Halifax, NS, Canada, July 8, 2015 – Bluedrop Training & Simulation Inc. a subsidiary of Bluedrop Performance Learning Inc. (“Bluedrop”) (TSX-V: BPL) and The Boeing Company (Boeing) today announced a commitment to develop the next generation rear crew trainer for the CH-47 Chinook (Chinook) helicopter along with a five year commitment to support development and ongoing international sales. The Honourable Ed Holder, Minister of State for Science & Technology announced support for the initiative under the Industry Canada Investment Framework program and the new Value Proposition guidelines.
The commitment includes a contribution to Bluedrop of cash amounts totalling $2.29 million; transfer of certain Intellectual Property (IP) licence associated with the specific technical characteristics of the Chinook platform, engineering support from the Boeing training and simulation group during the development phase, and a five year commitment to support the ongoing sales and marketing of the new product within the Boeing global supply chain.
"I could not be more pleased with the support we have received from both Industry Canada and Boeing. The Boeing team has clearly taken a longer term view of the potential for future sales as the main objective of the commitment announced today. With their worldwide market reach and the fact that the Chinook is the most popular heavy lift helicopter in the world we see this as a major new revenue opportunity for Bluedrop. Industry Canada’s Investment Framework program, along with the value proposition, was perfectly suited to support this project. It is the ideal scenario for Bluedrop."
~ Derrick Rowe, Executive Chairman, Bluedrop
The initial development phase is expected to take between 18 and 24 months to build a full sized virtual reality rear crew trainer based on IP supplied by Boeing. The rear crew trainer will be designed with a high fidelity immersive environment and enhanced specific user training tools. Advanced features include: winching and hoisting systems, gunnery systems and various mission critical procedural training tools. The new rear crew trainer is expected to interface to Boeing’s cockpit training devices to allow full interactive crew training and mission scenario training to be conducted either onsite with full flight training device integration or remotely, allowing networked constructive training.
Bluedrop will develop the associated hardware and software from its Bluedrop Training and Simulation Centre (BTSC) located in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The team of software and hardware engineers will be headed by Jean-Claude Siew, Bluedrop’s Vice President of Technology and Simulation.
"Having the Boeing engineering support, their knowledge of the real world training requirements as well as the intellectual property for the Chinook platform is exactly what we need to build a product that meets the global customer demands. We will build a unique, world class product, that will fit the training and simulation requirements of Chinook users around the world that allows for full crew training and mission rehearsals at a fraction of the current costs."
~ Jean Claude Siew, Vice President of Technology & Simulation, Bluedrop
The Chinook is used by the U.S. Army, U.S. Army Reserve, National Guard and more than 19 counties including Canada, the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Japan, Italy, Greece, Spain, South Korea, Australia, and the United Arab Emirates.
Bluedrop currently has 210 employees, 135 in the Training and Simulation division of the company including 90 in Halifax. As a result of today’s announcement, along with other recent defence related contracts, Bluedrop expects to hire 10 additional people over the next year.
Bluedrop Training & Simulation
Bluedrop Training & Simulation Inc. designs and develops advanced training systems and state-of-the-art simulation products to safely train operators and maintainers of complex equipment. Our approach leverages innovative technology to provide cost-effective blended-media training content, from classroom instruction and computer-based training (CBT) through to high-fidelity training devices. Bluedrop Training & Simulation is a small to medium-sized enterprise (SME) providing a strong value proposition offering 100% Canadian designed and developed solutions. For more information about Bluedrop, visit www.bluedrop.com
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