Field Aviation to upgrade CT-156 Harvard aircraft

An Ontario-based aerospace company which specializes in engineering aviation systems was awarded the contract to upgrade the Royal Canadian Air Force’s fleet of 22 trainer aircraft.

CAE Inc., the primary contractor for the NATO Flying Training in Canada (NTFC) program, awarded the contract to upgrade the Air Force’s CT-156 Harvard trainer aircraft to Mississauga, Ont.-based Field Aviation.

The NTFC is a military flight training program for NATO and allied air forces provided by the Canadian Forces.

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Located at 2 Canadian Forces Flying Training School, 15 Wing, CFB Moose Jaw in Saskatchewan and 4 Wing, CFB Cold Lake in Alberta, the program is delivered as a cooperative operation between a civilian contractor, CAE Inc., and the RCAF.

Two types of aircraft are flown at NFTC: the CT-156 Harvard II and the CT-155 Hawk.

The upgrade will consist of the addition of a Traffic Advisory System (TAS) and an Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS-B) transponder system.

The TAS is meant is to improve pilot situational awareness of other nearby aircraft by providing traffic detection and alerting appropriate for military flight training operations.

A Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) GPS receiver will be installed with the ADS-B transponder system, allowing the aircraft to accurately determine and broadcast their position information to air traffic control (ATC), complying with the upcoming FAA next-generation ADS-B Out regulations.

Field Aviation will integrate this equipment into the CT-156 fleet, including designing the modification, manufacturing the parts, installing the kits and testing the equipment.

The company focuses on design, manufacture, installation, flight test, and certification of modifications for commercial and special mission aircraft. Field Aviation is also recognized for its capabilities in avionics and interior upgrades, flight deck modernization, customized interior reconfigurations and refurbishments, and cargo conversions.

“We are proud to support the Government of Canada and CAE on this program,” said Rob Baseggio, Field Aviation’s vice-president of business development. “This year both CAE and Field Aviation are celebrating 70 years in aviation, and how better to celebrate than by partnering together to demonstrate our collective capabilities, as well as the strength of the aerospace industry in Canada.”

“This contract further demonstrates our commitment to the NFTC program and forms a part of our overall integration and enhancement plan,” said Joe Armstrong, CAE Canada’s vice president, and general manager.

In January of this year, the Government of Canada had extended CAE’s contract for the NFTC program through at least 2023.

Author: Nestor Arellano

Nestor Arellano is editor of Vanguard Magazine. Nestor is a seasoned journalist who has written extensively on defence and military industry issues as well as technology and business developments. He is also associate editor of Vanguard's sister publication, IT in Canada.

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