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September 25, 2018 | Local, Aerospace

Peraton expands Calgary operations to advance Canada defence program support

As a leading provider of high value logistics and support to Canadian defence for more than 35 years, Peraton recently completed its Calgary facility operations expansion and modernization.

The new facility will enable broader support of Canada’s CF-188 fighter fleet and position the company for future growth on fighter platforms and programs.

Peraton’s Calgary facility, at 76,000-plus square feet, now with an engineering lab for operational design and development, is a “one-stop-shop” for integrated logistics support.

The site provides full life-cycle supply chain management for the largest allocation of government-owned materiel in Canada.

“With our proven record of efficiency, having reduced costs for the CF-188 fleet, we are well equipped and ready to scale to support Canada’s future fighter program,” said Gus Bontzos, president, Defence and Electronic Warfare sector.

“We are also proud partners in spurring enterprise development, with 60 per cent of our supplier base in Canada comprised primarily of small to medium sized businesses.”

Peraton’s investment is helping to propel Calgary’s economic growth, sparking renewed growth in specialized high-tech jobs.

With its development of a platform-agnostic, scalable sustainment model that can optimize program performance for any platform–air, land, or sea, the Peraton model represents the next generation of cooperative military advancement.

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    February 4, 2019 | Local, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security, Other Defence


    The CDA Institute, in collaboration with the 13thDefence and Security Economists Workshop, hosted two panel discussions on the themes of Building Security and Defence in the Canadian Economy and a discussion of the book Small Wars, Big Data, published by Princeton University Press in 2018. This morning of roundtables brought both scholars and practitioners together for a stimulating session of dialogue on the challenges of generating the economic capacity needed to protect Canadians wherever they might be and the role that empirical data can play in shaping military strategy and defence policies in asymmetric conflicts. The CDA Institute provided student rapporteurs for the event whose summaries of the proceedings follow.

  • Norway’s experience with F-35 fighter jets offers lesson for Canada

    November 23, 2018 | Local, Aerospace

    Norway’s experience with F-35 fighter jets offers lesson for Canada

    By Levon Sevunts, Radio Canada International As the federal government embarks on a much delayed and criticized quest to find a replacement for its ageing fleet of CF-18 Hornet fighter jets, Norway’s saga with the acquisition of F-35 stealth fighters offers Canada a valuable lesson. The search for a replacement for CF-18 got a new urgency Tuesday after a blistering report by Canada’s auditor general, who lambasted the Liberal government’s handling of the file that could have serious implications for Ottawa’s ability to fulfill its NATO and NORAD obligations. Just like Ottawa, Oslo was one of the first NATO countries to show interest in the new stealth multirole fighters developed by U.S. defence giant Lockheed Martin. In June 2009, the Norwegian Parliament decided that the F-35A Lightning II would replace its current fleet of F-16 fighter jets. Unlike Ottawa, despite strong internal opposition, Oslo saw things through. By 2025, Norway hopes to have a fleet of 52 F-35s.​ No-show at Trident Juncture demonstration Norwegian authorities were hoping to showcase their newest and most expensive defence acquisition in the country’s history at a massive display of NATO’s military might during the official launch of Trident Juncture 2018 exercise on Oct. 30. But much to the chagrin of dozens of journalists, NATO officials and dignitaries that had assembled on the shores of the Trondheim Fjord in central Norway to watch the display of land, sea and air power, the Norwegian F-35s never showed up. Lt.-Col. Stale Nymoen, commander of the 332 Squadron of the Royal Norwegian Air Force and one of the first Norwegian pilots to learn to fly the F-35s, said strong crosswinds at the Ørland Air Base forced officials to cancel the planned overflight. The cancellation of the overflight on an otherwise perfect autumn day had nothing to do with the jet’s capabilities, Nymoen said. “Seen from my perspective, it’s one of the best fighter aircraft out there,” Nymoen told a roomful of journalists during a briefing at the Ørland Air Base in central Norway earlier this month. But it has taken even experienced pilots like him years to learn to fly the new fighter jets and, just as importantly, unlearn old habits, Nymoen said. Learning to crawl before walking Norway received its first four F-35s in January of 2017. But all of them were stationed at the Luke Air Force Base in Phoenix, Arizona, where Norwegian, U.S. and Italian pilots trained on the new aircraft. It wasn’t until November of 2017 that the stealth fighter jets actually arrived for service in Norway, at the Ørland Air Base, which is going through a massive infrastructure upgrade to house the new planes. Operating and flying them in Norway with its harsh North Atlantic and Arctic climate is a whole new experience, Nymoen said. “What is different from Luke when we train to operate the aircraft here is temperatures, winter, icy and slippery runways, winds,” Nymoen said. “Those are conditions that we don’t necessarily get to train for when we’re training in the United States.” And the Norwegian air force is taking a very cautious approach to avoid any accidents, he said. “We have to learn to crawl before we can walk, and we have to learn to walk before we can run,” Nymoen said. The first squadron of F-35s is expected to reach initial operational capability in 2019 and full operational capability only in 2025, eight years after the aircraft were delivered to Norway. This timeline would also apply to Canada, if Lockheed Martin were to emerge as the winner of the competition to buy 98 advanced aircraft for the Royal Canadian Air Force announced by the Liberal government last December. The list of eligible suppliers identified by the federal government also includes France’s Dassault Aviation, Sweden’s SAAB, the U.K.’s Airbus Defense and Space, and the U.S. defence and aerospace giant Boeing. If the federal government manages to stick to its timetable, a contract award is anticipated in 2022 and the first replacement aircraft delivered in 2025. This means that the current fleet of Canadian CF-18s and the 18 additional second-hand Australian F-18s the federal government is buying as a stopgap measure will have to operate until at least 2030, experts say.

  • U.S. sent ‘blunt’ letter to Canada criticizing defence spending: sources

    November 26, 2019 | Local, Other Defence

    U.S. sent ‘blunt’ letter to Canada criticizing defence spending: sources

    BY MERCEDES STEPHENSON AND KERRI BREEN Canada has been officially called out by the United States over how much it spends on the military, Global News has learned. A “blunt” letter from the U.S. government was delivered to the Department of National Defence that criticized Canadian defence spending levels and repeated American demands that Canada meet NATO targets. Global News has not seen the letter — said to have a frustrated, critical tone — but multiple sources have confirmed it was sent and received. U.S. President Donald Trump has long called for members of the 29-nation military alliance to beef up their budgets for defence. His national security adviser Robert O’Brien, who spoke Saturday at the Halifax International Security Forum, said getting NATO members to meet the established target — two per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) — is an urgent priority. “There are very serious threats to our freedom and our security and if NATO is going to be effective, and if we want to put our money where our talk is, we got to spend that money to defend ourselves,” he said. Nations including Canada agreed at the 2014 NATO summit in Wales​ to move towards the military spending target within a decade, he noted. “We expect our friends and our colleagues to live up to their commitments and their promises,” he said. He also praised Canada’s plan to build and deploy Arctic patrol vessels. The North, he said, is going to be the new “frontline” of defence, as Russia and China have made it clear they are going to militarize the Arctic. One Canadian source told Global News that the U.S. is concerned that Canada does not take the threat from those countries in the Arctic seriously and wants the country to boost its contributions in that area. Just seven countries — including the U.S. and the U.K. — have met NATO’s two per cent of GDP spending goal, according to figures released in June. NATO’s estimates show Canada is expected to spend 1.27 per cent of its GDP on the military this year, up from about one per cent in 2014. Canada does fare better when you look at its defence budget in dollars and cents, said Dave Perry, vice president of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute. The country spends the sixth highest amount overall among NATO members on its military. As for meeting the percentage of GDP target, Perry’s not optimistic despite planned increases in the defence budget. “Canada is not on a path to live up to the commitments that we were signing up for in 2014 in Wales,” he said. Last year, Canada spent about $22.9 billion on the Department of National Defence. But Ottawa intends to dramatically boost military spending in the coming years. In 2017, the government released a plan to increase the budget to almost $33 billion annually within a decade. Asked about the letter from the U.S., Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan touted this plan to strengthen spending. Discussions around “burden sharing” within the bloc have been happening for some time, he said. He noted that under the government’s plan, the defence budget would see an increase of 70 per cent, a “significant amount.” “The relationship with Canada and the U.S., the defence relationship, I think, is even stronger now, because they see a tangible plan that we have created,” he said on an episode of The West Block that aired Sunday. “It’s working, actually, extremely well.” The U.S. sending such a letter is an unusual, formal means of relaying a message, and it represents an escalation from previous attempts to get Canada to spend more on its military. That pressure has been increasing in recent weeks ahead of the NATO summit in London starting on Dec. 3. In fact, the same message has been conveyed in multiple ways to the federal government, a diplomatic source said, and NATO itself also wants to see more military spending from Canada. In July, however, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg suggested publicly he was happy with improvements in Canadian defence spending. “Under your leadership,” he said to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, ​​”Canada has stepped up its contributions to our NATO alliance including with forces for NATO missions and operations and increased spending.” But one former defence minister said the letter from the U.S. — NATO’s leader in defence spending in relation to its GDP — was not a good sign. Peter MacKay said such a letter amounts to “a very serious diplomatic slap — not on the wrist, but in the face.” During his time in government, the former Nova Scotia Conservative MP said he had talks with defence secretaries regarding Canadian military spending and the country’s goal of reaching two per cent. “Those discussions can be forceful and frank but they took place face to face,” said MacKay, who was defence minister for six years under former prime minister Stephen Harper. “Sending a démarche (diplomatic letter) is really ratcheting it up a notch.”

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