Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) specialist General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA‑ASI) announced yesterday a teaming agreement with one of Canada’s leading defense companies CAE, to offer the Predator B UAS to Canada. GA-ASI and CAE will jointly compete for this program, with GA-ASI serving as the prime contractor supporting a U.S. Foreign Military Sale (FMS) procurement.
CAE will act as the leading Canadian partner for the team, responsible for assembling a pan-Canadian team of companies to develop and support any Canadian-specific requirements and content for Canada’s national ISTAR capabilities. CAE will also be the Tier-I Canadian subcontractor for GA-ASI, with overall responsibility for In-Service Support (ISS) solution, including operator and mission training systems; integration with Canada’s existing Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) infrastructure; systems engineering support; and lifecycle and integrated logistics support services.
This Medium/High Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) is ccurrently operational as ‘MQ-9 Reaper’ with the U.S. Air Force and Royal Air Force and as MQ-9 with the Italian Air Force. Canadians forces in Afghanistan are currently supported by IAI Heron I MALE UAS, operated by the MDA Company. Under the program presently referred to as the JUSTAS program, the Canadian Government will establish a requirement to field and support interoperable, network-enabled UASs to provide Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition, and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) and all-weather precision-strike capabilities in support of its operations worldwide.
“CAE has transformed itself in recent years as much more than a flight simulation company,” said Martin Gagne, CAE’s group president, Military Products, Training and Services. “Our experience and expertise in operational and in-service support, as well as modeling and simulation for both manned and unmanned systems, makes CAE the ideal Canadian partner for GA-ASI, and well-positioned to support the Canadian Government as our country acquires a critical UAS capability.” As part of its expansion plan, CAE has recently joined Force Protection in its bid for the Canadian TAPV program, playing the in-country team leader for the program.