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CAE secures contract to support UK Protector RPAS system

mq  b skyguardian rpas

CAE has been awarded a contract with General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc to support synthetic training for the UK’s fleet of Protector RG Mk1 based on the MQ-9B SkyGuardian system currently in contention for Australia’s own armed remotely piloted aircraft system. 

CAE today announced the company has been awarded a contract from General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) to develop a comprehensive synthetic training system for the UK’s Protector RG Mk1 remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS) program. 


David R. Alexander, president, aircraft systems, GA-ASI, said, “MQ-9B SkyGuardian, which Protector is based on, represents the next generation of remotely piloted aircraft capabilities, including longer endurance and automatic take-off and landing. The Protector synthetic training system will play a key role helping the Royal Air Force develop skilled aircrews and we are pleased to collaborate with CAE as our training partner on this critical program.”

The Protector will be operated by the Royal Air Force and is the UK-specific variant of GA-ASI’s certifiable MQ-9B SkyGuardian RPAS, which can meet the most stringent certification requirements of aviation authorities. Under terms of the contract, CAE will design and develop a comprehensive synthetic training system that will include desktop and high-fidelity mission trainers specific to the Protector RPAS.

The high-fidelity Protector mission trainers will be based on GA-ASI’s certifiable ground control station (CGCS) and will be the first simulators developed for this advanced CGCS. CAE will also provide brief/debrief and scenario generation stations as part of the overall synthetic training system.

Gene Colabatistto, CAE’s group president, defence and security, welcomed the announcement, saying, “We are pleased to continue our global training partnership with GA-ASI to support the UK Protector program.”



Initial deliveries of the synthetic training system will be targeted for delivery in 2020 to RAF Waddington, the hub of UK Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) that will be the main operating base for the Protector.

“Protector will offer a new level of capability in an unmanned air system and will require well-trained aircrews. We will leverage developments we have made over the past several years creating the highest fidelity training devices for the Predator family of remotely piloted aircraft to produce a world-class synthetic training system for the Protector program,” Colabatistto said. 

Australia recently announced that the GA-ASI MQ-9 series RPAS would serve as the basis for developing Australia’s own armed, remotely piloted aircraft fleet. GA-ASI said the ADF joins other top-tier military forces in choosing an MQ-9 variant because of its proven multi-role combat performance. Known as the operators’ choice, the MQ-9 is part of GA-ASI’s Predator series of RPAS, which is the world’s most trusted and capable armed MALE RPAS, and hails from a family of RPAS that recently surpassed five million flight hours.

CAE’s defence and security business unit focuses on helping customers develop and maintain the highest levels of mission readiness. It is a training systems integrator offering a comprehensive portfolio of training centres, training services and simulation products across the air, land, sea and public safety market segments.

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, an affiliate of privately held General Atomics, manufactures remotely piloted aircraft systems, radars and electro-optic and related mission systems solutions.

CAE secures contract to support UK Protector RPAS system
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