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January 15, 2019 | Local, Aerospace

Airbus songe à bâtir deux nouvelles usines au Québec

La Presse

Le géant Airbus pourrait, s'il décroche deux importants contrats canadiens dont l'octroi doit se faire au cours des prochaines années, bâtir deux nouvelles usines d'assemblage au Québec, probablement à Mirabel, a laissé entendre ce matin Simon Jacques, chef d'Airbus Défense au Canada.

Le premier de ces contrats doit être octroyé cette année par Télésat, un opérateur canadien de satellites de télécommunication. Celui-ci souhaite lancer quelques centaines de nouveaux satellites à orbite basse pour un réseau d'accès à l'Internet. Selon M. Jacques, l'usine qui fabriquerait ces satellites pourrait employer environ 200 personnes. L'entreprise affirme mener des discussions avec les gouvernements provincial et fédéral en vue de l'installer au Québec, si elle obtient le contrat.

« Ce serait un game changer pour l'aérospatiale au Canada », estime M. Jacques.

Avions de chasse

L'autre contrat, plus important, est celui du remplacement des avions de chasse canadiens. Airbus est l'une des quatre entreprises, avec Boeing, Lockheed et SAAB, qui manifeste toujours son intérêt pour l'obtention de cet important contrat concernant 88 chasseurs, qui devront remplacer la flotte de F18 actuels.

L'une des conditions de cet appel d'offres, qui doit normalement être lancé avant la prochaine campagne électorale fédérale, imposera du contenu canadien. Dans ce contexte, Airbus étudie l'option de construire une usine d'assemblage final au Canada, probablement au Québec, a aussi indiqué M. Jacques.

Airbus a par ailleurs confirmé que la Société en commandite C Series, où elle est associée à Bombardier et au gouvernement du Québec, investit présentement 30 millions de dollars américains (40 millions de dollars) pour améliorer ses installations de Mirabel. Des dômes permettant d'héberger des avions en construction seront ajoutés au printemps. Ils sont déjà en construction. Un nouveau centre de livraison sera aussi ajouté au quatrième trimestre.

On the same subject

  • Canada picks F-35 as CF-18 fighter replacement

    March 30, 2022 | Local, Aerospace

    Canada picks F-35 as CF-18 fighter replacement

    Canada has begun negotiations with Lockheed Martin and the US government to finalise the acquisition of 88 F-35As after selecting the fifth-generation type for its long-running fighter competition.

  • Norad asked Canada to 'identify and mitigate' cyber threats to critical civilian sites

    September 9, 2019 | Local, C4ISR

    Norad asked Canada to 'identify and mitigate' cyber threats to critical civilian sites

    by Murray Brewster  The U.S.-led North American Aerospace Defence Command (Norad) asked the Canadian military to do an inventory of its bases and the surrounding civilian infrastructure, looking for critical systems vulnerable to a cyberattack. The letter to Canada's chief of the defence staff, written by then-Norad commander U.S. Admiral William Gourtney just over three years ago, was obtained by CBC News under access to information legislation. Despite the passage of time, two leading cyber experts said the request highlights an enduring concern of both defence planners and people in high-tech industries. The notion that a cyberattack could shut down civilian infrastructure — such as power grids, water treatment plants or traffic systems — in the vicinity of a military base is nothing new. What is unusual is that Norad sought reassurance, at the highest levels of the military, that Canada was on top of the evolving threat. The Norad commander asked Gen. Jonathan Vance to "identify and mitigate" Infrastructure Control Systems (ICS) vulnerabilities on Canadian military bases, particularly at "installations that are critical for accomplishing Norad missions." The March 24, 2016 letter also urged Canada's top military commander to  "advocate developing capabilities to respond to cyber incidents on CAF [infrastructure control systems] and defend CAF [infrastructure control systems] if required." Gourtney's concern was not limited to defence installations; he asked Vance to "work with Public Safety Canada to identify civilian infrastructure that is critical to CAF and Norad missions. This includes developing processes for reporting cyber incidents on the identified civilian infrastructure." Vance responded to Gourtney (who has since retired and was replaced by U.S. Air  Force Gen. Terrence O'Shaughnessy) three months later and directed the military to hunt for vulnerabilities. "I share Norad's concerns for the cybersecurity" of critical defence infrastructure, Vance wrote on June 10, 2016, in a letter obtained by CBC News under access to information legislation. He noted that the Canadian government has identified "adversaries" that pose "a significant threat and efforts have been made to identify and develop protective strategies for Canadian critical infrastructure." The Liberal government — through its defence strategy and overhaul of security legislation — tackled some of the concerns raised by Norad. It gave the Communications Security Establishment (CSE) and the military new powers to conduct offensive cyber operations. Perhaps more importantly, it set up the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security for civilian infrastructure, which — according to CSE — aims to "be a place where private and public sectors work side-by-side to solve Canada's most complex cyber issues." David Masson, a cyber expert, said minimizing the vulnerability of civilian, privately operated infrastructure continues to be an extraordinarily complex task. The major vulnerability is in what's known as operational technology systems, the kind of computer-driven tasks in utilities and other infrastructure that open and close valves or perform remote functions. The task of securing them is made extraordinary difficult in part by the wide variety of operating systems out there. "There's lots of them," said Masson, the director of technology at Darktrace, a leading cybersecurity company. "Look at it as 50, 60, 70 different bespoke communications systems. There's no real standardization because they're so old. Many of them were never expected to be connected to the internet." He pointed to the 2015 and 2016 cyberattacks on Ukraine's power grid, which in one instance cut electricity to 225,000 people, as examples of what's possible when hackers go after operational technology systems. It is also the kind of event that Norad is concerned about. "The kinds of equipment and machinery that supports the transport of natural gas or the provision of air conditioned services, or our water supply — all of those are critical to Canadians and our militaries," Lt.-Gen.Christopher Coates, the Canadian deputy commander, said in a recent interview with CBC News. He said Norad is focused on the capabilities that are essential to doing its job of defending North America against attack, and they try to "minimize those vulnerabilities where we can." There is, Coates said, an interesting discussion taking place at many levels of the military about what constitutes critical infrastructure. "You asked if we're satisfied. I get paid to be concerned about the defences and security of our nations. I don't think I should ever be satisfied," he added. 'Inauthentic activity' in Alberta election a possible preview of tactics in the federal campaign, report warns Privacy commissioner launches investigation into licence plate breach With ransomware on the rise, RCMP urging victims to 'be patient with police' Christian Leuprecht, a defence expert at Queen's University in Kingston, Ont., said defining critical infrastructure is a complex and evolving task. He pointed to Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election; prior to that event, he said, the definition of critical infrastructure was limited to power plants, electricity grids and even the financial system. "A lot of things people are wrestling with the question of what institutions — take, for example, democratic institutions — become critical infrastructure," said Leuprecht. The Ukrainian attacks, in the view of many defence experts, are a blueprint of what the opening shots of a future war would look like. "There's a considerable and growing awareness that our defence and critical infrastructure systems are closely tied together because countries, such as China, preserve cyberattack as a first-strike option," Leuprecht said. Masson said there are ways to limit the vulnerability of operational technology systems. Not connecting them to the internet would be a start, but many companies are choosing not to do that for efficiency reasons. He said they also can be protected with "robust" security systems.

  • Chief of the Defence Staff says natural disasters pose ‘significant threat’ to Canadians

    December 31, 2018 | Local, Security

    Chief of the Defence Staff says natural disasters pose ‘significant threat’ to Canadians

    By Amanda Connolly National Online Journalist  Global News There are not many military threats that directly loom over Canadians as the country heads into the new year. But of those that do, one of the most significant is the increased frequency of major natural disasters. In a year-end interview with the West Block‘s Mercedes Stephenson, Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Jonathan Vance said while there are a number of threats that are evolving and taking shape, one of the most concrete ones the military is facing right now comes from Mother Nature herself. “There are very few large military threats to Canada,” he said. “There are certainly threats that are evolving right now that can reach Canada, be they missiles or threats against our cybersecurity, threats to our oceans and to our shores. We face a significant threat almost every year now with natural disasters, forest fires and floods and so on that affect Canadians. So in our role to defend Canada and protect Canadians, that’s been significant.” The military gets called in to help with the response to natural disasters when those disasters overwhelm provincial authorities, which have the first responsibility to respond when things like floods, forest fires or ice storms hit. Military responses to natural disasters happen under what’s known as Operation Lentus. In 2018, the military deployed to six natural disasters after provincial authorities in all cases determined the scale of the damage was too much for them to handle alone. Those disasters included the winter storms in Eastern Quebec and the Iles-de-la-Madeleine in November, sending hundreds of soldiers and transport aircraft to assist with evacuations from the B.C. and Manitoba forest fires and deploying to take on the heavy spring flooding in B.C., New Brunswick and on the Kashechewan First Nation. Forest fires and severe flooding saw the military also respond to six disasters last year. Both represent sharp increases compared to years past as climate change continues to cause more extremes that result in the droughts, storms and thaws behind things like dangerous forest fires and floods. In 2016, for example, the military only deployed once: to the devastating Fort McMurray wildfires. They deployed twice in 2015, four times in 2014, once in 2013, three times in 2011 and once in 2010. In addition to continuing to deploy to missions overseas, the added demands on responding to disasters at home mean the military will need to increase recruitment or start to feel the strain, Vance said. And in an uncertain world, the circumstances around those missions continues to evolve. Most recently, Russia attacked three Ukrainian naval vessels passing through the shared territorial waters of the Kerch Strait. Dozens of Ukrainian sailors on those ships were detained by the Russians as prisoners of war. Vance said while that kind of aggression from Russia doesn’t directly impact Canadians deployed in the ongoing training mission in Ukraine, it does factor into considerations of what they are ultimately going to be able to achieve. “It raised the stakes somewhat,” he said. “It hasn’t affected this mission Operation UNIFIER at this juncture, but it doesn’t point to a peaceful and ultimate resolution of Ukraine that we’d like to see.” The 24 detained Ukrainian sailors have yet to be released. © 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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