How UAE pilots prepare for warfare scenario using virtual reality

Ashwani Kumar /Abu Dhabi Filed on February 24, 2021

Photo by Ryan Lim / Khaleej Times

Photo by Ryan Lim / Khaleej Times

With a VR headset and physical flight controls, a pilot can virtually experience critical situations.

In any operation, be it on the battlefield or in a hospital emergency room, an individual has to be able to think on his feet. One will have to be prepared for every possible scenario — and this is where high-tech simulation-based training come in, a top expert said during the ongoing International Defence Exhibition and Conference (Idex) in Abu Dhabi.

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The UAE’s pilots use advanced technologies for these types of training, saving them both time and money and keeping them safe in a controlled environment. “During the immersive training, a pilot with a VR headset and physical flight controls can virtually experience different environmental ecosystems, critical situations, and handling of malfunctions and air traffic alerts. The training can be customised and made platform specific as per requirement,” said Thibaut Trancart, managing director, CAE Middle East.

The Canadian hi-tech firm, with regional headquarters on Abu Dhabi’s Reem Island, offers simulation training to the UAE Armed Forces and national carriers Etihad Airways and Emirates.

“We have been here since the 1980s. We design, develop simulators and offer training. We offer a continuum from the training to the mission. We assist the UAE Air Force, the UAE Navy and the UAE Joint Aviation Command to be ready for their missions. We work closely with the civil aviation – Emirates, Etihad Airways and Abu Dhabi Aviation. We train pilots of fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters and unmanned aircraft specific to the armed forces.”

At the expo, the company is showcasing the CAE Trax Academy, CAE Sprint Virtual Reality (VR) trainer, and remotely piloted aircraft training solutions. The training systems utilise Big Data and artificial intelligence to help pilots perfect their responses in a real-life environment.

The company is in talks with the local healthcare authorities to offer simulation-based training solutions and open a new facility to offer services.

“We are set to be operators in the healthcare domain by providing simulator training for doctors to perform surgeries. We have got an ongoing discussion to establish a training centre in the country.”


Ashwani Kumar

I am a newspaperman from the emirate of Abu Dhabi. A journalist at heart. I get my stories from the streets. A south Indian born in the Hindi heartland, I easily connect with people from different nationalities and cultures. I am calm like a monk, sensitive and very patient reporter. On the ground, I cover a range of topics related to community, health, embassy, tourism, transport, business and sports. I will go out on a leg to do what’s right and stand by what I believe in.

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