CAE To Supply Flight Trainers for Taiwan
By WENDELL MINNICK
TAIPEI - Canadian-based CAE won a U.S. Navy contract under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program to design and manufacture an operational flight trainer and operational tactics trainer for Taiwan's P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft.
Taiwan procured 12 P-3C aircraft from the U.S. for $1.9 billion in 2007. Lockheed Martin is refurbishing the aircraft and the first P-3C delivery to Taiwan is scheduled for June.
CAE provides simulation and modeling technologies and integrated training solutions for the aviation industry and defense community.
The P-3C operational flight trainer will be a Level D equivalent flight simulator and be used to train pilots, said a March 23 CAE press release. The P-3C operational tactics trainer will be used to train the sensor operators. Both training devices will be delivered to Taiwan in 2014. CAE did not reveal the amount of the contract award.
The award follows a January FMS announcement that Lockheed will supply mission system spares to outfit new avionics components for Taiwan's P-3C under a $47.5 million contract with delivery in 2012.
The FMS program announced a $10 billion contract award in December to Pacific Propeller International, based in Kent, Wash., to refurbish 56 P-3C HS54H60-77 propeller assemblies for Taiwan's P-3C. Work will be completed in mid-2014.
The U.S. approved the export for 12 P-3s in 2001, but Taiwan was unable to secure funds for the sale until 2007 due to internal political infighting. Delivery was also stalled by a late bid challenge from L-3 Communications.
The P-3s will replace aging Grumman S-2T Turbo Tracker anti-submarine warfare aircraft acquired during the 1980s after a conversion of Taiwan's older S-2E/G to T standards. Sources have indicated that only a handful is still operational and none are mission capable. Taiwan's Navy operates a number of operational ASW helicopters, including 500MD Defender and the S-70C(M)-1/2 helicopters.