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March 8, 2023 | Local, C4ISR

Cyber attack hits engineering giant with contracts for military bases, power plants

OTTAWA ? A Canadian engineering giant whose work involves critical military, power and transportation infrastructure across the country has been hit with a ransomware attack.

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    May 10, 2019 | Local, Aerospace


    OTTAWA, ON (May 6, 2019): In a hard-hitting new Macdonald-Laurier Institute report, MLI Senior Fellow Richard Shimooka takes a critical look at the government's approach to replacing Canada's aging fleet of CF-18 fighters. In the report, titled The Catastrophe: Assessing the Damage from Canada's Fighter Replacement Fiasco, he argues that Ottawa's performance on this file mirrors the SNC-Lavalin Scandal and the Mark Norman Affair. “At their heart, these two incidents represent attempts by the Liberal government to circumvent established processes to meet their partisan interests,” Shimooka explains. “This description is just as apt for the fighter program.” Canada is a participant in the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Program that has been developing the F-35s. These fighter jets were slotted to replace the RCAF's aging CF-18s, but after the program was mired in political scandal under the previous government, the Liberal government changed plans. “During the 2015 election campaign, the Liberal Party promised not to buy the F-35 jets, but instead to use a competition to identify and subsequently purchase a lower-cost competitor... this decision proved to be impossible, unethical, and potentially illegal,” writes Shimooka. From billions of dollars being wasted on a procurement process to fix a contrived capability gap to potentially threatening Canada's defence relationship with the US, the report finds that political interests have consistently been put above Canada's defence needs. Shimooka argues that “the decisions made [regarding fighter jet replacement] were purely for reasons of political interest: not a single one could be claimed as being in the country's national interest.” The “fiasco,” as Shimooka describes it, has caught the attention of both Canada's Office of the Auditor General (OAG) and senior US officials. According to documents never before seen by the public, the OAG had specifically cautioned the government against its chosen course of purchasing Australian Hornets as an interim measure in a draft report – and the final OAG report was heavily revised to obscure that recommendation. Worse still, letters from US officials reveal that “resentment and distrust towards the government of Canada had grown, particularly within the US Air Force.” These letters, which again have not been made public until now, outline the significant strategic and economic benefits that have already been accrued from being part of the JSF Program. Yet they also contain an implicit (but clear) threat that Canada could be kicked out of the Program – if Ottawa continues with its current policy of trying to obtain guaranteed industrial benefits that, by their very nature, are not allowed under the JSF Program. “There was a complete lack of logic of Canada's policy, which seemed to ignore basic facts about membership in the JSF program, including clear advantages in cost and capability that the F-35 provided.” Despite these persistent, high-level issues with the government's chosen approach on the fighter jet replacement, the file has avoided serious public scrutiny. Shimooka finds that this happened in large part due to the successful gag orders levelled by the government. “The government has also suppressed negative viewpoints within and outside the Department of National Defence, allegedly up to and including the deletion of portions of Memos to Cabinet that highlighted why certain decisions should not be taken.” Moving forward on the file may prove to be difficult; defence procurement woes have plagued Canada since Confederation, and the issues with the fighter jet replacement are deeper than just purchasing the right aircraft. Worse still, Shimooka says that the brunt of the burden of consistently poor decision-making in Ottawa will be borne by the RCAF itself. “While the negative consequences are clear for Canada as a whole," Shimooka explains, "no community has felt the impact more than the RCAF. As a result of this government's policies, its ability to conduct its most basic function, the defence of Canadian sovereignty and that of our allies, is diminishing rapidly.” “It is a sad state of affairs.” To read the commentary in full, click here.

  • Airbus delivers Canada’s first H145 to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police

    December 19, 2018 | Local, Aerospace

    Airbus delivers Canada’s first H145 to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police

    For multi-faceted law enforcement missions, the new H145 can be reconfigured quickly and easily Fort Erie, Ontario, 19 December 2018 – Airbus has delivered Canada's first H145 helicopter to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). The versatile twin-engine Airbus H145 is the latest variant of the H145 family of aircraft. RCMP's Air Support Unit will utilize the H145 for a variety of missions including surveillance and pursuit, fast roping, hoisting, Emergency Response Team operations, harbour surveillance and ship landings, and mountain search and rescue. The aircraft will be based in Langley, B.C., and will operate mainly in the Vancouver Lower Mainland region, with the ability to deploy elsewhere as required. "With its enhanced safety features and reputation for reduced maintenance and excellent availability, the multi-role H145 is an ideal aircraft for multi-faceted law enforcement missions," said Romain Trapp, President of Airbus Helicopters Canada. “We are very pleased that the H145 will enter into service to support RCMP operations, assisting the men and women who serve and protect the Canadian people.” Airbus helicopters are the aircraft of choice for law enforcement organizations across Canada, capturing 83 percent of the market. The H145 has been equipped with a wide variety of mission specific equipment including external hoist and rope down device (for 2/1 persons), Trakka A800 searchlight, Enhanced Reality System, Health Monitoring System (HMS), FLIR, Night Vision Goggles, Tactical Flight Officer (TFO) workstation and internal long range fuel tank system. The Airbus H145 leads the light twin-engine helicopter market, incorporating an innovative Helionix® avionics system and 4-axis autopilot. The aircraft's combination of speed and performance, along with the Fenestron® shrouded tail rotor, large cabin and rear-loading clamshell doors, makes it the aircraft of choice for a variety of civil missions worldwide. About Airbus Airbus is a global leader in aeronautics, space and related services. In 2017 it generated revenues of € 59 billion restated for IFRS 15 and employed a workforce of around 129,000. Airbus offers the most comprehensive range of passenger airliners from 100 to more than 600 seats. Airbus is also a European leader providing tanker, combat, transport and mission aircraft, as well as one of the world's leading space companies. In helicopters, Airbus provides the most efficient civil and military rotorcraft solutions worldwide.

  • Remplacement des CP-140 | Un front commun pancanadien réclame un appel d’offres

    May 26, 2023 | Local, Aerospace

    Remplacement des CP-140 | Un front commun pancanadien réclame un appel d’offres

    Un front commun pancanadien, parmi lequel on retrouve Bombardier et d’autres entreprises québécoises, interpelle le premier ministre Justin Trudeau dans le dossier du remplacement d’avions de surveillance. L’absence d’un appel d’offres « freinerait inutilement » les avancées technologiques développées ici, plaident-ils dans une lettre obtenue par La Presse.

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