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February 15, 2024 | International, Aerospace

Canada acquiring air defence and anti-drone capabilities for Canadian Armed Forces members deployed with NATO in Latvia

Today, the Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of National Defence, announced that Canadian Armed Forces members deployed to NATO’s Canada-led Battle Group in Latvia will soon have two new defensive capabilities that are being acquired on an urgent basis.

https://www.canada.ca/en/department-national-defence/news/2024/02/canada-acquiring-air-defence-and-anti-drone-capabilities-for-canadian-armed-forces-members-deployed-with-nato-in-latvia.html

On the same subject

  • La Belgique renonce aux Rafale, mais achète des blindés à la France

    October 29, 2018 | International, Land

    La Belgique renonce aux Rafale, mais achète des blindés à la France

    [ACTUALISE] Si Dassault et son Rafale n'ont pas su séduire le gouvernement belge, au grand dam d'Emmanuel Macron, la Belgique a annoncé concrétiser l'achat de 442 véhicules blindés auprès d'un consortium français composé de Nexter, Thales et Arquus, pour un montant de 1,5 milliard d'euros. Malgré un niveau de commandes plus faible que prévu. Un pas en avant, un pas en arrière. Si le gouvernement belge a suscité bien de la déception dans l'Hexagone en annonçant le 25 octobre ne pas opter pour le Rafale pour remplacer ses avions de chasse F-16 - Emmanuel Macron regrettant vendredi 26 octobre cette décision, estimant qu'elle va "stratégiquement à contrario des intérêts européens" -, il a malgré tout voulu rassurer en confirmant l'achat de véhicules blindés à un consortium français. Ce contrat avec les industriels français Nexter Systems, Arquus et Thales, avait été annoncé en juin 2017 par le ministre de la Défense belge Steven Vandeput. Il a pourtant vu sa voilure légèrement réduite : au lieu de l'achat de "60 nouveaux véhicules de combat médians du type Jaguar et 417 véhicules de combat légers du type Griffon" promis alors, l'armée de terre belge ne s'arrogerait plus que 60 Jaguar et 382 Griffon, qu'elle devrait mettre en service pour 2025-2030. "Ce partenariat inédit comporte également un volet opérationnel incluant des entraînements, de la formation et le maintien en condition opérationnelle des matériels concernés", annonce le ministère français des armées dans un communiqué du 26 octobre, précisant le montant du contrat: 1,5 milliard d'euros. 382 Griffon et 60 Jaguar Ces blindés ont été développés dans l'Hexagone dans le cadre du programme Scorpion de renouvellement des capacités de combat de l'armée de Terre française, auquel participent notamment Nexter Systems, Thales, Renault Trucks Defense ou encore Safran pour l'optronique. Le Griffon est un véhicule blindé multi-rôle (VBMR) disposant de six roues et pesant environ 25 tonnes. Il va remplacer les véhicules de l'avant blindé (VAB) que ce soit pour des missions de transport de troupes, poste de commandement, observation pour l'artillerie et évacuation sanitaire. Le Jaguar est, quant à lui, un engin blindé de reconnaissance de combat (EBRC). Lui aussi dispose de six roues et pèse près de 25 tonnes, mais il va remplacer les chars légers AMX10RC et Sagaie ainsi que les VAB équipés des missiles Hot. Canon de 40 mm télescopé, missile moyenne portée MMP, ou encore tourelleau téléopéré, vont composer son système d'armement. Du budget restant pour la future Europe de la défense Par ailleurs, en choisissant le F-35 américain de Lockheed Martin pour remplacer ses avions de chasse F-16 après 2023, au détriment du Typhoon d'Eurofighter et du Rafale de Dassault, la Belgique devrait économiser 600 millions d'euros par rapport à ce qui était budgété, a annoncé le Premier ministre Charles Michel le 25 octobre. Ils "pourront être en partie utilisés pour des pré-financements afin de sécuriser les retours sociétaux pour notre pays" alors qu'une autre partie est réservée pour d'éventuels projets futurs en matière de défense européenne, comme le futur système de combat aérien, précise le média belge La Libre Belgique. "L'offre française est arrivé après la clôture", a réagi pour sa part le 26 octobre Emmanuel Macron sur ce dossier. "Je regrette le choix fait. Il n'y avait pas que l'offre du Rafale, il y avait aussi l'Eurofighter, un vraie offre européenne. La décision est liée à une procédure belge, à des contraintes politiques du pays mais stratégiquement va a contrario des intérêt européens". "Je ferai tout pour que dans les appels d'offres à venir, des offres européennes soient promues", a promis le Président de la République, qui doit justement rendre le mois prochain une visite d'Etat à la Belgique, et discuter notamment de l'Europe de la Défense. https://www.usinenouvelle.com/article/la-belgique-renonce-aux-rafale-mais-achete-des-blindes-a-la-france.N761104

  • Canadian Coast Guard Ships Martha L. Black and Leonard J. Cowley’s Vessel Life Extension Contracts Awarded

    May 12, 2023 | International, Naval

    Canadian Coast Guard Ships Martha L. Black and Leonard J. Cowley’s Vessel Life Extension Contracts Awarded

    Ottawa, Ontario - Ensuring that Canadian Coast Guard personnel have reliable equipment to keep Canada’s waterways open and safe is a key priority for the Government of Canada. Today, the Canadian Coast Guard announced two contract awards for the vessel life extension of CCGS Martha L. Black and CCGS Leonard J. Cowley, respectively at the value of $31.5 million and $29.7 million. Both vessels will be dry-docked and enter an extended maintenance period designed to increase their operational life. Following an open competitive process, Public Services and Procurement Canada, on behalf of the Canadian Coast Guard, has awarded Verrault Navigation Inc. from Les Méchins, Quebec and Newdock from St John's, Newfoundland and Labrador for the contracts to complete vessel life extension work on the CCGS Martha L. Black and CCGS Leonard J. Cowley. A light multitasked icebreaker and buoy tender, the CCGS Martha L. Black  is primarily responsible for aids to navigation and buoy tending work in the St. Lawrence region during the warmer months of the year. During winter months, the vessel performs ice escorts and the St. Lawrence and Saguenay rivers, playing an integral role in keeping Canada’s major waterways navigable year round. The CCGS Leonard J. Cowley is an Offshore Patrol Vessel based in St Johns, Newfoundland and Labrador. While the vessel’s primary task is fisheries patrol and enforcement, the vessel also carries out search and rescue operations when needed. While the ships undergo vessel life extension from spring 2023 through summer 2024, the Canadian Coast Guard will reallocate its other maritime resources to ensure Canada’s waterways continue to be safe for all seafarers. These contract awards fall under the repair, refit and maintenance pillar of the National Shipbuilding Strategy, which is helping to ensure that Canada has a safe and effective fleet of ships to serve and protect Canadians for years to come, while providing ongoing opportunities for shipyards and suppliers across Canada. Quotes "With the National Shipbuilding Strategy, we're making sure we invest in the right equipment so that members of the Canadian Coast Guard have the gear they need to keep us safe on the water and keep crucial trade routes open all year. This work is a win-win—it boosts the economy and helps us safeguard Canada's spectacular coastlines and waters." The Honourable Joyce Murray, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard “Our government is ensuring the Canadian Coast Guard has the equipment and tools it needs to carry out its crucial work from coast to coast to coast by way of the National Shipbuilding Strategy. These contracts will extend the life of the CCGS Martha L. Black and CCGS Leonard J. Cowley while providing economic opportunities for Canadian shipyards.” The Honourable Helena Jaczek, Minister of Public Services and Procurement “Keeping our vessels in good working order is critical to ensuring that our personnel can provide Canadians with the services they need throughout the year. We are pleased to be working with Verrault Navigation and Newdock to ensure that the CCGS Martha L. Black and CCGS Leonard J. Cowley will be serving Canadians for many more years to come.” Mario Pelletier, Commissioner, Canadian Coast Guard Quick facts The CCGS Martha L. Black is homeported in Quebec City, Quebec and was originally commissioned in 1986. The ship has been serving Canadians in the St. Lawrence region since its commissioning, ensuring that waterways remain open and navigable. The CCGS Leonard J. Cowley entered into service in 1984 and has been carrying out fisheries enforcement operations from its home port in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador. The vessel is equipped with a flight deck capable of operating a light helicopter. The vessel life extension work for CCGS Martha L. Black includes: Main engine replacement Helicopter hanger steel work renewal Main deck and boat deck steel replacement Internal communication system replacement Hazardous material removal Hull sandblasting and painting Wheelhouse window maintenance The vessel life extension work for CCGS Leonard J. Cowley includes: Deck equipment replacement and refurbishment Propulsion upgrades Steel work Accommodation refurbishment Hanger and flight operations refurbishments Ventilation system upgrades  Associated links National Shipbuilding Strategy Start Your Career With the Canadian Coast Guard https://www.canada.ca/en/canadian-coast-guard/news/2023/05/canadian-coast-guard-ships-martha-l-black-and-leonard-j-cowleys-vessel-life-extension-contracts-awarded.html

  • DoD stands up its artificial intelligence hub

    July 3, 2018 | International, C4ISR

    DoD stands up its artificial intelligence hub

    By: Aaron Mehta WASHINGTON – The Defense Department has formally ordered the creation of a new hub for artificial intelligence research with Dana Deasy, the Pentagon's new chief information officer, taking the lead. Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan ordered the move in a June 27 memo. The Pentagon's goal is to launch a series of AI projects known as National Mission Initiatives within 90 days – as well as taking over the controversial Project Maven. The office will be known as the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC), with the goal of enabling “teams across DoD to swiftly deliver new AI-enabled capabilities and effectively experiment with new operating concepts in support of DoD's military missions and business functions,” according to DoD spokeswoman Lt. Col. Michelle Baldanza. Put another way, the group will have the “overarching goal of accelerating the delivery of AI-enabled capabilities, scaling the Department-wide impact of AI, and synchronizing DoD AI activities to expand Joint Force advantages,” according to a copy of the memo posted by Breaking Defense. “This effort is a Department priority. Speed and security are of the essence,” Shanahan wrote. “I expect all offices and personnel to provide all reasonable support necessary to make rapid enterprise-wide AI adoption a reality.” Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick M. Shanahan directed the DoD Chief Information Officer to standup the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC) in order to enable teams across DoD to swiftly deliver new AI-enabled capabilities and effectively experiment with new operating concepts in support of DoD's military missions and business functions. The JAIC marks the second major initiative Pentagon leaders handed over to Deasy, a former CIO with JPMorgan Chase who has only been at the Pentagon for a few weeks. Deasy also is in charge of managing the department's JEDI cloud computing contract. The idea of standing up an AI center was first confirmed by Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis on April 12, but it has been championed by the Defense Innovation Board, a group of outside experts ho advice the secretary on potential updates to how the Pentagon handles evolving technologies. According to Michael Griffin, the head of Pentagon research and engineering, the department counts 592 projects as having some form of AI in them. However, Griffin said in April 18 testimony that he did not believe every one of those projects makes sense to roll into some sort of AI hub. That concern appears to be reflected in Shanahan's memo, which orders that any AI project with a budget of $15 million or more should be coordinated with the services in order to ensure “DoD is creating Department-wide advantages.” In terms of budget, Shanahan ordered the Pentagon's comptroller to find options for funding during the current fiscal year, but the major focus is on driving resources for fiscal year 2019 and beyond. Given the support for artificial intelligence research on the Hill, it is likely the final version of the National Defense Authorization Act for FY19 will include some funding for the new office. The movement of Project Maven to the JAIC is notable. A DoD initiative to accelerate the integration of big data and machine learning, largely drawing on video feeds from unmanned systems, Maven in the last month has become a poster child for the clash of cultures between the defense department and Silicon Valley. Google was working hand-in-hand with the Pentagon on the project, until a backlash from the company's employees, who argued in an open letter signed by more than 3,000 workers that it did not want to “build warfare technology.” Moving the program to the JAIC may be an attempt to keep the project underway without Google's participation. https://www.c4isrnet.com/it-networks/2018/06/29/dod-stands-up-its-artificial-intelligence-hub/

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