DCI is offering a new diversified range of innovative training courses adapted to the needs of countries friendly with France. Training is based on the expertise, equipment and know-how acquired by the French Army during recent operations in Afghanistan and Africa, which guarantees training at the highest level.

In early 2016, in partnership with the Unmanned Aircraft Centre of Excellence (CED), DCI installed a new unmanned aircraft simulator called UAV-X, developed by DIGINEXT on the basis of specifications prepared in cooperation with the CED.

DCI’s wide range of unmanned aircraft training courses is designed to meet the needs of users in charge of operational deployments and decision-makers who must integrate unmanned aircraft into operational planning or capacity development. Training takes place at the International Centre for Academic and Aeronautical Training (CIFAA) at Salon-de-Provence. Training in the use of unmanned aircraft for ground manoeuvres takes place at the Draguignan International Training Centre (CIF-D).

DCI Chairman and CEO Jean-Michel Palagos declared: “Unmanned aircraft represent an emerging sector of activity which is attracting a lot of interest from our foreign partners, particularly in the Gulf region, but also elsewhere, in new regions. In this context, our collaboration with the CED is a perfect extension of the historical partnership between the French Air Force and DCI. It gives us high-level expertise and enables us to offer innovative training courses that are totally adapted to the requirements of countries friendly with France.”

The CED, which is installed on Air Base 701 at Salon-de-Provence, was created by the French Air Force in 2014 to meet the growing training needs for unmanned aircraft operators and to pursue the force’s innovation drive. Directed by Squadron Leader Daniel Gigan, the CED has a dual role: training and innovation, particularly in the surveillance of sensitive sites. The Unmanned Aircraft Centre of Excellence is also equipped with a Mission Lab to conduct research, testing and validation activities. Innovative concepts, such as the UAV-X simulator, are installed there and tested on site.

Dedicated to pilot and payload operator training, the UAV-X simulator features an “open” design allowing representation of mini-, tactical and MALE vehicles. The system is highly reconfigurable and can create mission scenarios, as well as simulating weather restrictions, multiple mechanical failures and a variety of operating zones representing the operational environment, allowing the trainee to learn his future specialty under optimum conditions. This multipurpose system meets the needs of all drone operators, whatever the mission and the operational context.

The simulator is designed to integrate training into a theory/simulation/flight teaching continuum, allowing the theoretical training provided by teaching and simulation experts from the French Air Force to be put into practice.

Technically, the simulator comprises three stations: two for instructors and one for the trainee sensor operator. It can be used for preliminary training on the Reaper unmanned aircraft prior to operational training.