Canadian firm CAE has been awarded a contract to design and manufacture a flight simulator and tactical trainer for the P-3C “Orion” maritime patrol aircraft Taiwan has purchased from the US, the company announced in a March 23 press release.
Under the terms of the contract, CAE will design and manufacture a P-3C operational flight trainer (OFT) as well as a P-3C operational tactics trainer (OTT). The P-3C OFT will be a Level D equivalent flight simulator and used to train the pilots and co-pilots of Taiwan’s P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft, the press release said. The P-3C OTT will be used to train the sensor operators in the P-3C aircraft.
Both training devices are scheduled for delivery in 2014.
The deal is part of a series of contracts signed by CAE, a leading provider of simulation and modeling technologies and integrated training solutions for the aviation industry and defense community, with the US Navy valued at more than US$100 million.
Taiwan procured 12 P-3C aircraft from the US for US$1.9 billion in 2007 following a six-year delay stemming from political infighting and questions over the estimated cost of US$300 million per new plane. Instead, Taiwan opted for the purchase of 12 refurbished aircraft. US firm Lockheed Martin was awarded the contract to refurbish the P-3Cs, sold as Excess Defense Articles. The first aircraft is scheduled for delivery to Taiwanese training units in the US in June, Defense News said, with the other 11 to be delivered this year and next.
The P-3Cs, which will play an essential role in anti-submarine warfare, are to replace Taiwan’s aging Grumman S-2T Turbo Trackers acquired in the 1980s. According to Defense News, only a handful of the S-2Ts in the Taiwanese Navy’s lineup are still operational and none are mission capable.