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July 15, 2021 | Local, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security

Defence equipment purchases and upgrades

Colleagues and Partners in Defence,

 

Like most of Canada’s business and industry sectors, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on much of our work here at the Department of National Defence over the past 18-months. Nonetheless our teams have been working diligently to ensure that key projects continue to move forward so our members in uniform have the equipment they need, and so Canadian industry has a sustainable workload.

 

While the full impact of the pandemic is not yet known, we are now sharing updated information about our key, major equipment procurement projects that reflects the effects of the first year of COVID-19. As you will see in the documents attached we continue to evaluate the effects of the pandemic and any changes these may bring to project schedules or costs.

 

Some of the main changes that you will notice include:

  • A potential delay of 16 months to the delivery of the final Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship due to work adjustments caused by COVID-19 and other programmatic considerations. This should not impact operations, or production of future ships at the same shipyard, but we continue to monitor the schedule closely.
  • Significant progress on the Joint Support Ship, with 122 of 123 blocks of the first ship under construction. Since the documents attached were prepared, progress has continued and all 123 blocks are under construction or substantially complete. Based on this, we expect the delivery of the first ship as planned, in 2023.
  • Progress on the Fixed-Wing Search and Rescue Aircraft Replacement Project, with six aircraft now accepted in Spain, two of which have been delivered to Canada. This keeps us on track with our plan for initial operational capability in 2022.
  • Significant changes to the Cormorant Mid-Life Upgrade Project, as the original proposal was found unaffordable. We continue to work with the original equipment manufacturer to find an acceptable solution, but this will likely cause some delays to the project.
  • Continued production of the Armoured Combat Support Vehicle, with fourteen vehicles now produced, which keeps us on track for initial operational capability in 2023. Since the documents attached were prepared, production has continued, and a total of 22 vehicles have now rolled off the production line.
  • Completion of the Medium Support Vehicle System Project and Tactical Armoured Patrol Vehicle. Now that all vehicles have been received, and full operational capability has been achieved, this project will now be considered closed.

 

Our webpages will be updated in the coming days to reflect this latest information, and will continue to be updated should any changes develop in the future. You can always access information about all our major equipment procurements at https://www.canada.ca/en/services/defence/defence-equipment-purchases-upgrades.html.

 

We welcome your questions and commentary, and hope that you will continue to be involved in this effort as it evolves.

 

Vance White

C.V. (Vance) White, CD

 

Acting Director

Directorate of Outreach and Speechwriting [DOAS]   |  Assistant Deputy Minister (Public Affairs) [ADM(PA)]  

Department of National Defence  |  Government of Canada  

Vance.White@forces.gc.ca  |  C: 613-222-3272 

https://www.canada.ca/fr/services/defense/achat-mise-a-niveau-equipement-defense.html

On the same subject

  • CAE launches new virtual reality trainer

    December 3, 2019 | Local, Aerospace, Other Defence

    CAE launches new virtual reality trainer

    By: Valerie Insinna  WASHINGTON — As the U.S. Air Force looks increasingly toward virtual reality for speeding up and cutting the cost of pilot training, Canadian defense firm CAE is stepping forward with own courseware and virtual reality system with the hopes of attracting interest from the U.S. and international militaries. CAE will debut its CAE TRAX Academy curriculum and Sprint Virtual Reality trainer this week at the Interservice/Industry, Training, Simulation and Education Conference. Throughout the show, the company plans to conduct T-6 flight demonstrations using both products. CAE was inspired by the U.S. Air Force’s Pilot Training Next program, which uses virtual reality and other cutting-edge simulation technologies to immerse new pilots in flight training, allowing airment to move more quickly and effectively through training. But CAE is hoping to build on the principles of Pilot Training Next and package it to be purchased by the U.S. Air Force and international militaries, said Phillipe Perey, the head of technology for CAE’s defense business. “With Pilot Training Next, everyone is looking with big eyes saying, ‘Wow, oh wow,’ but [some generals] are sort of like, ‘Would you really embrace this and do that for your entire air force?’” he said. “So perhaps this is a way of taking the great mission of Pilot Training Next and bringing into that environment with many of the key capabilities that customers have been used to, [such as] true aircraft simulation and many other aspects like a force-feedback stick.” All of the Sprint virtual reality trainer’s hardware — including the Varjo VR-2 headset — are commercial off-the-shelf products and can be modified or swapped with a different device to meet the customer’s needs. The real value, Perey said, is the software and courseware of TRAXX Academy, in which students progress from mobile apps and VR trainers to a higher fidelity flight simulator. “I think it really drives efficiencies at two levels. One, it reduces costs because the students in there are able to progress at their own pace. Them being alpha personalities; they don’t want to be average. They want to be top of class, and they will see how other students are performing and they will be able to pick up their pace,” he said, adding that a six month class could take four months or less to complete if students are driven to complete the coursework. Secondly, the use of self-paced tools and virtual instructors decreases the need for human instructors that could be filling other needed functions within an air force, Perey said. In developing the Sprint VR trainer, CAE started with same kit as used in the Pilot Training Next program, and tweaked it to create “a better self-paced learning environment," he said. CAE made a number of adjustments: Using the same software on the virtual reality trainer as the full flight simulator, substituting a joystick that better simulates G forces, and adding haptics so that pilots can feel vibration or other sensory feedback that they would normally expect while operating the aircraft. Perey said CAE is looking forward to briefing the U.S. Air Force on TRAXX Academy and the Sprint VR trainer during I/ITSEC and getting officials’ feedback. “That’s really the priority now in the next coming months, is to build out these devices, get them in the customer’s hands, get their feedback and develop a solution that is tailored to their particular training needs,” he said. https://www.defensenews.com/digital-show-dailies/itsec/2019/12/02/cae-launches-new-virtual-reality-trainer

  • Shipbuilding industry pushes back as federal government shops for used icebreaker

    October 6, 2020 | Local, Naval

    Shipbuilding industry pushes back as federal government shops for used icebreaker

    Murray Brewster The federal government is in the market for another used icebreaker that could be converted for use by the Canadian Coast Guard on the Great Lakes — much to the dismay of shipbuilders across the country. A request for proposals to acquire an existing light icebreaker was posted on the government's procurement website in mid-September. The timing is interesting. Federal decision-makers have known for five years that the coast guard needs such a vessel for the region. The request for proposals — which closes at the end of October — was posted as U.S. lawmakers began to push bipartisan legislation through Congress to strengthen the U.S. Coast Guard's capacity to break ice and keep commerce flowing on the Great Lakes. The plan for Canada to buy a used icebreaker follows a separate decision by Transport Canada to purchase a used ferry from Spain on an emergency basis. Build them here, says industry The Canadian Marine Industry and Shipbuilding Association (CMISA), which represents most of the marine suppliers and shipyards across the country, said both decisions represent a loss of domestic jobs and at least $250 million in federal spending that could have gone into a Canadian economy hard hit by the coronavirus. "We're of the strong belief that vessels such as light icebreakers can and should be built in Canada," said Colin Cooke, president and chief executive officer of the shipbuilding association. "We have the capacity. We have the skilled trades. We have the expertise, the technical expertise. We have the shipyards. And that was what the point of the National Shipbuilding Strategy was all about." That shipbuilding strategy is supposed to direct government work to Canadian shipyards. Cooke said the plan to purchase an existing icebreaker and the deal to acquire a former Spanish ferry would both be unacceptable in normal times — but they're even less acceptable now. "We are in a COVID time when we're looking for all sorts of ways to make sure that people are employed, that businesses are able to survive — I won't say thrive, I will say survive — through the lockdowns caused by this pandemic," he said. Public Services and Procurement Canada was asked for comment last Thursday but did not respond. The tender for the light icebreaker, posted online Sept. 18, describes the purchase as a necessary interim step for the coast guard to "bridge the gap while awaiting the delivery of dedicated new vessels." Significantly, the request for proposals noted that the need for such a ship was identified five years ago — around the same time a comprehensive analysis warned that the coast guard icebreaking fleet was in dire straits and in need of immediate replacement. "In 2015-16 the CCG identified a requirement for interim icebreaking capabilities to fill gaps in capacity resulting from ships being temporarily withdrawn from service" for refit and life extension, said the tender. Two years ago, the Liberal government concluded a deal worth $827 million with Chantier Davie of Levis, Que., which operates the Davie shipyard, to refit three medium-sized commercial icebreakers for the coast guard. Used icebreakers could be scarce Tim Choi, a University of Calgary shipbuilding expert, said this recent tender suggests the federal government is operating on the flawed assumption that there is an abundance of used icebreakers on the market. The deal with the Davie shipyard was an anomaly and federal officials "got lucky" last time because there happened to be three vessels available, he said. Choi said he believes the federal government isn't likely to be so fortunate this time: his research suggests there may be only one light icebreaker out there that would fit in the bill — in Finland — and it's not clear the Finns are ready to part with it. "There are very few requirements for a vessel like that outside of Canada and the United States in the Great Lakes, St. Lawrence region," said Choi. "It's not like there's a used car lot where you can just go out and buy these things." The shipbuilding association said it can make a strong case for a fast-track build in Canada. Choi said he believes procurement services may be forced in that direction anyway because of market conditions. In mid-September, three U.S. senators — Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Todd Young (R-IN) and Gary Peters (D-MI) — introduced the Great Lakes Winter Commerce Act. The bipartisan legislation is expected to codify the U.S. Coast Guard's icebreaking operations on the Great Lakes and, more importantly, increase the size of its fleet. "Inadequate icebreaking capacity in the Great Lakes is costing us thousands of American jobs and millions in business revenue," said Baldwin in a statement. "We must boost our icebreaking capacity in the Great Lakes to keep our maritime commerce moving." https://www-cbc-ca.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/www.cbc.ca/amp/1.5751143

  • Canada to purchase 25 used Australian F-18 jets if U.S. gives approval

    June 18, 2018 | Local, Aerospace

    Canada to purchase 25 used Australian F-18 jets if U.S. gives approval

    David Pugliese, Ottawa Citizen The Liberals had originally announced they would buy 18 used Australian jets to augment Canada’s CF-18s. The extra aircraft will likely be stripped down for parts Canada has boosted the number of used Australian fighter jets it is purchasing to 25, but the deal still hinges on approval from the U.S. government. The Liberal government originally announced it would buy 18 used Australian F-18 jets to augment the Royal Canadian Air Force’s CF-18s until new aircraft can be purchased in the coming years. It has added seven more aircraft to the deal, Dan Blouin, a spokesman for the Department of National Defence, confirmed Friday. Those extra aircraft will likely be stripped down for parts. It is not known yet if the seven aircraft will be flown to Canada or shipped, Blouin added. The exact cost of the aircraft, along with weapons and other equipment, is not yet known as negotiations are still underway, Procurement Minister Carla Qualtrough recently told journalists. The Liberal government has set aside up to $500 million for the project and that would cover the seven added jets. An Australian Senate hearing was recently told that Canada was presented with a cost proposal last year. “They accepted our offer in December, but they have also put in a further request for some seven aircraft for system testing, training and spares,” Australian Air Vice Marshal Cath Roberts told the hearing. The U.S. government is examining the deal and will have to give its approval before Australia can sell the F-18s to Canada, because the F-18s were built in the U.S. with American technology. Canada is hoping for the U.S. approval sometime in the summer. Although U.S.-Canada relations have hit a slump, with President Donald Trump vowing to punish Canadians over economic disputes, the DND does not expect that to affect approval of the fighter jet deal. Pat Finn, DND’s assistant deputy minister of materiel, has said he expects a deal by the end of the year with deliveries of the Australian planes to begin in the summer of 2019. The government originally planned for the arrival of the first used aircraft next January. The government had originally planned to buy 18 new Super Hornet fighter jets from U.S. aerospace giant Boeing. But, last year, Boeing complained to the U.S. Commerce Department that Canadian subsidies for Quebec-based Bombardier allowed it to sell its C-series civilian passenger aircraft in the U.S. at cut-rate prices. As a result, the Trump administration brought in a tariff of almost 300 per cent against the Bombardier aircraft sold in the U.S. In retaliation, Canada cancelled the deal to buy the 18 Super Hornets. That project would have cost more than US$5 billion. In the meantime, the federal government expects to issue next year a request for proposals from aerospace firms who want to take part in the competition to provide Canada with 88 new fighter jets. That project, with a $19 billion price-tag, would see the purchase of a new fleet of planes that would replace both the CF-18s and the used Australian jets.A winning bidder is expected to be selected in spring 2021 and the first of the new aircraft would be delivered four years later. The last CF-18 will be retired in 2032. http://nationalpost.com/news/politics/canada-to-purchase-25-used-australian-fighter-jets-if-states-says-yes

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