CAE has won a contract worth $100 million to provide training for U.S. Air Force unmanned aerial systems.
The contract, which serves a five year term, provides instructors, live training and coursework for pilots of the MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper drones, which is designed by General Atomics.
The company won its first five-year contract for this training in 1998 and held on to it in during a recompete in 2003. But in 2008, the U.S. Air Force limited competition to small businesses only, knocking CAE out of the running. After opening it to all companies this year, the service announced that CAE beat out five other companies in a Tuesday contract announcement.
The program has “grown quite a bit since we had it,” CAE spokesman Chris Stellwag said. “The sheer number of Predator pilots and sensor operators are significantly more than in the early 2000s.”
The award comes at a good time for the company, which in May lost out on a lucrative contract to design the aircrew training system for the Air Force’s new KC-46 tanker. Later that month, Marc Parent, CAE’s president, said military orders were “slower than we’d like” and noted that “finding contracts remains the order of the day.”