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MILITARY TECHNOLOGY (MILTECH) is the world's leading international tri-service defence monthly magazine in the English language. MILITARY TECHNOLOGY is "Required Reading for Defence Professionals". Follow us on Twitter: MILTECH1

20 May 2016

“What ship?” “CAE!”

A major theme of CAE’s presence at ITEC in London this week has been to reinforce the emphasis on the company’s capabilities across all the domains of modern military training and simulation – with particular attention being focused on CAE’s solutions for naval forces.

At ITEC 2016, CAE announced that its Naval Warfare Training System (NWTS) has arrived at the Naval Warfare Centre at Karlskrona, according to contract, and has already begun the installation process. (Photo: CAE)

Rear Admiral James Rapp is the company’s Senior Naval Advisor, with a brief across the entire Defence and Security business, irrespective of region. His view of the market potential to be addressed is both sanguine and realistic: “Training in the round is without doubt an issue of major interest for naval forces. The combination of circumstances faced by navies around the world is similar in many respects to those faced by the other major components of the armed forces and there are similar obstacles to be overcome, not the least of which is the prospect of up-front costs. But we already have several successes proving the validity of our approach and are continuing to address significant opportunities in several important areas,” he told MT during the show.

The most recent of those successes is with the Swedish Navy. On the first day of ITEC the company announced that the Naval Warfare Training System (NWTS) it has been contracted to provide has arrived at the Naval Warfare Centre at Karlskrona and has already begun the installation process.

The system comprises a comprehensive Naval Tactical Mission Trainer (TMT) suite and includes 52 student consoles and 13 instructor operator stations. Following installation and integration testing, the system is scheduled to be ready for training later this summer. It will be used for training across a wide variety of mission applications including sensor operations, command, control, communications and computer (C4) operations and weapon systems management for anti-air, anti-surface, anti-submarine and mine warfare, as well as search and rescue.

The Swedish Naval Warfare Training System will be used to train and educate Swedish Navy sailors and officers in naval tactics, procedures and doctrine,” said Ian Bell, CAE’s Vice President and General Manager, Europe/Middle East, Africa.  “The NWTS is a great example of CAE leveraging its training systems integration capabilities to provide an integrated, cost-effective training solution that combines products, core simulation technologies and post-delivery support services.”

CAE is poised to announce a further and more wide-ranging contract for a ‘whole ship’ training centre with an as yet unidentified customer in the very near future. This success will further validate the capabilities the company can offer in providing flexible and agile training solutions for complex training and mission readiness requirements. MT understands the system in question will cater for training across the entire range of the customer nation’s vessel classes, including auxiliaries as well as surface combatants.

There are, of course, unique challenges faced by naval forces as a result of the often harsh environments in which they have to operate and the constraints under which they must manage to perform a constantly growing variety of missions with a consistently shrinking number of platforms. In this respect, CAE’s ‘home nation’ of Canada will provide a test of the company’s capability to craft agile, innovative and cost-effective training solutions. As the definitions of the Canadian Surface Combatant continue to take shape, that is a test that Rapp and his colleagues will surely prove to be equal to.

Tim Mahon