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October 31, 2019 | Local, Aerospace

SkyAlyne: A True Canadian Collaboration for FAcT

SkyAlyne: A True Canadian Collaboration for FAcT

In May 2018, CAE and KF Aerospace joined together to form SkyAlyne Canada – a 50/50 joint venture to focus on developing and delivering military pilot and aircraft training in Canada. These two companies currently deliver all phases of pilot training to the Royal Canadian Air Force through the NATO Flying Training in Canada (NFTC) program and the Contracted Flying Training and Support (CFTS) program. These programs will come to an end in the next few years and Canada is looking to award a new contract to renew its existing aircrew training services through the Future Aircrew Training program (FAcT). Vanguard recently had the opportunity to speak with Peter Fedak, Program Solutions, SkyAlyne Canada.

Can you tell us a little more about this joint venture between CAE and KF Aerospace?

Peter Fedak: CAE and KF Aerospace are the current providers of all phases of military pilot training and air combat system operator training in Canada. Since we have the knowledge, experience, and credibility with the RCAF in providing these training services to them, we thought that by joining together we can provide the best solution for Canada. The best way to do that was to create an entirely new entity – a 50/50 joint venture – with two leading air training Canadian companies. That led to the birth of SkyAlyne, a true collaboration to bring the best solution for the future, provided by a truly Canadian organization. The expertise that we possess – right here in Canada – is a real benefit to Canadians and the RCAF.

What are some of the top training challenges with the current programs?

PF: With any government program, the most important thing to taxpayers is cost. In Canada, we have some unique environmental challenges that drive the cost up, like the weather, flying below 40 degrees Celsius or above 40. This requires infrastructure, aircraft requirements, and personnel to operate in these extreme temperatures. Another challenge is timing. The NFTC program will expire in 2023, with an option year to 2024. The timeline to engineer the transition, planning, and infrastructure is a challenge that we and the government recognize, but we are ready to face it. With our ongoing programs, we are well situated to seamlessly make the transition for Canada.

If SkyAlyne is selected for the FAcT program, what are some of the capabilities that this joint venture will bring to the table?

PF: A key part in the lead up to FAcT will be to maintain the existing training programs while transitioning to the new program. We have the employees, technical and infrastructure base with the current programs and the ability to seamlessly move between the two. The most valuable resource is people and under NFTC and CFTS, we have a true core human resources capability of trained, qualified and professional people that work under these programs every day and are committed to the success of the pilot training program for the RCAF. Having these personnel is a real core capability for us to maintain the production of pilots while moving forward.

Can you share with us some of the lessons or takeaways from the CFTS program that you think would be important to incorporate into the FAcT program?

PF: The key lesson is the relationship. We didn’t create this program and then offer it to the RCAF. We are here because of the RCAF and the Government of Canada. We are here to support them by understanding the culture and people and building on that by working closely with them to keep the program moving forward. This is truly a long-term relationship, like a marriage. We are here for 22 years under this contract and looking for another 25 years. So, it’s a matter of establishing and maintaining that trust going forward. That’s the only way you can get through these long-term complex contracts – building a good relationship.

Thanks for taking the time to speak with us.

PF: Thank you very much for the opportunity. It’s always a pleasure to speak about not only our current programs here in Southport, Manitoba and Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan but also the future opportunities to continue supporting the Government of Canada with our exciting new joint venture of SkyAlyne.

To hear more about this topic listen to the podcast with Peter Fedak.

https://vanguardcanada.com/2019/10/30/skyalyne-a-true-canadian-collaboration-for-fact/

On the same subject

  • Minister Sajjan marks the start of construction for the fourth Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship

    May 3, 2019 | Local, Naval

    Minister Sajjan marks the start of construction for the fourth Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship

    May 3, 2019 – Halifax (N.S.) – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces Another important milestone of the National Shipbuilding Strategy was reached today as the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, participated in a ceremony at Irving Shipbuilding highlighting the start of construction for the fourth Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship (AOPS), the future HMCS William Hall. This is the fourth of six such ships to be built at the Halifax Shipyard for the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) as articulated in Canada’s defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged. Security in the Arctic is complicated by the region’s geography and harsh climate. This new class of vessel was specifically designed to patrol Canada’s waters and northernmost regions. It will have the versatility to navigate abroad and contribute to international operations. The Harry DeWolf-class will significantly enhance the CAF’s capabilities and presence in the Arctic, better enabling the RCN to assert Arctic sovereignty for years to come. Since the start of construction for the first AOPS in 2015, the project has progressed well. The first vessel is expected to join the RCN’s fleet this summer.  Quotes “We are making significant progress on the Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships as Canadian workers start the construction of the fourth ship, here in Halifax. These vessels will be critical assets to the RCN, enhancing our Arctic capability and greatly contributing to the future success of our operations in the most isolated regions of Canada. As outlined in Strong, Secure, Engaged, our government is delivering modern and versatile equipment to our women and men in uniform so they can successfully accomplish the work we ask of them.”    The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence “Today’s ceremony for Canada’s fourth Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship marks an important milestone. It provides ongoing evidence that the National Shipbuilding Strategy is revitalizing our world-class marine industry, supporting Canadian innovation, creating good middle class jobs, stabilizing employment and generating economic benefits across Canada. We remain firmly committed to the Strategy, and will continue to work closely with our shipbuilding partners to position it for success now and into the future.” The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility  “I am delighted to see so much progress on the Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships this year, and look forward to seeing it continue in the years to come. Through this partnership with Irving Shipbuilding, we will sustain over 4,000 highly skilled jobs and create opportunities right here at the Halifax Shipyard and throughout Nova Scotia.”  The Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Rural Economic Development Quick facts The AOPS project is part of Canada’s renewed focus on surveillance of Canadian territory, particularly our Arctic regions. As the security dynamics in the Arctic evolve due to such factors as climate change, we will continue to work to secure our northern air and maritime approaches, in coordination with our allies and partners.  William Hall received the Victoria Cross in 1859 for heroism and support of the British Army during the relief of Lucknow (1857). Son of freed African-American slaves living in Nova Scotia, he is the first black person, first Nova Scotian, and third Canadian to have been awarded this honour. Four AOPS are now in production, with the construction of the fifth ship expected to begin later in 2019. AOPS 4 is expected to join the RCN fleet in 2022. The AOPS are highly versatile platforms that can be used on a variety of missions at home and abroad, such as coastal surveillance, search and rescue, drug interdiction, support to international partners, humanitarian aid, and disaster relief. Work is ongoing to complete the Nanisivik Naval Facility, which will support operations of the new Arctic Offshore Patrol Ships and other government maritime vessels. This new facility is expected to be complete later this year. Associated links Strong, Secure, Engaged Arctic and offshore patrol ships William Hall National Shipbuilding Strategy Contacts Todd Lane Press Secretary Office of the Minister of National Defence Phone: 613-996-3100 Media Relations Department of National Defence Phone: 613-996-2353 Email: mlo-blm@forces.gc.ca https://www.canada.ca/en/department-national-defence/news/2019/05/minister-sajjan-marks-the-start-of-construction-for-the-fourth-arctic-and-offshore-patrol-ship.html

  • Canada changing rules of competition for $19B fighter jet fleet to allow consideration of F-35: sources

    May 10, 2019 | Local, Aerospace

    Canada changing rules of competition for $19B fighter jet fleet to allow consideration of F-35: sources

    David Pugliese, Ottawa Citizen The Canadian government is changing the terms of the $19-billion competition to replace its aging fleet of fighter jets to allow the U.S. to enter its F-35 stealth fighter. The changes will allow for a more flexible approach in determining the value of the benefits bidders offer to Canadian defence firms, industry sources say, and come after a series of discussions with the U.S. government and threats by the Pentagon to withdraw the jet from consideration. Under the current terms, bidders were required to offer industrial benefits to Canada as part of the competition. That system, which would have disadvantaged the F-35, will now be amended, sources say. But those companies that do guarantee work for Canadian firms will receive more consideration under the new rules. U.S. officials had warned that the agreement Canada signed to be a partner nation in Lockheed Martin’s development of the F-35 prohibits those partner nations from imposing requirements for industrial benefits in fighter jet competitions. “We cannot participate in an offer of the F-35 weapon system where requirements do not align with the F-35 Partnership,” U.S. Navy Vice-Adm. Mathias Winter told Canadian officials in a letter sent in December. Under the agreement, companies from the partner nations are eligible to compete for work on the F-35s, and contracts are awarded on a best-value basis. Over the last 12 years, Canadian firms have earned more than $1.3 billion in contracts to build F-35 parts. In a statement issued last week, Lockheed Martin Canada said that hundreds of Canadian jobs had been created by work on the jet. The firm noted that it continued to provide feedback to the U.S. government, which is involved with Canada in government-to-government discussions on the fighter jet program. The competition to win the Canadian contract for a fleet of 88 new fighter jets was launched on Dec. 12, 2017 and at this point four fighter jets are expected to be considered. Those include the F-35, the Super Hornet, the Eurofighter Typhoon and the Gripen. The Canadian government expects to award the contract in 2022. A request for bids for the new jets was scheduled to be released in conjunction with the CANSEC defence trade show in Ottawa at the end of the month, with bids to be evaluated by 2021. However, the government now admits that schedule is risky. In its latest update on major equipment projects the Department of National Defence said “The approved schedule is considered very aggressive,” and that “The project team is managing a number of risks which have the potential to impact schedule.” The document doesn’t outline the specific risks but DND officials have acknowledged that figuring out how to deal with industrial benefits linked to the project could cause delays. The delivery of the first of the jets is expected in the mid-2020s, with the full capability available in the early 2030s, according to the DND document. The plan to purchase used Australian F-18s in the interim, the first already delivered, is also outlined in the document. It noted the final delivery of those jets is set for the end of 2021. https://nationalpost.com/news/canada/canada-changing-rules-of-competition-for-19b-fighter-jet-fleet-to-allow-consideration-of-f-35-sources

  • FEATURE INTERVIEW - MINISTER OF NATIONAL DEFENCE

    March 5, 2020 | Local, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security

    FEATURE INTERVIEW - MINISTER OF NATIONAL DEFENCE

    CDR recently sent Ottawa Bureau Chief, James Careless, to interview Canada’s newly re-appointed Minister of National Defence, and with a number of high profile capital projects, such as CSC and FFCP currently in play, there was a lot to talk about. Sajjan is now a veteran in this portfolio and he spoke candidly about international missions, defence policy, procurement, and Canada’s role in NATO. There were some surprises too. Here is our in-depth conversation with the Minister.   CDR: Minister, it’s good to speak with you again for, what’s become, our annual chat. Can we start by looking what progress is being made on major capital projects like Future Fighter, and as a corollary to that, what new procurements do you think we'll be seeing in 2020?  Minister Sajjan: When it comes to procurement projects and our defence policy, one of the things that Canadian defence industry asked us to do is to provide predictability. We’ve done that. Even though the defence policy is a 20 year program, we have put out a 10 year defence investment plan to industry. This gives them an idea of where we're at – and we're updating that. Obviously, we’ve got major procurement projects that are ongoing, but within that there are multiple projects. I'm happy to say that the vast majority are in implementation. Some are already closed and, and there's only a few that still have to be started. The Canadian Surface Combatant ship has been selected, while the Future Fighter is obviously an extremely important one that is under way. But there's a lot of other projects happening that are just as important.   STARTING LAV PROJECT SOONER   CDR: What role has your ‘Strong, Secure, Engaged’ defence policy played in speeding up defence procurement?   Minister Sajjan: One of the things about our defence policy is that it gives us authorization to move money around. This allows us to do projects faster when opportunities make this possible. The LAV support projects that we just announced in the summertime was a great example of that. We’re going to be getting those five years sooner, because we can start these projects five years sooner. So we were able to move money quicker and get that going. Because we're learning and creating a lot more efficiency in our procurement system, we're able to save money. When we save some of that money, we're able to use it in other projects. As you know, procurement is extremely complex; especially on larger projects. There's going to be times where you're going to have to make some changes. Because we have that flexibility, we're able to provide a lot more efficiency to the system. When we created the defence policy, it involved a thorough consultation where every part of the policy had to be approved by cabinet. Now when projects go through, they know that we’ve already had really good discussions on the capabilities that we want to bring in. So when we bring those projects to Treasury Board, the policy discussions have already been done. So then we just focus on, “do we have the right process in place?” The nice thing about it – just like the current LAV projects – is we're able to streamline things when a competitive process is extremely important and we can get the best equipment at the best price. But there are some times when going for a sole source is more efficient and better for the Canadian Armed Forces. CDR: Many ofCDR’s readers are small and medium-sized defence contractors (SMEs), and they're always concerned about getting their fair share of procurement contracts. So what steps has the government taken to make sure that their share doesn't just go to the big players?   Minister Sajjan: Depending on the size of the project, we've actually taken a lot of time to consult our defence industries; not just the big companies, but the small and medium size businesses as well. One thing we've done as we build the requirements, is to ask, “how does it benefit Canadian companies?” So now the bids that come in have much greater Canadian content to them. Just for example, when you look at the AOPS (Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships) that are being built by Irving: The systems integration on the bridge is actually (being done by) a company that is working out of the Lower Mainland (B.C.). That’s just one company; a lot of companies are able to benefit from this. So when we look at a project, I tell people, “don't just look at the hull or the plane, look at all the systems that need to go inside it. The LAV project has a massive impact on indirect jobs across the country as well. The final thing I say to this is the IDEaS (Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security) program. The IDEaS program is something very unique that is having a really good impact on small and medium-sized businesses; as well as universities and individuals who have great ideas. It allows us to throw challenges out to suppliers, where we get to compete the ideas. That’s something that industry has been asking for, for a very long time. Imagine trying to guess where DND is going, and then having to spend all this money and time only to find out that's not the direction that we're going. So due to the defence investment plan that we lay out, or the challenges that we throw out, they know exactly what we're looking for. They get to compete early, and we get the benefits of their ingenuity.   BATTLE GROUP IN LATVIA   CDR: NATO recently celebrated its 70th anniversary, and President Trump used the occasion to once again pressure member countries to increase defence spending up to 2% of their GDP, as they have promised to in the past. Given that Canada’s defence spending is only about 1.3% of GDP, where does the country stand in terms of meeting this 2% target? Because, I'm sure our readers in Canada’s defence and aerospace industries would be more than happy to see Canada increase defence spending as much as it can.   Minister Sajjan: I think we should go back to even before Trump. Many U.S. administrations have been asking NATO member nations to step up when it comes to their defence spending. When we formed the government in 2015, we looked at this. This is one of the reasons why the prime minister asked me to do a thorough defence policy review, because it's only then you're going to find out what is the appropriate defence investment that's actually needed -- not just for us, but for our allies. I think many people don't know that this is probably one of the first defence policies that's actually has come with all the money attached to it. That allows us to do a thorough analysis about which capabilities are important; not just a shopping list of things we need to buy. If you focus on the capabilities, you’re able to evolve what's needed. What that has allowed us to do is look at how do we need to be Strong in Canada, Secure in North America, and Engaged in the world; investing in the right capabilities with a 70% increase in spending. That's the way it just turned out, based on our plan. But more importantly, it allows us to make appropriate contributions internationally. If you look at the number of operations our government has authorized, it's quite significant. Just for NATO alone, it includes a battle group in Latvia; plus a naval task force that, from one ship that was being consistently there, were actually taking rotation commanding the naval task force there. We have started air policing again in Europe. We're back in the AWACs program. We have increased our common funding to NATO for a second year. We're taking command of the NATO training mission in Iraq as well. So, when you look at that alone, that's just NATO Operation Artemis, which is this counter-terrorist interdiction in the Arabian Gulf. Plus, we're also doing Operation NEON, which is the sanctions monitoring against North Korea. Then there is the capacity building work that we're doing at different times of the year; including Africa. For the first time, we actually had our submarines deploy for training; one in the Pacific and the other in the Atlantic. So when you look at all the things that we're doing, defence spending has led to something. So that contribution piece is extremely important. Our increased spending is being driven by a national plan that's bringing unity into DND. This allows us to make those contributions in a very meaningful way; not just to NATO, but to coalition partners and the United Nations. CONTRIBUTIONS TO NATO   CDR: Given this, do you think NATO should stop focussing on 2% of GDP and instead focus on tangible contribution to international security?   Minister Sajjan: I would say that we shouldn't be having strictly a conversation about 2%. That's why the NATO Secretary General has always talked about the three Cs: Cash, capabilities and contributions; because if you need all three of them to be effective. The plan that we have proposed to NATO is something that they welcome. They know that we're going to be investing in types of capability, and what kind of impact that it actually can have. For example, when it comes to the ships that we provide, they know that our Cyclone helicopters are also very good at working with our aircraft when it comes to submarine detection. So it's not just about one ship, it's about what capability we're bringing in. And when you have capabilities from different nations, you're able to look at what type of NATO work that we can do; especially when it comes to our readiness. It is not just us offering up things that we have. These are capabilities that are plugging into a much wider system at NATO that can have an impact and ultimately send a very strong message of deterrence to any adversary – which is why NATO is there.   CDR: In last year’s interview with CDR, you spoke about the importance of retaining Canadian armed forces members and trying to do better for them and their families. What have you been able to do in the last year and what are you hoping to do going forward?   Minister Sajjan: The Number One priority has always been to look after our people and their families. We have made a lot of policy changes in how we support our people. The biggest one that we did right when we launched the defence policy was to make every authorized international operation tax-free for our members. This sends a very strong message to the families. People think that this is about CAF members but it's actually about their families. Now the family can have more flexibility on choices. If their family is younger, they can have more daycare opportunities; making sure a spouse can continue with their career. Relocation has been a significant challenge. A year and a half ago, we dealt with the 10 Biggest Dissatisfiers to relocation and there's a little bit more work needs to be done with that. We've also now been working on what's called Seamless Canada, working with the provinces and the territory to look at where families get posted. For reserve members, their base pay is now equivalent to the regular force. So there's all these things that are happening. One focus that I'm putting more emphasis on this year is infrastructure across Canada. Do we have the right infrastructure for our people; especially when it comes to military family resource centres, health care clinics and accommodations for people? And we have to look at it differently now than we did in the past, because things have significantly changed. We know that in Comox, there is a challenge for people to actually find housing because the vacancy rate is so low. So we're looking at a project to build apartment-style complexes there, and I'll be working with the deputy minister on this. In other places, we are looking at how PLD (Post Living Differential) changes need to be made. The study is almost complete with a much wider analysis. My thought going into this was instead of just looking at the immediate fixes which we have been doing to ease the burden on our members -- like, for example, in places like Cold Lake -- we need to do a thorough analysis done so that, when we make a much wider decision, it can actually last longer. The PLD decision that was made a long time ago is not as relevant today, because it is based on how people live here in Ottawa. Those are the aspects that we're putting a lot more focus into. I think because we're putting a lot of emphasis on looking after people and their families, it's having an impact on retention. How we move people around is also something that the Chief of Defence Staff has been looking at very closely. MORE EMPHASIS ON CYBER SECURITY   CDR: You’ve been Minister of National Defence since 2015. You’re now very well versed with the requirements of the job and long past getting to know the ropes and dealing with immediate crises. What do you want to achieve going forward? What do you want your legacy to be at DND?   Minister Sajjan: It’s not about legacy. We spent a lot of time and very extensive consultations with experts, key people, and more importantly, civilians at the department and the Canadian Armed Forces to come up with the plan for the Defence Policy. And because it comes with money attached, this plan has enough focus and flexibility to adjust to any situation that we have to deal with around the world. My goal is for us to be thinking long-term about how we look after people, how we look at threats and where we need to be to make sure that we have a very strong deterrence. This is one of the reasons why we're putting a lot of emphasis on cyber-security. I'm working very closely with CSE as well. One aspect that I'll be driving home a little bit stronger this time around is going to be innovation. We have such great ingenuity inside the Canadian Armed Forces, but we also have absolutely brilliant people across the country. I want to take a greater look at innovation in the long-term; how we look after people, how we do logistics, and how we keep a technological edge against adversaries. There's a lot of interesting work that's happening. Making sure that we're set up for the future is something that I'm going to be putting a lot more emphasis on.   WORKING OUT TO TRANCE   CDR: Finally, on a more personal note, we’ve heard that you do a mean workout to the beat of electronic music, is that correct?   Minister Sajjan: Yes! I listened to a lot of a particular type of electronic music known as Euro Trance and I've evolved it a little bit. DJ Markus Schulz is somebody I listen to, and there’s a number of other deejays there as well. (Editor’s Note: DJ-mixed club music known as Euro Trance is often very uplifting, it is usually around 140 - 145 bpm and has a lot of big rifts. It emerged from the 1990s German techno and hardcore scenes. Leading proponents of this genre have included DJs Armin Van Buuren and Tiesto.) It drives my wife crazy. But I love working out and getting into a high energy pace; it just keeps me motivated. I know it sounds nuts, a 49 year-old listening to Trance. People think I should grow up, but I can't knock everything out of me from high school.   CDR: How did you get into this music?   Minister Sajjan: I've always liked the mixes and I went to a lot of clubs in my younger days. Then when I was in the UK, they had a really good Euro mix and I used to listen to that a lot. When I was in Germany, I realized that they have a lot of different ways of doing it as well. So, I would try to find that music, which wasn't that popular back then. But now it's everywhere. And, it’s easy to download that music. My wife always says, “it’s the same beat.” I say, “exactly!”   CDR: Thank you very much, Minister. http://www.canadiandefencereview.com/Featured_content?blog/161

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