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A comprehensive and fully-integrated training solution

Sponsored Content | December 13, 2022

Estimated reading time 8 minutes, 34 seconds.

In 2023, the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) will accept bids from selected firms for the Future Aircrew Training program, or FAcT.

“This is an exciting opportunity for the RCAF to receive a comprehensive and fully-integrated training solution from BLCAT [Babcock Leonardo Canadian Aircrew Training], built on next-generation technology and international experience to ensure the needs of students and instructors are put first — and delivered by world-class companies like L3Harris,” said Jana Lee Murray, program director of BLCAT.

BLCAT is a well-established joint venture of Babcock and Leonardo, both world leaders in military aircrew training that each have a long history of supporting air forces around the world. BLCAT has strong Canadian roots, with a team that has more than 50 years’ experience delivering solutions to complex problems for the Government of Canada.

“Our parent companies have decades of experience in global aircrew training, including working with NATO allies,” Murray said. “By joining forces to create BLCAT, Babcock Canada and Leonardo Canada have created a trusted multinational team that is uniquely positioned to deliver world-class military pilot and aircrew training specifically tailored to meet every requirement of the FAcT program. Joining forces equips us to manage program transition risks, support students and instructors, and enhance quality at every touch point.” 

Murray noted that at this point in history, Canada’s air force must undergo a major transformation to maintain itself as a multipurpose, combat-ready entity capable of protecting Canada’s borders and those of its allies.

“The delivery of a new end-to-end military training infrastructure is required, and this is a complex undertaking with significant transition risks,” Murray said. “This is a critical time in the evolution of the Royal Canadian Air Force, and no organization but BLCAT has the international experience, proven track record and expertise required to successfully implement the new training system.”

In addition to experience and technological leadership, BLCAT is working with strategic companies to deliver its customized training solution in Canada, by Canadians. L3Harris is one of the industry-leading companies supporting BLCAT’s solution with its own recognized innovation and expertise.

Rich Foster, corporate vice president of L3Harris Technologies Canada, added that sustaining the complex training solutions required by FAcT also requires local presence.

“L3Harris has over 3,000 Canadian employees from coast to coast to coast and has been innovating solutions to support the RCAF for over 35 years,” he said. “Our solutions not only achieve efficiency but also ensure safe and effective operations.”

L3Harris is providing in-service support and aviation engineering services for RCAF mission-critical fleets, such as the CF-18, CC-150, CH-148, CT-114, CH-147 and CP-140.

If BLCAT is awarded the FAcT contract, L3Harris’ key role will be to ensure that the correctly-configured aircraft are available at the right time to support BLCAT’s training program.

“This will be made possible by deploying L3Harris’ proven sustainment solution and services,” Foster said. “Exact electronic record-keeping of each aircraft configuration and usage will be achieved through L3Harris’ customized and proven IT system. We will ensure that no training flights are delayed and each aircraft will remain airworthy to support RCAF trainees.”

Together, BLCAT and L3Harris will also incorporate the latest next-generation technology solutions.

“The evolution of aircrew training technologies is fast-paced, and BLCAT and L3Harris will keep pace with the latest developments and introduce them to FAcT on an ongoing basis to ensure that learning remains effective,” Murray said. “BLCAT’s training capabilities are underpinned by a network of fixed- and rotary-wing training centres, driven by our partnering company’s leading technologies on real and simulated assets — and by the quality and commitment of elite instructors.”

Understanding needs

BLCAT understands what Canada is asking through FAcT and has the proven experience with air forces around the world to deliver what is needed — an end-to-end cutting-edge training solution tailored to the RCAF and delivered through experienced local Canadian companies and industry leading organizations.

“FAcT is not an extension of a program — it is an entirely new program,” Murray explained. “This presents BLCAT with an opportunity to design and implement a fully-integrated aircrew training solution that meets the RCAF’s every need and provides lasting economic benefits and opportunities for Canadian businesses and Indigenous communities.”

Murray added that as a 25-year program, FAcT is a truly generational initiative. BLCAT is ready to develop the program at the grassroots level from the very beginning, to ensure required skills development and training goes smoothly, an inclusive workforce strategy is included, and diverse business partners are sought from coast to coast.

“We believe that with BLCAT’s proven track record of building complex aircrew training systems around the world, BLCAT is the right choice to enable the development of a modern, scalable Canadian military aircrew training infrastructure, centred on supporting students and instructors, designed to enhance quality at every touch point, and delivered by exceptional Canadian firms like L3Harris,” she said. “Collaborating with L3Harris — a proven expert in its field — supports BLCAT’s low-risk and success-focused approach.”

BLCAT and L3Harris are looking forward to having the opportunity to transform RCAF training in the decades to come.

“The next generation of pilots and aviators deserve the world’s best aircrew training,” Murray said. “And that’s what we will deliver.”

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