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Babcock, Leonardo team up for Canadian future trainer program

Photo: Leonardo

Babcock Canada and Leonardo Canada have signed a letter of intent (LOI) to create a Canadian joint venture with the aim of securing work under Canada’s Future Aircrew Training Program (FAcT).

The Royal Canadian Air Force is currently looking for a new aircrew training program that would provide aircraft, ground based training systems, civilian instructors, as well as other essential services, such as air traffic control, aircraft and airfield maintenance, accommodation, and food services for the Royal Canadian Air Force.

Canada issued a request for proposals for the 20-year contract in December last year to Babcock Canada, Leonardo Canada and SkyAlyne Canada Limited Partnership. BAE Systems, Airbus Defence and Space, and Lockheed Martin Canada previously withdrew from the competition. The government expects to award the contract in 2023.

Canadian pilots are currently trained under two separate contracts. The NATO flying training in Canada is provided by CAE Military Aviation Training through a contract that expires in 2023. Allied Wings provides contracted flying training and support under a contract that will expire in 2027. Both of these are expected to eventually be replaced by FAcT.

In a joint press release, Babcock and Leonardo said their partnership would benefit from over 70 years of aircrew training experience delivered around the world.

Earlier this year, Leonardo said its new M-345 Tutor II basic trainer aircraft was “one of the cornerstones” of its offer for the FAcT program. The M-345 basic trainer is a less potent version of the M-346 advanced jet trainer which is in service with several international customers. The M-345 is yet to find export success outside Italy, where they are replacing the Italian Air Force’s Aermacchi MB-339 trainers.

Leonardo also produces full mission simulators, flight training devices, and other systems which constitute a ground based training system.

Babcock delivers technical instruction across multiple locations and aircraft types. The company’s services range from providing technical training instruction, developing training materials and maintaining critical training assets.