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November 9, 2022 | Local, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security, Other Defence

Competitive Projects launches new and exciting challenges through its next Call for Proposals!

The Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security (IDEaS) program has launched four new challenges under its Competitive Projects element. These new challenges cover a wide scope of Department of National Defence and Canadian Armed Forces (DND/CAF) needs including the Arctic domain, cognitive radio communications, human autonomy teaming, and just-in-time resupply of common medical equipment and devices in austere environments.

Don’t miss the opportunity to apply to:

On the same subject

  • RCAF change of command marks new era

    May 14, 2018 | Local, Aerospace

    RCAF change of command marks new era

    by Chris Thatcher Against a backdrop of a Douglas DC-3, a Bombardier Challenger 604, a McDonnell Douglas CF-188B and a Boeing CH-113 Labrador, LGen Michael Hood passed command of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) to LGen Al Meinzinger on May 4, 2018. The ceremony was conducted at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa and included an honour guard parade from 8 Wing Trenton, Ont., which Hood led from 2007 to 2009, and a Colour Party from 429 Tactical Airlift Squadron, the last squadron he commanded. It also featured the central band of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and the pipes and drums of 8 Wing. A planned flyover of two CH-146 Griffon helicopters, two CF-188 Hornets and one CC-130J Hercules was cancelled due to poor weather. The transfer of command from Hood, an air combat systems officer, to Meinzinger, a helicopter pilot, marked the first time the new RCAF colours were paraded since they were presented by the Governor General in September. The former colours were passed to the custody of the Toronto Maple Leafs in a ceremony in February. The setting of historic Air Force and Canadian airframes was a fitting reminder of the importance of the RCAF legacy, a history both commanders referenced in remarks to an audience of several hundred personnel, families and dignitaries, including seven former commanders, three former Chiefs of the Defence Staff (CDS), and three former deputy commanders of NORAD. The change of command is more than passing a torch, “it's poignant,” said CDS Gen Jonathan Vance. “[It] marks the very cadence of life in the armed forces.” Hood assumed command of the RCAF in July 2015, culminating a 33-year career that included many years in a CC-130 Hercules as well as staff tours with the Governor General, the United States Air Force, and in senior positions with the CAF and RCAF. He praised the “exceptional people” of the Air Force and their skill on operations. “You are inheriting a great team you helped build,” he told Meinzinger. Hood's one lament, he said, was the pace and lack of political agreement on vital procurement programs, in particular the replacement of the CF-188 Hornets. “While I'm happy [the new] defence policy has a lot of great opportunity for the Air Force, and we have a vision moving forward for an open and transparent competition for the replacement of the fighter, I can tell you it is not happening fast enough,” he said. “And I am going to continue to encourage, in my role as a civilian, the government to try and accelerate the acquisition of that replacement fighter.” Vance thanked Hood for his “sound and clear” advice on a number of complex files, including acquisition projects such as fighter jets and fixed-wing search and rescue aircraft, “ferocious advice” that was delivered in private and “honest execution delivered in public.” He also commended Hood for his efforts to instill a new generation of innovators within the RCAF by seeking out ideas from across the Air Force and seconding non-commissioned and junior officers to an entrepreneurial environment in a technology hub in Waterloo, Ont. “It speaks to your care for the future ... of the RCAF,” said Vance. Meinzinger, who served as deputy commander of the RCAF for two years under Hood, also applauded the innovation agenda and said he would, “continue to focus on innovation as we look to the future.” A CH-135 Twin Huey and CH-146 Griffon pilot with four flying tours, Meinzinger has served in a variety of senior staff roles in the CAF, RCAF and NORAD, most recently as director of staff in the Strategic Joint Staff under Gen Vance. He commanded the Joint Task Force Afghanistan air wing in Kandahar in 2011, overseeing air wing support to combat operations, and has led both the training and education systems as commanding officer of 403 Helicopter Operational Training Squadron in 2006 and later, in 2013, as commandant of the Royal Military College of Canada. His experience taught him the importance of “flying in formation” and working “as one team,” said Meinzinger. Born in Trenton and raised on the base, he said he was “indentured for life” and learned at an early age “what it means to be part of a military family.” His father, a chief warrant officer, served 36 years in the CAF. Meinzinger said he intends to maintain the RCAF reputation for excellence on operations. “Our ability to deliver air power effects in an integrated manner with precision, agility and professionalism is our true calling card.” But he also emphasized people as a personal priority at a time when the Air Force is wrestling with recruitment and, perhaps more challenging, retention. “In my view, the RCAF can only be successful ... if we have well-led, healthy, robust and inclusive squadrons and tactical units. I firmly believe that if we can get it right within our 39 flying units and 85 tactical units, our future will be all that brighter,” he said, pledging that decisions would be made with the understanding that squadrons “remain the life blood of the RCAF.” https://www.skiesmag.com/news/rcaf-change-command-marks-new-era/

  • Royal Canadian Navy ships deploy to Indo-Pacific Region

    August 14, 2023 | Local, Naval

    Royal Canadian Navy ships deploy to Indo-Pacific Region

    Today, His Majesty’s Canadian Ships (HMCS) Ottawa and Vancouver, alongside Naval Replenishment Unit Motor Vessel (MV) Asterix, departed from Esquimalt for the Indo-Pacific Region. HMCS Ottawa and Vancouver are the second and third Royal Canadian Navy warships to deploy to the Indo-Pacific Region in 2023. This delivers on Canada’s commitment to increase the number of warships annually deployed to the Indo-Pacific Region from two to three, starting this year.

  • For Canada, multibillion-dollar training program is the FAcT of the matter

    November 10, 2020 | Local, Aerospace, C4ISR

    For Canada, multibillion-dollar training program is the FAcT of the matter

    By: David Pugliese VICTORIA, British Columbia — The Royal Canadian Air Force plans to combine two training programs under a single, multibillion-dollar project, a move that will lead to incumbent contractors CAE and a consortium led by KF Aerospace facing off against a series of large firms. The government plans to issue a call for bids from defense companies next year for the Future Aircrew Training program, or FAcT. A draft bid package is expected to be released by the end of the year so prequalified firms can provide feedback to the Canadian Armed Forces. The contract is estimated to be worth at least CA$5 billion (U.S. $3.75 billion) and will provide training for Air Force pilots and crew for 20 years. Canada plans to award the contract in 2023. The government has already approved a list of firms that will be authorized to bid on FAcT, including Babcock Canada, Leonardo Canada, Lockheed Martin Canada and SkyAlyne Canada. SkyAlyne is a partnership between major Canadian defense firms CAE and KF Aerospace. Those two companies currently provide the two main aircrew training programs to the Air Force. Under FAcT, the number of pilots trained annually will slightly increase. The pilot production numbers for FAcT are expected to range from about 105 to a maximum of 120. In addition, air combat systems officers and airborne electronic sensor operators will also be trained under the program. Currently, that training is done in-house by the service. “We're very focused on getting this to contract,” Air Force Col. Pete Saunders, director of air simulation and training, said of FAcT. “In the end, the foundation of the Air Force is our ability to generate qualified aviators. That is what FAcT is all about.” Consolidation FAcT will combine two existing training programs. The first, NATO Flying Training in Canada, is provided by CAE's military aviation training division, which operates out of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. The program offers undergraduate and postgraduate pilot training in military-controlled airspace using training aircraft with advanced glass cockpits. That contact ends in 2023. The second program is the Contracted Flying Training and Support, which is run by a KF Aerospace-led consortium. Training is conducted out of the Southport Aerospace Centre near Portage la Prairie, Manitoba. The program “oversees the flying training and support services contract for the Primary and Basic Flying Training, Multi-Engine and Helicopter pilot training programs,” according to the government. That contract ends in 2027. Training for Royal Canadian Air Force pilots involves various fixed-wing aircraft — including the Grob 120A, CT-156 Harvard II, CT-155 Hawk and King Air C90 — as well as Bell 206 and 412 helicopters. Air combat systems officers and airborne electronic sensor operators are trained on CT-142 Dash-8 planes. Simulation is also extensively used in aircrew training. Saunders said the Air Force is being as flexible as possible to allow industry competitors to come up with what they believe will be the best solution for the service's training needs. “The way we're approaching this is that it is up to them to determine what training aids are required,” he explained. “They will determine what is the appropriate mix of simulation and live fly. They will look at the number and type of aircraft they require in order to meet their training solution.” However, officials are leaving no room for flexibility in the training's outcome. “What we are being prescriptive about is the standard that a graduate has to achieve,” Saunders said. The service has cooperated with the qualified bidders, consulting with them on components of what will be in the FAcT bid package — essentially the request for proposals. Saunders said he hopes to release the RFP by mid-2021. Apart from providing training and maintenance, the winning bidder must revitalize the aging training infrastructure, he added. The Air Force expects the construction of a new training center for air combat systems officers and airborne electronic sensor operators, as the current facility in Winnipeg, Manitoba, is quite old. Other new infrastructure, such as hangars, will also likely be built. Officials are requiring the winning supplier to invest in Canada equal to the value of the contract, but the government is also focused on a winning bid that emphasizes domestic firms playing a major role in training, simulation and in-service support. The government also has an ongoing competition for the acquisition of a new fighter jet to replace the Air Force's fleet of CF-18 aircraft. Canada isn't expected to announce the winning bid until at least 2022, with deliveries of aircraft scheduled for 2025. But Saunders said training for that future aircraft will be separate from FAcT, as the requirements are set by a different Air Force program office. https://www.defensenews.com/training-sim/2020/11/09/for-canada-multibillion-dollar-training-program-is-the-fact-of-the-matter/

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