Back to news

April 30, 2020 | Local, Aerospace

Former KNBA marketing boss helping raise aerospace firm Peraton's profile in capital

A recognizable face in the Kanata North business community has left the tech park to join a “startup” of a very different kind.

Deborah Lovegrove, who spent more than five years as the head of marketing at the Kanata North Business Association, recently moved on to a new position as the marketing and media manager at Peraton Canada. Most of the aerospace and defence firm’s Canadian operations are in Calgary, but last fall the company opened a new business development branch in downtown Ottawa.

While Lovegrove’s name is well-known in local business circles, the company she’s joining might be a bit less familiar to casual observers of the aerospace and defence industry.

But Peraton comes with an impressive pedigree. Its parent company, Harris Corp., was a dominant player in the sector for more than a century before it merged with fellow aerospace firm L3 Technologies last year to form L3Harris Technologies.

When Harris sold its Harris Corporation Government Services business to Veritas Capital in 2017, Veritas changed its new acquisition’s name to Peraton. The company now refers to itself as a “125-plus-year-old startup.”

With more than 3,500 employees and annual revenues exceeding US$1 billion, the Virginia-based firm is quickly making its own mark in the aerospace realm. Peraton has partnered with government agencies such as NASA and Canada’s Department of National Defence to provide supply chain management, engineering solutions and maintenance and repair services on a range of projects in the space, defence, cybersecurity and communications fields. 

The company is involved in a number of high-profile projects in this country, including an effort to commercialize advanced drone systems as well as bids from Boeing and Saab to replace the Royal Canadian Air Force’s aging fleet of F-18 fighter jets – a contract with a total value of nearly $20 billion.

Lovegrove, whose 25-year marketing career also includes stints in government and other non-profit trade organizations, said the new job gets her back to an industry that fascinated her when she managed marketing and promotional activities for the Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute in 2013 and 2014.

“It was tough to leave (the KNBA) because I’d been there almost six years,” Lovegrove says. “But I was definitely looking for some sort of change. It was time to try a new challenge.”

With the range of opportunities in Peraton’s project pipeline, Lovegrove said the chance to get back into the aerospace industry was too good to pass up.

“I’m a skydiver. Anything to do with planes and speed is something that I find particularly fascinating,” she says with a laugh. “They’re working on some really cool projects right now.”

On the same subject

  • Canada Extends CAE’s NFTC Contract Through 2027 Valued at More than $550M CAD
  • Assessing the costs and benefits of Canada's 12-year F-35 odyssey

    March 30, 2022 | Local, Aerospace

    Assessing the costs and benefits of Canada's 12-year F-35 odyssey

    There was no fake cockpit, no smiles or thumbs up as Procurement Minister Filomena Tassi and Defence Minister Anita Anand made the announcement that Canada was going with the F-35.

  • Cost of 15 new Canadian warships rises to $70 billion: PBO report

    June 25, 2019 | Local, Naval

    Cost of 15 new Canadian warships rises to $70 billion: PBO report

    By Christian Paas-Lang Canada’s 15 new warships will cost almost $70 billion over the next quarter-century, according to Parliament’s budget watchdog, and the cost could change further depending on the final design of the ships and when they actually get built. The estimate, released in a report by the parliamentary budget office Friday, is up substantially from a Canadian government estimate in 2017 that pegged the price of the project at between $56 billion and $60 billion. The 2017 estimate was itself a revision of the project’s original $26-billion price tag. Also in 2017, the PBO estimated the total cost of the ships to be $61.8 billion, but its report released Friday updates that to reflect the design of the ships — frigates known as “Type 26” — which wasn’t known at the time. It also accounts for delays in the project. The Canadian government will now pay out $69.8 billion over 26 years, the PBO estimates. In a statement released shortly after the PBO report, the Department of National Defence said it remained “confident” in its 2017 estimate, and that the “vast majority” of the difference between the estimates came from the PBO’s choice to include taxes in its projections. Taking away taxes brings the two estimates to within 10 per cent of each other, the DND said. But the department conceded that any small difference means hundreds of millions of dollars in costs for taxpayers. The PBO report says the difference in the estimates is due to a later start date for construction and a heavier ship design. The report assumes ships will start being built by the 2023-2024 fiscal year, three years later than its 2017 projection. As the timeline extends into the future, costs increase due to inflation. The PBO originally projected a displacement, or weight, of 5,400 tonnes for each ship but the Type 26 design is a heftier 6,790 tonnes per ship, an increase of more than 25 per cent. The report also includes an analysis of what effect further significant delays would have on the project. For a one-year delay, the PBO estimates, an extra $2.2 billion will be added to the project cost, and a two-year delay would cost the government $4.5 billion. In an interview Friday, the top bureaucrat in charge of procurement at the DND expressed skepticism that the heavier ships will result in as much increased cost as the PBO suggests, but he did say the potential for delays was something he is “watching more carefully.” “The labour piece is always where uncertainty can remain,” said Pat Finn, the department’s associate deputy minister for material, noting labour can make up around 40 per cent of the cost of a ship. Finn said the DND is in the “same place” as the PBO on the cost of “slippage” — delays in the project — but that he is confident the structure of the National Shipbuilding Strategy will mean the project could benefit from a skilled workforce and ongoing expertise. The purchase of additional Arctic patrol ships, announced last month, means there will not be a lapse in efficiency at Irving’s Halifax shipyard, which is building the warships, Finn said. He set a goal for start of construction earlier than the PBO assumes in its report. “We would say between mid-2022 and mid-2023, we’re in-contract and cutting steel,” Finn said. Potential delays would certainly increase costs, and it would be “absolutely no shock if there was additional delays,” said Dave Perry, a procurement expert with the Canadian Global Affairs Institute. “To this point in time, the government has not been able to meet any of the timelines that have been put forward publicly,” he added. Still, the closer you get to construction, Perry said, the less uncertainty there should be about costs and the potential for further delay. The last thing that might change the final cost of the ships is the specifics of what components are chosen to fill out the design — which radar equipment, for example, Perry said. The DND is deciding on those components as it reconciles the requirements of the ships with costs. “You could potentially get a few-percentage-point swing” in price in either direction based on those choices, said Perry. “But if you’re talking about several tens of billions of dollars, a few-percentage-points swing is real money.”

All news