Military and Strategic Journal
Issued by the Directorate of Morale Guidance at the General Command of the Armed Forces
United Arab Emirates
Founded in August 1971


Training is Fundamental to Military Readiness

Ian Bell, CAE’s Vice President and General Manager, oversees the global training and simulation company’s defence activities in the Middle East and Asia/Pacific. He highlights that each year the company trains more than 220,000 civil and defence crewmembers, including more than 135,000 pilots. This gives CAE unparalleled experience and know-how in creating proficient, well-trained aviation professionals. Ahead of the IDEX and NAVDEX shows, below Bell highlights some of CAE’s initiatives, new technology developments and key programmes in the region.
 CAE is a truly global company and has had significant recent successes in the Middle East. How important is this region to you?
With its strategic importance on the global stage and its critical geographic location, the Middle East region is a very significant defence market and hence strategically important to CAE. 
The Middle East is also a region where our training systems integration capabilities can prove beneficial to defence forces looking to create independent yet interoperable training environments. Our Middle East headquarters is in Abu Dhabi and we are currently delivering a range of programmes to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. We also have a number of partnering initiatives with local firms as well as foreign military sale opportunities through the U.S. The growing defence budgets of most countries in the region and, more importantly, the acquisition of very modern and advanced weapon systems means that military training requirements in the Middle East are continuing to expand. As a company entirely focused on training and a willing partner, this creates excellent opportunities for us in the region.
What does being a training systems integrator mean?
Over the last decade, CAE has made a progressive transformation towards being a training systems integrator instead of just a provider of high-fidelity simulators. When we say training system integrator, we are really talking about developing a higher-level partnership with governments and militaries to look at their training enterprise holistically. CAE has all the requisite skills and experience required to be a training systems integrator, from training needs analysis and curriculum development through to delivering the optimum balance of live-virtual-constructive training (LVC), whether that’s in a classroom, simulator or actual platform. This holistic view of training has resonated in the Middle East. For example, we are nearing completion of the first phase of a Naval Training Centre where CAE serves as the training systems integrator. This will be one of the world’s most advanced naval training facilities and a real showcase for the Navy.
What are some of your key programmes in the Middle East?
We have had some good successes in the GCC over the past several years. In addition to the Training Centre, we are delivering comprehensive training on the RQ-1E remotely piloted aircraft (RPA). We are also nearing completion on helicopter simulators for the Airforce. One interesting contract we won was to develop a Joint Multinational Simulation Centre (JMSC) for one of the GCC countries.  This will enable commanders and operators from the Army, Air Force, Navy and Staff Colleges to use constructive simulation capabilities to conduct military training from the tactical to strategic level of operations. In Oman, we are supporting the creation and establishment of the Oman Aviation Academy to train and supply pilots for both the civil and military sectors in Oman and the surrounding region.
There is a lot of discussion in both civil and military aviation about the global pilot shortage.  How can CAE help address this issue?
Most of what CAE does is help our customers in civil and military aviation develop and train pilots. As a company, each year we train more than 220,000 civil and defence crewmembers, including more than 135,000 pilots. This gives us unparalleled experience and know-how in creating proficient, well-trained aviation professionals. For militaries in particular, our training systems integration capabilities and focus on developing government/industry partnerships is pertinent to pilot training. A great example is what we have done over the past several years running NATO Flying Training in Canada (NFTC), which is one of the world’s premiere military pilot training programmes. Since CAE took over running the NFTC programme more than three years ago, we have helped the Royal Canadian Air Force achieve record pilot production. CAE is responsible for the provision of ground-based training systems, including classroom and simulator instruction; maintenance and support of aircraft; and a range of site services as well as overall program management. This experience and expertise managing and operating a military flight training organisation can be leveraged by Middle East customers, as Oman is doing with the Oman Aviation Academy.
Tell us a little bit about some of your recent innovations and technology developments for training?
As a company focused on training, we are continually innovating to remain at the forefront of the training industry. During 2018, we launched a five-year internal research and development initiative called Project Digital Intelligence that will see us invest more than C$1 billion to transform our products and services to leverage digital technologies. We are creating solutions that involve big data, artificial intelligence, cloud-computing, cybersecurity and augmented/virtual reality, all of which can and will play a role in enabling integrated live-virtual-constructive training. One very recent example is the introduction of CAE Rise, which stands for Real-time Insights and Standardized Evaluations.

CAE Rise leverages the wealth of “big data” that is gathered during simulator training sessions and it provides the ability for instructors to deliver standardised training and objectively assess pilot competencies using live data. We first launched CAE Rise for civil aviation and have now introduced it to the military market to help enhance the efficiency of pilot training, which is even more critical right now as militaries face the challenge of pilot recruitment, training and retention. Another recent product launch is our CAE Medallion MR e-Series Visual System, a complete and turnkey visual solution designed specifically for military fighter and fast-jet training. Training tasks such as formation and low-level flying, air-to-air refuelling, and target identification are challenging and expensive to perform during live training. By creating a more realistic and immersive virtual training platform, fighter pilots can practice and rehearse more efficiently in a virtual environment so that when they do go to the real aircraft that live training is more effective. By creating a more realistic and immersive virtual training platform, fighter pilots can practice and rehearse more efficiently in a virtual environment so that when they perform training in the real aircraft, it is more effective. 

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