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May 2, 2022 | Local, Aerospace

Poland shortlists Boeing, Bell for combat helo acquisition

Other players who have expressed interest in supplying their aircraft to Poland include Airbus and Leonardo.

On the same subject

  • Canadian military to receive new pistols: Bids to be requested in February

    January 5, 2021 | Local, Land

    Canadian military to receive new pistols: Bids to be requested in February

    David Pugliese • Ottawa Citizen The new handguns will replace the Second World War-era Browning Hi-Power pistols. The Second World War-era pistols used by the Canadian military will soon be replaced as the federal government plans to request bids for a new handgun in February. A contract is expected to be awarded by September with initial deliveries beginning in the summer of 2022, Department of National Defence spokesperson Jessica Lamirande said. The new handguns will replace the Second World War-era Browning Hi-Power pistols. The military was originally going to make an initial purchase of 9,000 pistols for the Canadian Army. But that number has increased to 16,500 as handguns will also be bought for the Royal Canadian Air Force and military police, Lamirande noted. The firearms will be modular, meaning they can be reconfigured for various roles. Attachments such as improved targeting systems can also be installed on the guns. “The procurement will also include options to support future requirements of additional modular pistols, but the precise number has not yet been confirmed as it will depend on requirements,” Lamirande explained. “The total procurement is expected to be up to 20,000 modular pistols.”

  • Feds, Irving ask trade tribunal to toss challenge to warship contract

    December 27, 2018 | Local, Naval

    Feds, Irving ask trade tribunal to toss challenge to warship contract

    By Lee Berthiaume, The Canadian Press — Dec 25 2018 OTTAWA — The federal government and Halifax-based Irving Shipbuilding are asking a trade tribunal to throw out a challenge to their handling of a high-stakes competition to design the navy's new $60-billion fleet of warships. In separate submissions to the Canadian International Trade Tribunal, the federal procurement department and Irving say the challenge filed by Alion Science and Technology of Virginia does not meet the requirements for a tribunal hearing. Alion was one of three companies, along with U.S. defence giant Lockheed Martin and Spanish firm Navantia, vying to design the new warships, which are to be built by Irving and serve as the navy's backbone for most of this century. While Lockheed was selected as the preferred bidder and is negotiating a final design contract with the government and Irving, Alion alleges the company's design did not meet the navy's requirements and should have been disqualified. Two of those requirements related to the ship's speed, Alion alleged, while the third related to the number of crew berths. Alion has asked both the trade tribunal and the Federal Court to stop any deal with Lockheed. But the government and Irving say the contract is exempt from normal trade laws, which the tribunal is charged with enforcing, because of a special "national security exception," meaning there is "no jurisdiction for the tribunal to conduct an inquiry." Another reason the challenge should be quashed, they argue, is that Alion is not a Canadian company, which is a requirement for being able to ask the tribunal to consider a complaint. Alion's challenge has been formally filed by its Canadian subsidiary, but the government and Irving say that subsidiary was never actually qualified to be a bidder in the competition — only its American parent. The responses from the government and Irving are the latest twist in the largest military purchase in Canadian history, which will see 15 new warships built to replace the navy's 12 aging Halifax-class frigates and three already-retired Iroquois-class destroyers. The trade tribunal ordered the government last month not to award a final contract to Lockheed until it had investigated Alion's complaint, but rescinded the order after a senior procurement official warned that the deal was "urgent." The procurement department has not explained why the deal is urgent. Lockheed's bid was contentious from the moment the design competition was launched in October 2016. The federal government had originally said it wanted a "mature design" for its new warship fleet, which was widely interpreted as meaning a vessel that has already been built and used by another navy. But the first Type 26 frigates, upon which Lockheed's proposal was based, are only now being built by the British government and the design has not yet been tested in full operation. There were also complaints from industry that the deck was stacked in the Type 26's favour because of Irving's connections with British shipbuilder BAE, which originally designed the Type 26 and partnered with Lockheed to offer the ship to Canada. Irving, which worked with the federal government to pick the top design, also partnered with BAE in 2016 on an ultimately unsuccessful bid to maintain the navy's new Arctic patrol vessels and supply ships. That 35-year contract ended up going to another company. Irving and the federal government have repeatedly rejected such complaints, saying they conducted numerous consultations with industry and used a variety of firewalls and safeguards to ensure the choice was completely fair. But industry insiders had long warned that Lockheed's selection as the top bidder, combined with numerous changes to the requirements and competition terms after it was launched — including a number of deadline extensions — would spark lawsuits. Government officials acknowledged last month the threat of legal action, which has become a favourite tactic for companies that lose defence contracts, but expressed confidence that they would be able to defend against such an attack. —Follow @leeberthiaume on Twitter. Lee Berthiaume, The Canadian Press

  • For CAE the future means expansion in cyber, space and more defense acquisitions

    February 8, 2021 | Local, Aerospace, C4ISR, Security

    For CAE the future means expansion in cyber, space and more defense acquisitions

    By: Aaron Mehta WASHINGTON — With defense budgets around the globe expected to fall, simulation and training firm CAE is moving to diversify its defense and security portfolio, with an emphasis on space and cyber capabilities. Dan Gelston, who took over CAE's defense and security business unit in August 2020, told Defense News that his team is also looking to partner with defense primes during the early stages of new competitions, a shift which could require CAE investing in research and engineering efforts. Over the last two decades, CAE was “very focused” on traditional platforms, particularly planes and unmanned aerial vehicles, Gelston said. Now, he expects the future of the company to involve “a real focus on space and cyber, not only for that customer, but also for CAE. And those are areas that we need to augment our capabilities to make sure that we're providing the best product, the best service to help our customers.” The full interview will air as part of CAE's OneWorld event Feb. 9. CAE reported just over $1 billion in defense revenues in 2019, which made it the highest-ranked Canadian company on the annual Defense News Top 100 list. Currently, Gelston's unit makes up about 40 percent of the company's overall business, but he sees a chance to hit a “much larger” market going forward. Gelston's plan includes increasing the “security” part of the company's “defense and security” portfolio by aggressively pursuing contracts for government agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security and Transportation Security Administration. This would competing for what he describes as a “multi-hundred-million dollar opportunity with TSA here in the next few months” for training security forces for airports. “With space assets ability to target, with cyber assets ability to attack anywhere and everywhere, it's not just the Pentagon, it's critical infrastructure, it's a lot of what we traditionally have separated into DHS. So that security element is crucial,” he said. “We could really bring a lot of our research and development, our capabilities in machine learning and AI and virtual reality and augmented learning management systems” to DHS, which “you could categorize a little more of a traditional time phased approach to training.” As the company seeks to expand into the non-defense security realm, Gelston said the company is keeping an eye out for potential merger and acquisition options, saying “I certainly would like to think in the next 18 to 24 months a property would come along, that's particularly attractive to me.” 2020 was a rocky year for CAE, which was hit particularly hard given its ties to the commercial aviation space. But the company worked quickly to shave costs, and toward the end of the year issued a public offering, with the goal of raising roughly $2 billion Canadian ($1.56 bn American). The plan, as Gelston said, was to have enough “dry powder to make sure that we're coming out leaning forward out of the COVID crisis. We don't want to be hunkering down just trying to survive. We want to take advantage of this.” While not discussing specifics, Gelston emphasized that “I'd love to get a little more robust training capability in the cyber realm... that's an area that that I can certainly see augmenting with potential acquisition here in the next 18 to 24 months if the right property comes along, I think we would be positioned to potentially pursue that.” Teaming with defense manufacturers That focus on new areas doesn't mean the company is turning away from traditional defense projects, but it does come with a greater focus on teaming up with prime contractors early in the process to offer the DoD and other customers a package solution from the start, as opposed to bidding on training and simulation contracts after a design has been selected. He pointed to the surprise rapid test-flight of the Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) demonstrator from last September as an example of how defense acquisition is speeding up. “Our defense acquisition officials are really looking for skin in the game from industry” early on, he said. “We don't have the time for the classic cost-plus development work, years and years and multiple phases” of a project. “No company, even the big OEMs, have unlimited research and development budgets. No company, even Lockheed Martin, has unlimited engineering assets,” he continued. “So if I can partner with these OEMs on these major next generation platforms now and start co developing as they develop the platform, I'm codeveloping the training in the simulation experience, and sharing some of that burden, adding skin into the game for research and development engineering — It's not just money, it's also time, and time, arguably right now is our is our biggest enemy — I can really help those OEMs and give them a true discriminator in their offering.” “And certainly at the end, that international or us customer is going to be much better off as they've got a fully baked, fully integrated training and simulation solution with that new platform.” In addition to looking into NGAD, Gelston said the company plans to pursue nearer-term contracts related to the F-35 joint strike fighter, MQ-9B drone, and the Army's Future Vertical Lift competition, while also continuing ongoing efforts like its C-130H business, which was awarded in 2018.

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