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April 8, 2022 | Local, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security


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  • Recrafting the Fighter role

    January 7, 2019 | Local, Aerospace

    Recrafting the Fighter role

    ROBBIN LAIRD, © 2018 FrontLine (Vol 15, No 6) It's clear that combat capabilities and operations are being recrafted across the globe and, as operational contexts change, the evolution of the role of fighters is at the center of that shift. This year's International Fighter Conference held in Berlin provided a chance to focus on the role of fighters in the strategic shift from land wars to higher intensity operations. The baseline assumption for the conference can be simply put: air superiority can no longer be assumed, and needs to be created in contested environments. Competitors like China and Russia are putting significant effort into shaping concepts of operations and modernizing force structures which will allow them to challenge the ability of liberal democracies to establish air superiority and to dominate future crises. There was a clear consensus on this point, but, of course, working the specifics of defeating such an adversary brings in broader concepts of force design and operations. While the air forces of liberal democracies all face the common threat of operating in contested airspace, the preferred solutions vary greatly from one nation to another, so the conference worked from that common assumption rather than focusing on specific solutions. The coming of the F-35 global enterprise is a clear force for change. In one presentation, a senior RAF officer outlined how the UK would both contribute to and benefit from the F-35 global enterprise. “The future is now,” he began, as he laid out how he saw interactions among F-35 partners in shaping common and distinctive approaches to air power modernization driven by the introduction of the F-35. Full article:

  • Heron and MQ-9 drones approved for Canadian military program

    October 29, 2019 | Local, Aerospace

    Heron and MQ-9 drones approved for Canadian military program

    DAVID PUGLIESE, OTTAWA CITIZEN The Department of National Defence's Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) Project has entered into a new phase with discussions ongoing with two drone manufacturers. The RPAS project entered the definition phase on April 5 and shortly after the federal government determined two qualified suppliers were eligible for the program, Esprit de Corps military magazine reports. Public Services and Procurement Canada determined that both L3 Technologies MAS Inc. and General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., along with the U.S. government, were qualified suppliers. Under the government's Invitation to Qualify process, L3 Technologies MAS Inc. proposed the Heron TP aircraft from Israeli Aircraft Industries while the U.S. government and General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. qualified with the MQ-9 aircraft. “The project team officially initiated engagement with qualified suppliers in July 2019 as part of the Refine & Review Requirements phase,” Defence department spokeswoman Jessica Lamirande explained to Esprit de Corps. “As part of the RRR phase, the project team will continue to engage qualified suppliers and develop a Request For Proposal.” Canada's quest for an uninhabited aerial vehicle system has been under way for years. In 2006 the military laid down plans to have such a drone fleet operational by 2009. That was pushed back to 2012. Over the years the Canadian Armed Forces tried other means to buy a fleet of longer-range UAVs. In 2007 the military tried to push a sole source purchase of Predators but the Conservative government decided against that proposal. During the Libyan war in 2011, senior Canadian defence leaders pitched to the government the idea of spending up to $600 million for armed drones to take part in that conflict. That proposal was also declined. For the Afghan war, the Canadian military purchased the Sperwer, and later leased a Heron drone fleet from MDA of Richmond, BC for missions in Kandahar. Timelines have continually been revised for the drone acquisition program, originally called the Joint Unmanned Surveillance, Target Acquisition System or JUSTAS. The contract had been expected in 2018. But Lamirande said the contract for the RPAS project is now to be awarded in the Fiscal Year 2022-2023. She noted that the RPAS project will procure a new fleet of armed, medium altitude, long endurance drones capable of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and precision strike in support of Canadian Armed Forces operations. The RPAS project will complement existing capabilities, such as the CP-140 patrol aircraft. “This capability will be integrated into a network of systems to enable near real-time flow of information essential to CAF operations, and to support domestic law enforcement and civilian authorities,” Lamirande said. “Additionally, it will significantly expand Canada's ability to contribute to joint intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations with its allies.” The Defence Capabilities Blueprint puts funding for the project at between $1 billion and $4.99 billion but no further details have been provided Lamirande said the release of that RFP is expected in Fiscal Year 2020-2021.

  • Canadian Coast Guard Ship Vincent Massey joins the icebreaker fleet

    October 17, 2022 | Local, Naval

    Canadian Coast Guard Ship Vincent Massey joins the icebreaker fleet

    Quebec City, Quebec - Enhancing the capacity of our fleet and maintaining our vessels to be reliable and safe are top priorities for the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG). Through its work, the Canadian Coast Guard's icebreaking program supports safe marine navigation in and around ice-covered waters, and ensures our waterways are safe and accessible for business year-round. Today, the Canadian Coast Guard Ship (CCGS) Vincent Massey was delivered to the CCG upon completion of conversion work by Chantier Davie in Lévis, Quebec. The CCGS Vincent Massey has arrived at its homeport in Québec City, Québec to prepare for the upcoming icebreaking season. The vessel joins the fleet of medium icebreakers that serve to keep Eastern Canada's waterways open and safe throughout the winter months. In August 2018, the Canadian Coast Guard purchased three medium commercial icebreakers through Chantier Davie. In preparation for service, all three vessels underwent refit and conversion work at Chantier Davie. These ships were acquired to ensure the continuation of essential icebreaking services in Atlantic Canada, the St. Lawrence and the Great Lakes, as well as the Arctic, during vessel life extension and repair periods to the existing fleet. This acquisition and maintenance of the ships was completed under the National Shipbuilding Strategy which helps ensure the Canadian Coast Guard continues to deliver essential icebreaking services, keeping shipping routes open and safe while preventing ice jams and flooding. The CCGS Vincent Massey is also equipped to support aids to navigation and provide emergency services such as search and rescue and environmental response. Through the National Shipbuilding Strategy, the Government of Canada is revitalizing and re-invigorating Canada's marine industry, while also ensuring employees of the Canadian Coast Guard have effective and modern equipment they need to continue serving Canadians proudly.

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