Aerospace Engineering Test Establishment (AETE): An Effective and Sustainable Engineering Flight Test Capability

Article / February 25, 2015

September 18, 2015

An Effective and Sustainable Engineering Flight Test Capability

As part of the Government’s commitment to fostering an effective, efficient, and sustainable Defence Team, the Department of National Defence (DND) is in the exploratory phase of analysing the capability provided by its Aerospace Engineering Test Establishment (AETE) at 4 Wing Cold Lake, Alberta. This analysis, known as the Engineering Flight Test Rationalization (EFTR) initiative, is one of four lines of activity being explored under the Maintenance Program Design portion of Defence Renewal

What is the Aerospace Engineering Test Establishment (AETE)?

The ability to rigorously test equipment and aircraft in all extremes is essential to ensuring the safety of Canada’s men and women in uniform when acquiring new aerospace materiel. AETE conducts these important engineering flight testing and evaluations by employing test pilots, flight test engineers, systems engineers, specialist engineers and technologists, using a full spectrum of flight test capabilities and resources including specialized ground support facilities and instrumented aircraft.

The Engineering Flight Test Rationalization Initiative

AETE began operating at Canadian Forces Base Cold Lake, Alberta in 1971 and since then their requirements for engineering flight test and evaluation have continually evolved. This has led to a need to review its operations and ensure the establishment has the right capabilities and skill-sets. The analysis, known as the Engineering Flight Test Rationalization Initiative, will determine ways and means of modernizing and making AETE’s important work ever more efficient and effective. This includes an analysis of the current capability and future needs, location of the facility, and the possibility of outsourcing some of the existing capabilities.

Why it matters

The objective of Defence Renewal is to finds ways to conduct the business of defence smarter, free up resources, and delivers the best military capabilities at the best value for Canadians. The work being conducted will help ensure a modern, first-class military as envisioned in the Government’s Canada First  Defence Strategy, and ultimately continue to deliver the operational excellence for which Canada’s military is known for years to come.

Will this have any operational impacts?

AETE manages,on average, 30 projects of various complexities at any given time . Recent accomplishments include the Griffon Helicopter Door Gun testing and the CF-18 Global Positioning System Guided Bombs Trials. This important work will continue during, and following the analysis.

What’s next?

In July 2015 the Government of Canada released a Request for Information. Implementation decisions have yet to be made. The next step will be reviewing the feedback from industry and preparing a business case for consideration.

- 30 -

Contact information:

Media Relations
Department of National Defence
Phone: (613) 996-2353
Toll-Free: 1 866 377-0811

Date modified: