CAE has announced that Boeing ordered a P-8A operational flight trainer (OFT) for the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF).

CAE will design and manufacture the hardware for the RNZAF’s P-8A flight simulator. In addition, CAE will develop a suite of P-8A Aircraft Equipment enhanced Desktop Environment (AeDTE) trainers, which will be used as role playing stations during training of P-8A aircrews.

The P-8A OFT and AeDTEs are scheduled for delivery to RNZAF Base Ohakea in 2023.

“We are pleased to continue supporting Boeing on the development of training systems for the international customers acquiring the next-generation P-8 maritime patrol aircraft,” Daniel Gelston, Group President, Defence & Security, CAE, said. “We are a strategic partner to the New Zealand Defence Force due to the critical training services we provide across a range of platforms such as the T-6C, SH-2G, and NH90. We look forward to the P-8 being added to the list of training systems that CAE has played a role in delivering to support the safety, training and readiness of Royal New Zealand Air Force aircrew.”

The P-8A OFT for the RNZAF will be similar to the P-8A OFTs that CAE and Boeing have already developed for the US Navy, RAAF, Indian Navy, and Royal Air Force. CAE designs and manufactures the P-8 OFT hardware to Level D standards, the highest qualification for flight simulators. CAE also provides the 737-800 OFT software baseline and simulation-based software lab environment that is used for the P-8 OFT development and integration tasks.

CAE then delivers the simulators to Boeing, who designs, installs and integrates software specific to the P-8 aircraft.

NZ selected the P-8A to fulfil its Future Air Surveillance Capability (FASC) requirements in 2018. Four P-8As will replace the RNZAF’s fleet of six Lockheed Martin P-3K2 Orions, which first entered service in 1966 and are expected to reach their life of type in 2025.

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