CAE has acquired Bombardier’s Military Aviation Training division. The two Montreal-based companies announced the $19.8 million deal on Monday. As part of the transaction, CAE now becomes the prime contractor for the NATO Flying Training in Canada program operating out of Canadian Forces Base Moose Jaw and CFB Cold Lake. The NFTC program combines basic, advanced, and lead-in fighter training as part of the comprehensive pilot training program.

The addition of the training division not only enhances CAE’s core capabilities as a global training systems integrator, it also brings the company into support for live flying training of future military pilots at a time when many NATO members are about to introduce so-called fifth generation fighter aircraft.

“As a training systems integrator for air forces globally, this addition to CAE gives us another important capability and opportunity for growth,” said Marc Parent, CAE’s president and CEO. “We are proud to now operate one of the world’s premier military pilot training programs and deliver the total training required, including support for live aircraft training, to produce the military’s next-generation fighter pilots. We plan to expand the NFTC program, and leverage our new capabilities into future integrated training systems programs worldwide.”

CAE will operate the NFTC base facilities, deliver the ground-school classroom and simulator training, and support the live flying training that comprises this world-class turnkey training system.

“We are honoured to address the pilot training requirements of the Royal Canadian Air Force with CAE’s full-service capabilities and to continue to be its training system integrator partner of choice,” said Mike Greenley, vice president and general manager, CAE Canada – Defence and Security. “As Canada transitions to its next-generation fighter program, we recognized the opportunity to expand CAE’s footprint and capabilities to better support the RCAF with both comprehensive training and in-service support solutions.”

According to a press release, Bombardier’s Military Aviation Training business includes approximately 200 employees supporting the NATO Flying Training in Canada (NFTC) program. NFTC was launched in 2000 and utilizes more than 700,000 square kilometres of air space at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Moose Jaw and CFB Cold Lake. In addition to classroom, computer-based, and simulator training, the NFTC program delivers live flying training on a fleet of Beechcraft T-6 (CT-156 Harvard) trainer aircraft and BAE Systems Hawk (CT-155 Hawk) lead-in fighter trainer aircraft. The NFTC program is also responsible for full maintenance and operation of the aircraft under the governance of Canada’s Department of National Defence airworthiness program. In addition to the Royal Canadian Air Force, other NATO partners and allies have sent student and instructor pilots through the NFTC program, including Denmark, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Italy, Hungary, Austria, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.