Matt: Historically we had more of an Asia-Pacific focus – and now we can include India as part of the mix. This is significant because of the growing importance of the Quad Alliance and so I now lead CAE’s defence business for what we call IndoPacific. The L3Harris Military Training acquisition – which includes Doss Aviation and Link – is very exciting for us.
Though L3Harris Military Training does not have many employees in the region because their focus was on the US, their reach into the region is interesting. First, we see complementary capabilities in this part of the world, with CAE well positioned to deliver basic flight training for both rotary and fixed wing aircraft, as well as air mobility training. The acquisition of L3Harris Military Training adds capabilities and experience on fast jets like the F/A-18, helicopters like the AH-64 and CH-47, and transports like the C-27J.
From a stable of both training devices and capabilities, we can now add in F-16 and – in collaboration with Boeing – Super Hornet and Growler – opportunities throughout the IndoPacific region. There are also UH-60 opportunities in the region as well as MQ-9 Reaper and SkyGuardian prospects as well. The combination of L3Harris Military Training with CAE now gives us experience on all these platforms. In fact, this acquisition really makes CAE the leading pure play, platform-agnostic simulation and training company.
I’m also excited about the USAF SCARS program – that’s Simulator Common Architecture and Requirements Standards – where L3Harris Military Training had been awarded a prime contract of around US $900 million. This program is all about developing a common architecture to integrate and standardize USAF aircraft training simulators to enable more distributed, networked, and cybersecure mission training. The SCARS architecture is also addressing major cross-domain data security challenges. For example, if you have an F-35 simulator plugged into a synthetic environment that is being shared with unclassified devices, the system needs to automatically handle security protocols so that classified data is protected.
This is a really exciting area for CAE because in Australia we are positioning to do something similar through the latter phases of JP9711. The roadmap is being delivered by prime contractor Lockheed Martin. CAE sees the next part of that activity involving the gateways to the various devices – and we might be in a position to become involved as a result of the SCARS work we do with the USAF.
Kym: In online gaming, systems are able to handle millions of users simultaneously from all around the world so can you build on that, or are the security issues a challenge?
Matt: That’s certainly a challenge – along with achieving the full digital immersion that you need to be effective for training. It’s an interesting question because CAE is committing significant R&D to this area. We see the resources available in the gaming world and the advances they have made in technology – especially around their gaming engines – and we are now starting to build architectures based on those solutions.
In this region, we have a team that is delivering a triage learning environment that is based on computer gaming to Ambulance Victoria, which is a neat solution.