Growth Predicted in Maritime Simulations

By Allyson Versprille
Simulation and training company CAE is looking to maritime markets outside the United States to grow its portfolio, said an executive at the Montreal, Canada-based firm. 

The CAE brand to this point has been closely associated with aviation and aircrew training, said Gene Colabatistto, group president of CAE Defence and Security. However, “the maritime side is going to be the growth area for us.”

Colabatistto noted that two countries — Australia and Canada — plan to make large investments in their shipbuilding programs in the coming years.

In 2011, the Canadian government awarded a contract of approximately $19 billion to Halifax Shipyard to build 21 new combat vessels — including 15 Canadian surface combatants and six Arctic offshore patrol ships — over a 20 to 30-year period. The surface combatants will replace the Royal Canadian Navy’s Iroquois-class destroyers and Halifax-class frigates. Canadian shipbuilding is stable and well-resourced, especially when compared to the country’s fighter program, which is experiencing delays as the new Liberal Party government considers pulling out of the Pentagon’s F-35 program, Colabatistto said.

In Australia, the government will spend approximately $64 billion on shipbuilding over the next 20 years, an August press release from its Department of Defence Ministers said.

“They’re going to have schoolhouse training programs, shipboard training [and] training ashore,” Colabatistto said. “It’s a great opportunity to look inside the training enterprise and see where we can fit.”

Most of the opportunities CAE will be pursuing in the maritime market will be outside of the United States, he added.

“I think the relationship between the OEMs [original equipment manufacturers] and the U.S. government in the United States is a little bit different than the way it is … in Canada,” Colabatistto said. “Canada is looking at its naval systems and asking themselves, ‘If I only have two or three classes of ships, do I need to run three different training programs?’ So one of their concepts is, ‘Let’s consolidate the training and have training system integration [be] part of my acquisition program.’”

Conversely, in the United States the force structure is so large that every system gets its own training program and the original equipment manufacturer plays a much bigger role in that, he said. “And when we say OEM, it’s not just the guys building the ship. Every single combat system has a different training program — a radar built by Raytheon, a weapon system built by Lockheed — the training enterprise is much more fragmented.”

It is not possible for CAE to compete against Raytheon for training on one of its radars, he explained. “But if they ran a schoolhouse where everything gets done and they need an integrator, that’s a different story,” he said.

Photo Credit: CAE

Topics: International, Science and Engineering Technology, Simulation Modeling Wargaming and Training

Comments (0)

Retype the CAPTCHA code from the image
Change the CAPTCHA codeSpeak the CAPTCHA code
Please enter the text displayed in the image.