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Helicopter Academy to Train by Simulation of Flying (HATSOFF)

Helicopter Academy to Train by Simulation of Flying (HATSOFF)

March 23, 2009 06:00 ET

CAE and HAL finalize contracts and financing to establish C$60 million helicopter training centre in Bangalore, India

- Joint venture HATSOFF will open helicopter training centre in 2010

BANGALORE, INDIA--(Marketwire - March 23, 2009) - A joint venture of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and CAE (TSX:CAE)(NYSE:CGT) has finalized all necessary contracts and non-recourse financing to begin construction and development of a new C$60 million (Rs 240 crore) helicopter training centre in Bangalore, India.

The Helicopter Academy to Train by Simulation of Flying (HATSOFF), the joint venture equally-owned by HAL and CAE, has secured long-term, non-recourse financing to support the development of the HATSOFF Helicopter Training Centre. HATSOFF will have a CAE-built full-mission simulator featuring CAE's revolutionary roll-on/roll-off cockpit design, which enables cockpits representing various helicopter types to be used in the simulator. HATSOFF expects to begin training at a new purpose-built facility in the second half of 2010. When fully operational, HATSOFF will be able to train up to 400 helicopter pilots each year and expects to generate annual revenues of up to approximately C$20 million (Rs 80 crore).

"HATSOFF will serve a critical need for enhancing safety and mission readiness by offering high-quality simulation-based helicopter training programs to India and the surrounding region," said Marc Parent, CAE's Chief Operating Officer. "We are also pleased that financial institutions recognize the value of our business plan and the required training assets, which gives us the ability to raise non-recourse financing to support our expansion efforts in India."

Initially, HATSOFF will offer comprehensive training to civil and military customers operating four helicopter types: the Indian Army/Air Force variant of the HAL-built Dhruv, the civil variant of the Dhruv, the Bell 412 and the Eurocopter Dauphin. The training centre will feature multimedia classrooms, computer-based training, brief/debrief facilities, and a training management information system. The CAE-built full-mission simulator for HATSOFF will feature a common motion system, vibration platform, and visual display system, and four separate cockpit modules that can be used in the full-mission simulator. When a cockpit is not used in the full-mission simulator, it will be used as a fixed-based flight training device (FTD). The simulator will be certified to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Joint Aviation Authority (JAA) Level D, the highest qualification for flight simulators.

"We are excited to be part of the first Level D simulator training facility to be built in India for helicopter pilots and maintainers," said Mr. Ashok K Baweja, Chairman, HAL. "HAL is committed to being India's premier aerospace organization, and part of that commitment includes enhancing safety and efficiency throughout the aerospace community. The HATSOFF Helicopter Training Centre will play a key role in training and producing skilled and mission-ready crews."

CAE is a world leader in providing simulation and modelling technologies and integrated training solutions for the civil aviation industry and defence forces around the globe. With annual revenues exceeding C$1.4 billion, CAE employs approximately 7,000 people at more than 75 sites and training locations in 20 countries. We have the largest installed base of civil and military full-flight simulators and training devices. Through our global network of 27 civil aviation and military training centres, we train more than 75,000 crewmembers yearly. We also offer modelling and simulation software to various market segments and, through CAE's professional services division, we assist customers with a wide range of simulation-based needs. www.cae.com

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is a premier aeronautical complex of SE Asia, with 19 production divisions and ten R&D centres. HAL's expertise encompasses design, production, repair, overhaul and upgrade of Aircraft, Helicopters, Aero-engines, Accessories, Avionics and Systems. HAL today provides one stop solutions for all the design needs of aircraft & helicopters in airframes, airframe systems, avionics, mission & combat systems using advanced design tools. The 19 manufacturing divisions of HAL are equipped with modern infrastructure with modern plant and machinery for production of fighter aircraft, trainer aircraft and helicopters. The current workforce is around 35,000 with over 50% having more than a decade of aircraft industry experience. It has also diversified into manufacture and repair/overhaul of Industrial & Marine Gas Turbine engines, and manufacture of structures for aerospace vehicles. www.hal-india.com

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