In mid-2016, the General Headquarters (GHQ) of the UAE Armed Forces awarded CAE a contract to design and develop a comprehensive Naval Training Centre (NTC) for the UAE Navy. Serving as the prime contractor and training systems integrator, CAE is developing the UAE NTC to support the training of individual, team, whole ship, and joint/collective mission training for the UAE Armed Forces, in partnership with Babcock International and local UAE partners. The value of the initial contract for Phase A is included in the C$145 million total mentioned above. With potential phases, the UAE NTC programme could be worth approximately $450 million over the next 15 years.
The NTC will be the first element of a distributed and networked naval training system. The UAE NTC will be located in Taweelah with future plans to connect to distributed sites in the UAE, including naval vessels at sea and ashore. The purpose-built NTC facility will feature a range of integrated ship simulation-based training suites as well as maritime aircraft sensor stations that will be used to deliver training for individuals, command teams, and whole ship crews. In addition, the overall naval training system for the UAE Navy is being designed for networking and interoperability to enable distributed multi-platform and joint mission training.
VSTEP was selected to provide the Full Mission Bridge Simulators after an extensive evaluation process. The visual quality, the hydrodynamic fidelity and extendibility of VSTEP’s new NAUTIS 3 simulation platform were important criteria. Some of the bridge simulators will be reconfigurable for the different vessels of the UAE Navy to allow for vessel-specific training capabilities. All simulators can be used individually, or in combination for joint mission exercises.
"This is a major strategic win for VSTEP and clearly demonstrates our capabilities to provide adaptive and fully integrated simulators in the Defence industry," said Pjotr van Schothorst, VSTEP’s co-founder and CEO. “CAE’s choice of VSTEP as their provider of ship bridge simulators for the UAE Naval Training Centre proves that our new simulation platform NAUTIS 3, which we are about to introduce on the market, has the quality and flexibility needed for the training needs of the most demanding clients.”
The UAE Naval Training Centre will be located in Taweelah with connectivity to several other naval and air bases throughout the UAE. The UAE NTC is expected to be complete and ready-for-training in 2019.
“The UAE Naval Training Centre program is a clear example of CAE’s training systems integration capabilities,” Ian Bell, CAE’s Vice President and General Manager, Middle East/Asia-Pacific, explained. “We are pleased to select VSTEP as the provider of bridge simulators that will play a key role in the overall naval training enterprise that will help the UAE Navy achieve a high level of fleet operational readiness.”
In 2016, CAE was also awarded contracts to provide the UAE Joint Aviation Command (JAC) with a suite of helicopter simulators and training devices for the NorthStar Aviation 407 Multi-Role Helicopter (407MRH) as well as the Sikorsky UH-60M Armed Black Hawk (ABH).