ARCHIVED - Hungary Joins Nato Flying Training in Canada (NFTC) Program

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News Release / March 25, 2002 / Project number: CAS PA NR 002.02

OTTAWA - The NATO Flying Training in Canada (NFTC) program has expanded again with the decision by the air force of the Republic of Hungary to sign on for the training of its pilots in Canada.

Hungary's participation in the NFTC program was formally concluded this morning at a signing ceremony in Budapest between Canada's Chief of the Defence Staff, General Raymond Henault, and the Hungarian Chief of the Defence Staff, General Lajos Fodor.

"Hungary's decision to meet its pilot training needs under the NFTC program is very good news indeed," said the Honourable Art Eggleton, Minister of National Defence. "Only a few years ago we were pleased to welcome Hungary as one of the new-NATO members, and today, we're delighted to welcome them into the international NFTC family. The training its pilots will receive alongside the other NFTC participants is the best available anywhere, and will contribute to an enhanced interoperability among the air forces of both NATO and non NATO nations in future coalition missions throughout the world."

"Today's announcement by Hungary to join the NATO Flying Training in Canada (NFTC) program is an important step for both our militaries," said General Raymond Henault. "This decision provides Canada with a welcome opportunity to work more closely with one of our new NATO partners, and I know that it will be of great benefit to our air forces in the future."

Under a 17-year arrangement, starting in 2003, Hungary will send seven beginner pilots per year to be trained under the basic phase of the program. Most of those students will go on to tactical fighter lead-in jet training, while the remaining Hungarian graduates of the basic phase will receive helicopter training depending on the requirements of Hungary's air force. (This latter training is conducted at Southport (Portage La Prairie), Manitoba.)

Equally, seven Hungarian air force pilots will serve as instructors within the three phases of the NFTC training program. As well, some experienced Hungarian pilots will undertake the advanced and tactical fighter lead-in phases of NFTC over the next three years.

Hungary's decision to join NFTC broadens further the international character of the program, with its pilots joining those from the air forces of Canada, Denmark, Great Britain, Singapore and Italy. The Hungarian participation in NFTC also means that additional training aircraft will be required, specifically two more CT-156 Harvard II turboprops (Raytheon T6A) and two more CT-155 Hawk jets (BAE Systems Hawk 115), to meet the Hungarian requirement. This will bring the total number of Harvard II and Hawk aircraft to 24 and 20 respectively, located at 15 Wing Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan and 4 Wing Cold Lake, Alberta.

The (Cdn) $3-billion NFTC program, currently in its third year of providing training to NATO and non-NATO pilots, is a unique strategic alliance between the Government of Canada and the private industry team led by Bombardier Aerospace Defence Services.

The aim of the program, which is flexible to meet the training needs of its participating members, is to provide the most capable military pilot at the least total system cost. NFTC, using the most effective integrated pilot training system at the most modern training facilities currently available in the world, has become the benchmark in military pilot training.

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For further information, please contact:

Ian Milani, Project Manager
NFTC/CFTS (Contracted Flying Training and Support)
Canadian Aerospace Training Project office, Ottawa
(613) 993-3790
e-mail: milani.ik@forces.gc.ca

Lieutenant-Colonel Brian Houlgate
Director, International Training Programs
CATP office, Ottawa
(613) 998-9752
e-mail: houlgate.bj@forces.gc.ca

Mr. George Adamson
Director of Marketing, NFTC
Bombardier Inc., Ottawa
(613) 237-4564
e-mail: george.adamson@defence.bombardier.com

Major James Simiana
Chief of the Air Staff, Public Affairs
National Defence Headquarters, Ottawa
(613) 945-0511
e-mail: simiana.ja@forces.gc.ca

For information about Canada's Air Force and for archived news stories about the NFTC program, please visit http://www.airforce.forces.gc.ca. More detailed information about the NFTC program is available by visiting http://www.nftc.net.

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