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The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) Air Warfare Centre has awarded QinetiQ a one year contract (with an additional option year) to develop a roadmap for the modernisation of RCAF air weapons ranges, which will enable the combination of live and virtual environments for collaborative team training.

The modernised air ranges will be able to accommodate Canada’s next generation of 4.5 or 5th-generation fighter aircraft and allow for the creation of live synthetic blended (LSB) training and experimental environments, including simulated training assets.

The roadmap will include the Cold Lake Air Weapons Range (CLAWR) as well as the Bagotville, Gagetown, Wainwright, Valcartier, Nanoose and Suffield training ranges. The study will look at how the ranges need to be modernised for all future RCAF platforms – fighter and cargo aircraft, helicopters, search and unmanned. This will be done in the context of the RCAF Modelling and Simulation Environment (RMSE), including Virtual Proving Grounds, and will consider air traffic control, air weapons and air and space control simulators.

The initial scoping phase will run to December 2020. The project will see QinetiQ bring together a team comprising systems engineers, simulation experts and range experts, as well as experienced ex-military personnel, from QinetiQ in Canada and the UK.

Duane Barry, VP Business Development of QinetiQ in Canada, says, “We are delighted to have secured this project to scope the upgrade of the Royal Canadian Air Force’s ranges to a standard required for future Training, Test and Evaluation (TT&E) programmes. We were selected as part of the competitive bidding process, due to our extensive experience managing, operating and modernizing the UK Ministry of Defence’s ranges. We look forward to combining our unrivalled Test and Evaluation and range experience from the UK with our Canadian team’s local knowledge for the benefit of the Royal Canadian Air Force.”

This contract is strategically important for QinetiQ, as it provides a significant opportunity to deliver key value for RCAF future programmes and enables the company to continue to grow its presence in Canada. Winning the contract supports QinetiQ’s strategy to build a global integrated defence and security company that delivers mission-led innovation to customers for defence, security and critical national infrastructure programs across the world.

QinetiQ will examine in detail the potential for modernisation of RCAF range’s to significantly enhance the service’s training and readiness regimes. (Photo courtesy RCAF)

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