Simulator specialist CAE has just signed a contract with the NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control program management organization to perform a major upgrade to the flight crew simulators that are used to train crews from the 16-nation joint force that flies the Boeing E-3A Awacs. This upgrade is being performed in parallel with a new flight deck upgrade for the 17-aircraft operational fleet.
CAE has been involved with the NATO AEW Force (NAEWF) since it was established in 1982, providing the flight deck simulator. Since that time more than 100 modifications have been made to the system to mirror changes in the aircraft itself. A key upgrade was the introduction of the Common Database standard, an open architecture system that facilitates the upgrade of the system with new functionalities. Qualified to the highest standard Level D, the flight deck simulator has amassed more than 100,000 “flight” hours. In 2012 CAE also supplied a flight training device to support initial familiarization and procedural training.
Both systems, which are located at the NAEWF’s home base of Geilenkirchen in Germany, are being upgraded under the latest contract. The NAEWF fleet is being modernized with “glass” flight decks and advanced avionics that meet current and future CNS/ATM (communication, navigation, surveillance/air traffic management) requirements. Both training devices are being similarly adapted. CAE (Hall 4 Stand C18d) aims to complete the simulator upgrade by 2018, when the fleet modernization is due to be completed.