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GA-ASI RPA Training Academy Augmented With Simulator, Instructors

Collaboration Supports Industrial Opportunities For North Dakota Workforce

RPA manufacturer General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) has announced two contracts in support of GA-ASI’s new RPA Training Academy in Grand Forks, North Dakota.

GA-ASI will collaborate with the UND Aerospace Foundation located at the University of North Dakota (UND) to support UND Aerospace in expanding the use of RPA for commercial applications. This collaboration is expected to create high-technology jobs and establish North Dakota as a leader in the RPA industry. As part of this collaboration, GA-ASI also will expand its current worldwide partnership with CAE, a global leader in the delivery of training for the defense and civil aviation markets.

“GA-ASI is pleased to align with UND Aerospace and CAE to augment our RPA Training Academy’s curriculum with comprehensive training solutions for our international and domestic customers,” said Linden Blue, CEO, GA-ASI. “We look forward to working with UND Aerospace and CAE to meet the growing global demand for RPA instruction.”

UND Aerospace will provide its existing Predator Mission Aircrew Training System (PMATS), a flight simulator that accurately reproduces Predator and Reaper pilot and sensor operator aircrew stations, allowing students to master the art of flying and operating a GA-ASI RPA system. In March 2011, UND Aerospace became the first non-military educational institution in the U.S. to provide initial qualification and continuation training simulation support for operators of Predator and Reaper aircraft. In addition to offering simulation capabilities, UND Aerospace will support the Training Academy with additional facilities, and instructors.

Adding to the collaboration with UND Aerospace, CAE will grow its existing partnership with GA-ASI through simulator development efforts and by contributing a portion of the Academy’s instructor cadre. CAE plans to leverage its experience and expertise in providing the U.S. Air Force with MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper classroom, simulator, and live flying instruction. CAE was recently contracted to develop a Predator Mission Simulation Trainer that will be delivered to the Italian Air Force in 2017, enabling the service to conduct training for its Predator and MQ-9 pilots and sensor operators. The high-fidelity Predator Trainer will allow rapid transition to flight operations without further training on the actual aircraft.

The mission of the GA-ASI RPA Training Academy is to provide safe, effective, and cutting-edge flight training for aircrew operating the company’s aircraft. As an additional benefit, the Training Academy will potentially serve to augment U.S. Air Force and other customer training programs as well. Training for GA-ASI aircrew begins this summer, followed by international customer training in the fall.

The Academy is co-located with Grand Forks Air Force Base, which also serves as the base of operations for U.S. Department of Homeland Security/Customs and Border Protection Predator B aircraft.

(Source: General Atomics news release. Images from file)

FMI: www.ga-asi.com

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