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 will be used to advance the quality and capability of remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) synthetic training provided by GA-ASI at the FTTC. GA-ASI offers a range of pilot and sensor operator training at the FTTC for operators of GA-ASI’s family of RPA systems.
“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 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. 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. 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.
“Highly skilled and well-trained aircrews are absolutely critical to the successful operation and deployment of our proven Predator remotely piloted aircraft systems,” said David R. Alexander, President, GA-ASI. “This Predator Mission Trainer at our training center in North Dakota will enhance the multi-domain training we can offer in a synthetic environment and give us added flexibility to deliver advanced training without restrictions due to weather or airspace.”
Later this spring, CAE will deliver a second Predator Mission Trainer to GA-ASI’s Gray Butte Flight Operations Facility near Palmdale, California.