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Cubic's ``Rangeless'' Technology Brings New Level of Realism to International Aircrew Training at Maple Flag 2002.

Business Editors & Aviation/Defense Writers


A next-generation combat training system developed by Cubic Corp. (AMEX:CUB) has sharpened the collective skills of hundreds of fighter pilots training at Maple Flag 2002 -- one of the world's largest multinational air combat exercises held annually at Cold Lake, Canada.

Combat pilots from 11 countries are learning to fight in a NATO team environment at Maple Flag 2002, which runs through June 21 at the Cold Lake Air Weapons Range.

For the first time, the exercise incorporates Cubic's "rangeless" technology, an integral feature of the Canadian Forces' new CF-18 Air Combat Maneuvering Instrumentation (ACMI) system. This capability allows pilots to train autonomously -- in any available airspace without reliance on a fixed or "tethered" range -- using Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) technology and easily transportable components.

"Recent world events have underscored the need to provide versatile training systems that prepare U.S. and NATO forces for joint air operations," said Gerald Dinkel, president and CEO of the Cubic Defense Applications Group.

The Cubic-built CF-18 system now provides both fully autonomous and tethered ACMI training capabilities. The system's components, including GPS-based instrumentation pods and display systems, were delivered February 2001 to the Canadian Forces under contracts totaling $13.4 million.

"The upgraded ACMI greatly enhances 'dissimilar' air combat training between allied countries, which will increase force effectiveness during large-scale conflicts," said Philip Fisch, director of Business Development for Cubic's Training Systems division. "The CF-18 system is compatible with numerous aircraft platforms around the world. It also provides expanded tracking capability at longer ranges, allowing live controllers to track up to 72 high-activity aircraft in real-time. The older system Canada ACMI could only track eight aircraft in a single exercise."

At Maple Flag 2002, CF-18 pods are flying on German F-4s, Singapore F-16s, British Jaguars, Canadian CF-18s, U.S. Navy F/A-18s, French Mirage F-1s, French Mirage 2000s, and Netherlands and Denmark F-16s.

The exercise also marks the first time that the Cubic-built Kadena Instrumentation System (KITS) and the Canadian CF-18 ACMI systems have been merged together in the same training exercise. Kadena AB F-15s and Misawa AB F-16s are flying with KITS pods during Maple Flag 2002.

"It is a rare opportunity to support a joint training mission involving multiple NATO countries," said Keith Shean, Cubic program manager for Maple Flag. "We are very thrilled that our system is making this mission possible and enhancing training and readiness for combat pilots worldwide. This will ensure they are much better prepared if ever placed in harm's way."

Cubic's Worldwide Technical Services division at Cold Lake has assisted with more than a 90 sorties each day of Maple Flag. The exercise combines large-scale operations with air-to-air and ground-to-air electronic threats. The aircraft are tracked via the GPS-based pods that are mounted on the aircraft. These mobile pods collect in-flight data for both real-time tracking and post-mission debriefs.

The Canadian CF-18's other advanced features include a data link relay, a real-time display system, a No Drop Weapons Scoring capability and integration of Surface Threat Electronic Warfare elements. These new features will make the system an important part of fighter pilot training for both daily squadron level operations as well as the annual multinational Maple Flag exercise.

Maple Flag has its origins in the Air Force's "Red Flag" multinational exercises that are held at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., which rely on the Cubic-developed Nellis Air Combat Training System.

The Cubic Defense Applications group, one of Cubic's two major segments, produces instrumented air and ground combat training systems, battle command training, simulations and simulation support for U.S. and allied military forces. The group also produces high technology avionics, data links and communications products for government and commercial customers, and a wide range of technical and logistics services. The corporation's other major segment, Cubic Transportation Systems, designs and manufactures automatic fare collection systems for public mass transit authorities. For more information about Cubic, see the company's Web site at
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Jun 5, 2002
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