The services that Discovery Air Defence provides under the Contracted Airborne Training Support (CATS) contract have a direct impact on the readiness of the men and women who are working towards the defence of Canada both home and abroad.
In addition, programs such as the CATS program have the following advantages to the Government of Canada:
No Outlay of Capital Funds
Had the CATS project followed the traditional acquisition path, it would have likely resulted in an initial outlay of capital of between $250 million CAD and $500 million CAD. By not having to commit large sums of capital up front, DND is able to focus their funds on core programs that would not be eligible for outsourcing.
Reduced Operating Costs
The cost of the CATS program is significantly less than the annual operating costs of the CT-133 Silver Star and CC-144 Electronic Warfare Challenger aircraft fleets. The savings realized through the outsourcing of the Combat Support role are estimated to be as much as 60% annually.
Increased Levels of Service
The Alpha Jet is a much higher performing aircraft than the CT-133 Silver Star. As a result of this increased performance Top Aces is able to provide a wider spectrum of profiles and threat replications than was previously available. The Westwind also brings capabilities to the field that were previously not available with the CC-144 Electronic Warfare Challenger. By introducing aircraft with multiple capabilities, the level of service offered to DND is improved and cost efficiencies are realized. This improved level of service is also a direct result of our outstanding maintenance and engineering team. To date the historical mission availability rates for the Alpha Jet and the Westwind are 98% and 95% respectively.
Rapid Capability Renewal
Within 6 months of contract award, Discovery Air Defence acquired its fleet of Alpha Jets, upgraded them, trained personnel, met the necessary Transport Canada and DND Airworthiness Requirements and begun operations with the Canadian military. This rapid introduction of service is testament to the dedication and experience of the entire team at DA Defence.
Alleviate Shortages of Military Personnel
The Air Force is currently experiencing a critical manpower shortage of both pilots and maintainers. By outsourcing non-core capabilities the Air Force personnel previously working on that non-core capability can be re-deployed into core programs that must be performed by men and women in uniform.
Improved Return on Training Investment
Discovery Air Defence hires predominantly former military pilots and engineers in order to seamlessly integrate with the Canadian Forces operations and training cycles. The Air Force spends a significant amount of time and money on training its pilots and engineers; DA Defence is an employer of choice for these retiring individuals. Consequently, the current generation of Canadian Armed Forces members is able to benefit from the vast experience pool of the DA Defence team.