “While I'm happy [the new] defence policy has a lot of great opportunity for the Air Force, and we have a vision moving forward for an open and transparent competition for the replacement of the fighter, I can tell you it is not happening fast enough,” he said. “And I am going to continue to encourage, in my role as a civilian, the government to try and accelerate the acquisition of that replacement fighter.” Vance thanked Hood for his “sound and clear” advice on a number of complex files, including acquisition projects such as fighter jets and fixed-wing search and rescue aircraft, “ferocious advice” that was delivered in private and “honest execution delivered in public.” He also commended Hood for his efforts to instill a new generation of innovators within the RCAF by seeking out ideas from across the Air Force and seconding non-commissioned and junior officers to an entrepreneurial environment in a technology hub in Waterloo, Ont. “It speaks to your care for the future ... of the RCAF,” said Vance. Meinzinger, who served as deputy commander of the RCAF for two years under Hood, also applauded the innovation agenda and said he would, “continue to focus on innovation as we look to the future.” A CH-135 Twin Huey and CH-146 Griffon pilot with four flying tours, Meinzinger has served in a variety of senior staff roles in the CAF, RCAF and NORAD, most recently as director of staff in the Strategic Joint Staff under Gen Vance. He commanded the Joint Task Force Afghanistan air wing in Kandahar in 2011, overseeing air wing support to combat operations, and has led both the training and education systems as commanding officer of 403 Helicopter Operational Training Squadron in 2006 and later, in 2013, as commandant of the Royal Military College of Canada. His experience taught him the importance of “flying in formation” and working “as one team,” said Meinzinger. Born in Trenton and raised on the base, he said he was “indentured for life” and learned at an early age “what it means to be part of a military family.” His father, a chief warrant officer, served 36 years in the CAF. Meinzinger said he intends to maintain the RCAF reputation for excellence on operations. “Our ability to deliver air power effects in an integrated manner with precision, agility and professionalism is our true calling card.” But he also emphasized people as a personal priority at a time when the Air Force is wrestling with recruitment and, perhaps more challenging, retention. “In my view, the RCAF can only be successful ... if we have well-led, healthy, robust and inclusive squadrons and tactical units. I firmly believe that if we can get it right within our 39 flying units and 85 tactical units, our future will be all that brighter,” he said, pledging that decisions would be made with the understanding that squadrons “remain the life blood of the RCAF.”

  • Army, Uber will partner on silent rotor technology for UAVs

    14 mai 2018 | International, Aérospatial

    Army, Uber will partner on silent rotor technology for UAVs

    By: Charlsy Panzino The Army is partnering with Uber to create safer, more lethal unmanned aerial vehicle missions. The new effort between the Army Research Laboratory and the rideshare company, announced on Tuesday, aims to create silent rotor technology. The goal is to reduce the noise caused by traditional UAV rotors. “When UAVs are doing an [intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance] mission, they're out there collecting or observing to collect intelligence or to do surveillance,” Jaret Riddick, director of ARL's Vehicle Technology Directorate, told Army Times after the announcement. That mission is hampered, however, when the adversary can hear the UAV coming, Riddick said. “They know a certain noise in the distance means a certain type of operation is underway,” he said. “When you can do that with the advantage of not being detected ... it changes how you execute a mission.” Uber Elevate, under which the air taxi side of the company falls, is interested in noise-reduction technology because its vehicles would be operating in dense urban areas. Since Uber is a technology company, ARL will build the UAVs for testing the technology. One kind of technology Uber is looking at to solve the noise problem is the idea of having stacked rotors on a vehicle that spin in the same direction. Traditionally, UAVs have stacked rotors that spin in opposite directions. “When those rotors are spinning in opposite directions, they create a type of turbulence that contributes to noise in the operation,” Riddick said. “By having them spin in the same direction and adjusting their position to one another, research has shown that using this technique can offer advantages in performance while reducing the noise compared with traditional operations.” One of these performance advantages is more lift capability, he said. Last year, Uber announced the Dallas-Forth Worth area as its first location for flight demonstrations in 2020, and Riddick said Uber will collaborate with ARL-South researchers in Austin. Uber and ARL-South will build the infrastructure needed for testing, Riddick said, adding that progress will be checked every six months. “Uber is proud to be partnering with ARL on critical research on flying vehicle innovations that will help create the world's first urban aviation rideshare network,” Eric Allison, head of Uber Elevate, said in a news release. “Our first jointly-funded project will help us develop first of its kind rotor technology that will allow for quieter and more efficient travel. We see this initial project as the first of many and look forward to continued collaboration with the lab on innovations that will make uberAIR a reality.”

  • What do Marines want in their next drone? Everything

    14 mai 2018 | International, Aérospatial, Naval

    What do Marines want in their next drone? Everything

    By: Mark Pomerleau The Marine Corps has revamped its requirements for a large unmanned aerial system after industry leaders said an early version of the drone could cost as much as $100 million. Now, Marine leaders are following a tiered approach to the requirements as a way to manage costs and work closely with industry. The Marines are charting ahead with the Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF) Unmanned Expeditionary, or MUX, group 5 UAS. The Marines have long expressed a desire for an organic drone in the Group 5 category, the largest category of military drones. The initial desired capability set for the MUX was extremely broad, mirroring a Swiss Army knife of mission sets. When first presented to industry, leaders derided the expansive mission set as too costly. “They came back and said you're talking about something that's going to be $100 million, as big as a V-22. Are you sure that's what you want?,” Lt. Gen. Robert Walsh, commanding general of the Marine Corps Combat Development Command and Deputy Commandant for Combat Development and Integration, told a small group of reporters following his appearance at the Modular Open Systems Summit in Washington May 1. “We said ‘No, that's not what we want, not something that big. We want something to fly off a ship, off an expeditionary site. What that allowed us to do through the industry involvement then was to neck down, if you look at the [request for information] we sent out for the industry day, it tiered the requirements.” The initial RFI was released March 8. With the tiered requirements approach, Walsh explained that the Marines listed four capabilities they wanted most, while others could be nice to haves or even be handled by other assets. Tier 1 capabilities include airborne early warning – which Walsh said industry wasn't heavily considering but is a capability the Marines absolutely need coming off a ship – command and control communications, digitally passing information, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and electronic warfare. Additional capabilities include potential weapons armament if the drone will escort V-22s and logistics. “Amazon, FedEx, somebody else will help us with that and we'll probably buy what they're developing,” Walsh said of the logistics portion. Similarly, Col. James Frey, the director of the Marine Corps' Aviation Expeditionary Enablers branch, told USNI News that the Future Vertical Lift program might fill this void, adding that whatever is not covered by the program could be done with the CH-53K heavy-lift helicopter. Ultimately, Walsh noted that bringing industry in early will help the service refine its requirements before setting them in stone, leading to a better capability. The industry day, slated for June 6 and 7, will “bring everybody together and help us with this and have like a workshop approach to that. Both primes and small subs,” he said. “I find this is a way that will allow us to go fast.”

  • Special Operators Predict AC-130J Will Be 'Most Requested' Aircraft

    14 mai 2018 | International, Aérospatial

    Special Operators Predict AC-130J Will Be 'Most Requested' Aircraft 9 May 2018 By Oriana Pawlyk HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. -- "That's the sound America makes when she's angry." That's how Col. Tom Palenske, commander of the 1st Special Operations Wing, characterized the AC-130 gunship after two aircraft fired hundreds of rounds from their 40mm and 105mm cannons and 25mm Gatling gun in the skies above A-77, a range specially made for target practice. Palenske, also the installation commander here, says crews can't wait for the next best thing: the AC-130J Ghostrider. "It's going to be awesome. It's our big gun truck. It's going to have more powerful engines, a more efficient fuel rate, and also has a more precise fuel capability so you know exactly how much gas you've got on board," he said. Palenske caught up with during a tour of Air Force Special Operations Command aircraft and a live-fire training exercise on ranges used by Hurlburt and neighboring Eglin Air Force Base as part of Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson's recent trip to AFSOC. "You can keep the sensors on the bad guys longer," Palenske said, referring to the J-model's ability to stay airborne longer due to better fuel management. Along with the 105mm cannon the U-models sport, the AC-130J will be equipped with a 30mm cannon "almost like a sniper rifle ... it's that precise, it can pretty much hit first shot, first kill," he said. "It's also going to have AGM-176 [Griffin] missiles on the back, so you can put 10 missiles on the back of them. And two of the tubes are reloadable, so those missiles, they're sitting in the tube backward so the tail's pointing out, [and] they eject out of the airplane, right-side themselves and shoot like a forward-fired missile," Palenske said. The J-model will have the ability to launch 250-pound small-diameter bombs (SDB), GPS- or laser-guided, he added. The aircraft is expected to carry AGM-114 Hellfire missiles, interchangeable with the SDBs on its wing pylons. The model achieved initial operational capability in September. The fourth-generation J is slated to replace the AC-130H/U/W models, with delivery of the final J- model sometime in 2021, according to the Air Force. The service plans to buy 32 of the aircraft. Crews here expect the J to be deployed in late 2019 or early 2020 and are optimistic about its progress. In January, the Pentagon's Office of the Director of Operational Test and Evaluation said fire control systems associated with the plane's left-hand-side 30mm GAU-23/A cannon had issues, including being knocked out of alignment when fired and needing to be re-centered repeatedly by an operator. The AC-130W Stinger II and J-model are the only variants of the gunship to use the Orbital ATK-made cannon. "That was drastically exaggerated," Palenske said in response to the problems cited in the report. Officials said some of the issues were already being fixed by the time the report was made public. Now, "all of the gun actuating systems are electric as opposed to hydraulic. Hydraulic's sloppy," Palenske said, referring to the gun mounts that previously used hydraulics to aim the weapons. "And remember, we're just bringing this thing online. You can't expect to slap this thing together ... and have that thing come out perfect," he said. "From soup to nuts, it's all run by computers and computer programs. But it's going to [be] the most lethal, with the most loiter time, probably the most requested weapons system from ground forces in the history of warfare. That's my prediction," Palenske said. There are two electro-optical/infrared sensor/laser designator pods on the gunship, a significant upgrade from the U-model. The U-model "has an older Raytheon ALQ-39 and a L3/Wescam MX-15," Lt. Col. Pete Hughes, an AFSOC spokesman, said in a follow-up email. The J-model has two L3/Wescam MX-20 electro-optical/infrared sensor/laser designator pods. "The upgraded sensors provide greater resolution at longer distances," he said. The new sensors can zoom in well enough to identify a shoe on the ground and will be able to share information with fifth-generation aircraft such as the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, officials said. In the future, AC-130 crews also hope to incorporate a high-energy laser aboard the gunship. Palenske said the laser will be the ultimate ace in the hole, making disabling other weapons systems easier. "If you're flying along and your mission is to disable an airplane or a car, like when we took down Noriega back in the day, now as opposed to sending a Navy SEAL team to go disable [aircraft] on the ground, you make a pass over that thing with an airborne laser, and burn a hole through its engine," he said. Palenske was referring to Operation Nifty Package to capture and remove Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega from power in 1989, during which a SEAL team "disable[d] his aircraft so he couldn't escape." With a laser, "it's just like that. And you just keep going on, and there's no noise, no fuss, nobody knows it happened. They don't know the thing's broken until they go and try to fire it up," he said. The transition to the J-model will happen simultaneously in the AC gunship community and the MC-130 Combat Talon special mission community, as older C-130 models are divested "in an elegant ballet" to make sure commandos and ground forces are covered, Palenske said. The Air Force is procuring more MC-130J models -- used for clandestine missions; low-level air refueling for helicopter and tiltrotor aircraft; and infiltration, exfiltration, and resupply of special operations forces -- but is still using H-models in deployed locations. Palenske said having a standard aircraft in not only the gunship community but also the MC community will be less of a strain on maintainers. "Imagine the efficiency in the parts supply [for] the maintainers. You can keep less people in harm's way because the people that are going to maintain the systems on [both of] those, they can do it," he said.

  • What to expect from AI, space and other tech over the next 18 months

    14 mai 2018 | International, C4ISR

    What to expect from AI, space and other tech over the next 18 months

    By: Aaron Mehta What will the next 18 months mean for the Pentagon's ongoing challenge to maintain a technological edge over its enemies? That was the question posed to a panel of experts at the 17th annual C4ISRNET conference Thursday. And the answers underline just how wide the technical areas of expertise are that Pentagon officials need to get their heads around in the modern era — and how the situation will remain fluid going forward. For Richard Linderman, deputy director for research and engineering in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense, the focus is on manufacturing the vital microelectronics that provide the base for all of America's high-end technologies. He predicts a push to create those chips at a higher rate domestically, which in turn would allow greater trust that the chips, forming the basis of communications equipment or artificial intelligence, would not be messed with by a foreign entity. Concern about the domestic production of microelectronics is expected to be part of a large defense industrial base review now underway. “If you're right out on the pointy end of the spear, you might not want chips made in China to be the foundation of your communications gear,” Linderman told the audience. “So I think you're going to see those kinds of investments increase dramatically, and it will be an exciting prospect for us to bring new dimensions to this discussion of trusted, assured microelectronics.” James Hasik, a professor at the National Defense University, said he would be keeping a close eye on how the autonomous Sea Hunter vehicle does during ongoing testing. DARPA recently transferred the Sea Hunter, designed to travel thousands of miles over open seas, for months at a time, without a crew member on board, over to the Navy for continued testing. “The economics of that concept are so compelling,” Lungu said. If the concept proves out, it could have “some profound applications for fleet structure, some profound applications for warfighting.” Clark Groves, a space expert also at NDU, predicted that the long-awaited boom in small satellites will finally reach critical mass in the near-future, driven by the desire to move the massive telecommunications market onto cheaper systems. DoD stands to benefit, as this would be happening at the same time the Pentagon seeks to move from relying on massive, expensive aggregated systems towards a disaggregated model relying on multiple cheap, smaller systems — which present more of a challenge for any enemy nation that may seek to take out American assets in space. “Once small satellites begin being produced in large numbers, that will fundamentally alter the industrial base of the status quo, and that will also affect the launch base,” Groves said, which in turn “will give opportunities to DoD for more effective per-cost basis to exploit the architecture that we need for resilience.” Finally, Ed Brindley, acting deputy chief information officer for cybersecurity at the Pentagon, pointed to a “more determined focus” inside the Pentagon to shift how it handles artificial intelligence. At the core of that, he said, is the upcoming AI Center of Excellence, which Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan predicted will be up and running in the next six months. “Part of what we will see will be opportunities for us to adopt some of what is occurring within industry today,” Brindley said, noting that AI isn't just for warfighting but could have massive impacts on the internal processes of the Pentagon, including in the medical and legal professions.

  • RCAF working toward new sniper pod placement on CF-188 Hornet

    14 mai 2018 | Local, Aérospatial

    RCAF working toward new sniper pod placement on CF-188 Hornet

    Chris Thatcher In a two-by-three metre wind tunnel at the National Research Council of Canada's (NRC) aerospace research centre in Ottawa, aerospace engineers are gathering data for the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) this week to validate the placement of the sniper pod on the centreline station of the CF-188 Hornet. “For this configuration, we are running at close to takeoff and landing speeds to simulate the take off and landing of the F-18, about 100 metres per second or almost 200 knots,” explained Melissa Richardson, an aerodynamics research officer and the project manager for the testing process, as wind whipped over the inverted nose landing gear and sniper pod. The CF-188 fighter jet has carried a certified sniper pod on the left side of the fuselage, below the engine intake, since the aircraft were upgraded in the early 2000. But lessons from recent operations over Libya in 2011 and Iraq and Syria between October 2014 and March 2016 convinced pilots they would have a better view of possible targets with the centerline placement. “We found a lot of our missions revolved around looking at the ground, monitoring areas of interest and targets for missions that are four to five hours long,” said Capt Tom Lawrence, a CF-188 pilot and the project officer for fighter weapons and equipment. “When [pilots] are manoeuvring their aircraft, there is a chance of the aircraft actually masking the targeting pod. Putting [it] on the centre of the aircraft allows a larger field of regard.” Rather than bank left to maintain focus on a target, the new placement should ensure an uninterrupted view of the ground or target aircraft, “taking that frustration out of the pilot's mind,” he said. “They can just focus on the imagery and the task at hand.” Lawrence said it could also make it easier for pilots to employ weapons and assess battle damage effects. The purpose of the wind tunnel tests is to measure the aerodynamics created by the nose landing gear on the sniper pod mounted behind it at times when it is most exposed to turbulence, said Richardson. Among concerns before the tests began were the effect of significant vibration on the pod and the possibility of debris being kicked up by the wheels and striking its protective glass shield. “[We need to] make sure the aircraft is safe to operate with the sniper pod on this new location. That means it can take off and land without excessive vibration, that the loads are still within acceptable limits,” explained Capt David Demel, the certification authority with the RCAF's Technical Airworthiness Authority. “This is the goal of the current wind tunnel test, to confirm that before we move to the flight test phase in Cold Lake in the September timeframe.” A second a high-speed equivalent test will be conducted by the NRC at its high speed trisonic wind tunnel in about three weeks, using a six per cent scale model, that will include ensuring engine intake airflow is not affected. Test pilots with the Operational Test and Evaluation Unit in Cold Lake will then recertify operational airworthiness of the sniper pod in its new placement. While the testing facilities are being provided by the NRC, the vibration data is being gathered and analyzed by Bombardier, which has provided some of the instrumentation. The sniper pod and landing gear were installed in the wind tunnel by L-3 MAS, which will have the task of mounting the pods in the new location on the entire CF-188 fleet–including the 18 F/A-18 Hornets the government is negotiating to buy from the Royal Australian Air Force–once approved. “We're all collaborating on the project as it goes through each phase, from technical airworthiness to operational airworthiness,” said Lawrence.

  • ITEC 2018: RCAF looks to the future

    14 mai 2018 | Local, Aérospatial

    ITEC 2018: RCAF looks to the future

    Trevor Nash Following an industry ‘engagement session' in Ottawa on 2 May, the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) has provided additional information to industry about its Future Aircrew Training (FAcT) requirement. Like many air forces around the world, the RCAF is looking at methods to both streamline and reduce the costs of producing aircrew, pilots, Air Combat Systems Officers (ACSO) and Airborne Electronic Sensor Operators (AES Op). The RCAF's preference is to opt for a training service provision model that is generated by one or more commercial contractors. At present, pilot training is conducted through two services contracts known as NATO Flying Training in Canada (NFTC) and Contracted Flying Training and Support (CFTS). These two contracts include classroom instruction, simulator training and flight training. These have been independently provided by CAE and KF Aerospace respectively however, these companies have recently combined their efforts to form a new 50:50 joint venture company named SkyAlyne that will now service both requirements. Although NFTC and CFTS training has been provided by industry, ACSO/AES Op training is delivered by 402 Squadron in Winnipeg using only DND personnel and equipment. Flying training is undertaken on the CT-142 (Dash-8) aircraft. These aircraft are approaching their end of life date and the ground training system that supports them is also old and needs replacing. According to the RCAF document issued prior to the industry engagement session: ‘The confluence of concluding pilot training service contracts, the need for revitalisation of the ACSO and AES Op training system, and the significant overlap of core knowledge and skills between these three occupations provide the opportunity to streamline key elements of aircrew training. ‘This approach will realise efficiencies in not only training time and cost, but also in training methodologies and incorporation of modern and evolving technologies. Additionally, the synthetic training environment will be leveraged to the greatest extent possible to maintain an aircrew training system that will remain relevant into the middle of the century. ‘It is essential that continuity of aircrew training be maintained throughout the transition.' Like most military procurements, FAcT has been a long time in the making with the first RFI issued in September 2013. If all goes well, contract award is scheduled for 2021 with a ramp-up during which ‘partial FAcT operations begin' during 2021-23. Full operating capability is not expected until 2027. Numerous companies have expressed interest including Boeing and Lockheed Martin as well of course, as SkyAlyne. The incumbent Canadian providers would appear to be in a strong position after pooling their resources.

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