CAE and Draken International have signed a memorandum of understanding to offer the services proposed for the Royal Canadian Air Force’s aggressor training programme to other nations with similar requirements.

The two companies have teamed up to offer the Douglas A-4 Sykhawk and associated ground training for Canada’s Contracted Airborne Training Services (CATS) programme, through which they have recognised that other nations could benefit from the same service, Gene Colabatistto, group president for CAE’s defence and security business, told FlightGlobal ahead of the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford.

“Aggressor training is something that Draken is quite expert at. That business is highly specialised, and we found that it was an opportunity to team with somebody who is a world-class provider,” he says.

Colabatistto says that CATS was the first opportunity the companies had to work together. A bid has been submitted, and a decision is expected by the end of 2016.

Draken Douglas A-4 Skyhawk. Credit Chris Stellwag


“We had a great experience putting a proposal together and going through the process, and in the meantime we identified a number of other opportunities around the world that we think the CAE-Draken fit is perfect and appropriate for. We would like to do those together,” he says. “We have several competitive efforts that are at an early stage.”

Colabatistto identifies the UK as one such opportunity, as it looks to contract a similar service to Canada under its Air Support to Defence Operational Training programme.

“There is an upcoming UK programme for aggressor training services, which is their baseline to outsource this support,” Colabatistto says. “They do some outsourcing today, but I think the scope of the contract will be expanded.”

CAE is talking to the UK government about what it could offer, but the process is at a pre-request for proposals stage, he adds.