CAE has announced that General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) has installed a CAE-built Predator Mission Trainer at its Flight Test and Training Center (FTTC) located at the Grand Sky Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Business Park near Grand Forks, North Dakota.

The Predator Mission Trainer now operating at GA-ASI’s FTTC is similar to the first Predator Mission Trainer jointly developed by CAE and GA-ASI for the Italian Air Force, which can deliver “zero-flight time” training based on the high-fidelity simulation of both the flight model and sensor systems. With a zero-flight time simulator such as the CAE Predator Mission Trainer, aircrews can potentially conduct all training in the simulator without necessarily requiring further training on the actual aircraft.

Above: The CAE Predator Mission Trainer (CAE)

“Our Predator Mission Trainer delivers an unprecedented level of fidelity and capability in the use of simulation-based training for remotely piloted aircraft pilots and sensor operators,” said Todd Probert, Group President, Defense & Security, CAE.  “The addition of a Predator Mission Trainer at GA-ASI’s training center in North Dakota extends our training collaboration and will enable GA-ASI to add more synthetic training to the syllabus used to train customer aircrews as well as their own instructors.”

The Predator Mission Trainer at the FTTC simulates GA-ASI’s Block 30 ground control station for the MQ-9 RPA and will be used to deliver initial qualification and aircraft sensor systems training in addition to mission-specific training.

CAE is also due to deliver a second Predator Mission Trainer to GA-ASI’s Gray Butte Flight Operations Facility near Palmdale, California in the first half of 2020.

Australia has selected the GA-ASI MQ-9B Sky Guardian for the RAAF’s Project AIR 7003 for an armed, Medium Altitude, Long Endurance (MALE) unmanned aircraft to provide an integrated and persistent intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) and attack capability to support ADF and coalition forces.

It is expected that Australia will acquire 12-16 systems for the requirement, with deliveries expected to start in the 2020-2021 period with entry into service being in the 2022-2023 timeframe.

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