Montreal’s CAE bags $100 million drone training contract

CAE Inc. (TSE: CAE) will be providing classroom, simulator and live flying instructions to pilots of the Predator and Reaper unmanned aircrafts as part of a contract the Montreal-based aeronautics firm signed recently with the United States Air Force.

The initial one-year services contract is for $20 million but could be worth a maximum of $100 million when an extension option up to four years is added, according to CAE.
The Predator
“The use of unmanned and remotely piloted aircraft is playing a much more prominent role in military operations and this requires highly trained and mission-ready aircrews,” said Ray Duquette, president of CAE’s U.S. division. “We are pleased the U.S. Air Force has recognized CAE USA’s aircrew training services expertise and capabilities and we look forward to supporting the combat readiness for the USAF’s Air Combat Command Predator and Reaper aircrews.”

CAE has more than 8,000 employees in 100 sites around the world. The government contractor specializes in simulation modules and offers civil and military aviation training services to approximately 100,000 crew members yearly.


Apart from providing training, the Canadian firm will also deliver courseware development in support of the MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper training programs. Training will be conducted at four USAF bases where approximately 1,500 MQ-1 and MQ-9 pilots and sensor operators train annually.

The Predator and Reaper are armed, multi-mission, medium-altitude, remotely piloted aircraft designed for long endurance missions. They are primarily used as intelligence-collecting assets but their secondary purpose is to serve as attack weapons in so-called surgical strikes. Their wide-range sensors, multi-mode communications suite and ability fly for extended periods make the aircraft ideal for reconnaissance and attacks against “high-value, fleeting and time-sensitive targets,” according to CAE.

Popularly known as drones, these aircraft have figured prominently in the U.S.’s war against terrorists and extremist organizations. Their use is controversial as some human rights groups report that drones sometimes hit civilian targets.



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