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February 16, 2021 | Local, Land







11 February 2021 – Drummondville QC Canada, Soucy International Defense Division, has been awarded a contract to manufacture and deliver prototype Segmented Composite Rubber Track (SCRT) systems for the U.S Army Ground Vehicle Systems Center (GVSC) as part of the Platform Electrification and Mobility (PEM) project This project has been created to help develop, integrate and test essential electrification and mobility technologies necessary for soldier experimentation of manned and unmanned Next Generation Combat Vehicle (NGCV) platforms.


Within the NGCV program, there is the Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV) and the Robotically Controlled Vehicle (RCV). Soucy will refine existing SCRT technology as part of the OMFV Demonstrator within the PEM program that is aimed to achieve its goal of silent mobility, reduce track system weight compared to conventional steel tracks, reduce rolling resistance, and ease maintenance and logistical burden. One of the major technical objectives of the PEM project is to provide silent mobility for a 50-ton tracked vehicle. Continuous composite rubber track (CRT) solutions provide significant noise and vibration reduction compared to a typical steel track.


Soucy CRT has made great improvements over the last 15 years, with the continuous, single loop design providing significant reductions in weight; vibration; acoustic and thermal signature; increased fuel efficiency, and ease of maintenance, allowing for reduced logistical support. Segmentation of a composite rubber track could potentially further reduce soldier physical maintenance burden, vehicle installation time, and ease overall sustainment challenges in a contested operational environment. This prototype will allow the United States (US) Army and Ground Vehicle Systems Center (GVSC) to evaluate demonstrated options of different track systems for the OMFV program.




Media Contacts:

Angeline Heckel-Elies, Soucy Defense Division, +1 (819) 474 4522,


About CRT Tracks


  • Increased durability over conventional steel tracks.
  • Reduced vibration (up to 70%), noise (up to 13dB), thermal signature, braking distance, vehicle weight (up to 50%) and fuel consumption (up to 30%).
  • Reduced vehicle crew fatigue.
  • Significant reduction in life cycle costs and virtually maintenance free.
  • Elimination of damage to infrastructure.


About Soucy

Soucy has been established for 50 years and specialize in the design, development, and manufacturing of CRT. Soucy supply a variety of components and parts for major manufacturers of power sport, industrial, agricultural and Defense vehicles around the world. Since entering the Defense market 26 years ago, the demand for Soucy’s products has grown, and now being utilised in 12 counties worldwide. Soucy’s expertise and knowledge of rubber track applications lie in compounding and track construction. The key elements in exceeding the specifications of traditional Steel Tracks and meeting customer requirements is the relationship between the Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) and rubber heat generation, this balance is critical in the design of CRT.

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  • Opinion: After Major Mergers, What’s Next For Defense Market?

    September 25, 2019 | Local, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security

    Opinion: After Major Mergers, What’s Next For Defense Market?

    By Byron Callan  This year has shaped up as a record one in terms of the volume of major defense transactions so far announced. Considering deals of $100 million or more in announced value where defense is the primary factor, the 2019 total exceeds $61 billion. Of course, the largest single example is the Raytheon-United Technologies Corp. (UTC) merger.  There are reasons to expect heightened activity in 2019 and 2020. Some reasons are known and others can be assessed, but one that does not appear to be affecting market expectations is the Raytheon-UTC deal. Since it was announced on June 9, the companies’ share prices have declined from the June 7, close: Raytheon’s by 4% and UTC’s by 5.7%. The S&P 500 has been flat. However, share prices of peers have risen—General Dynamics is up 5.4%, L3Harris Technologies has increased 6.2%, Lockheed Martin and Leidos have climbed 7% and Northrop Grumman is up 14.4%.  These price moves may be attributable to safe-haven seeking by investors who were spooked by global economic concerns and trade wars, but the budget deal reached by Congress also was a factor, as were July earnings reports. The price reactions, however, do not suggest that investors are particularly concerned about the impact of the competitive strength of the Raytheon-UTC union and its ability to take market share away from peers. Nor do they suggest that the deal will trigger a rush by defense-focused companies to merge with commercial ones. Were the latter to be the case, the price reactions may have been similar to Raytheon and United Technologies’. There have been other known developments that raise the question of what is next. Kaman Corp. sold its industrial distribution business for $700 million and will seek to redeploy that capital into engineering products businesses, some of which could involve defense. L3Harris signaled in June that it is undertaking a portfolio cleanup after the completion of the merger, and so there should be divestitures from that company. Textron announced in August that it was reviewing “strategic alternatives” for Kautex, which makes blow-molded fuel systems and other parts primarily for the automotive industry. Presuming that it leads to a sale of that business, Textron will have cash, some of which might be spent on defense. There are general factors as well that could spawn sector merger and acquisition activity in 2019-20. One of the biggest is the potential uncertainty surrounding the outcome of the 2020 U.S. elections. Buyers and sellers have to weigh a number of variables.  If the current administration is reelected and control of Congress remains split at least through 2022, then it may be safe to assume that the status quo will continue. One variable within the status quo is how contractor portfolios could be affected by the ongoing efforts of the Pentagon to better align its programs with the National Defense Strategy. Like the Army’s “night court” process, this may yet spawn a reassessment of specific programs and their future growth outlook. But if the status quo does not prevail, defense contractors could face a wall of uncertainties in 2020 and may choose to act before rather than after these uncertainties are clarified.  First, they will have to assess which Democratic candidate could win the primary cycle and then the nomination. If it is a centrist candidate, the Defense Department spending outlook might not change all that much, although exports to some countries might be curtailed and there could be changes in some Pentagon budget priorities, particularly for nuclear forces modernization. A more progressive-leaning candidate might raise the risk of a more subdued defense budget outlook, particularly if fiscal resources are instead directed toward health care, infrastructure, student debt and other nondefense priorities. Second, there will have to be an assessment of whether a Democratic win of the White House could also flip control of the Senate to the Democrats. If there is a Democrat in the White House but a Republican majority in the Senate, the Senate could still check budgets or policies that may be detrimental to defense. It might also block efforts to roll back changes to tax laws made in 2017.  A third variable to be assessed is the attitude of a new administration toward defense mergers and acquisitions, contractor financing and risk. A more progressive administration could look very differently at the structure and financial status of contractors.  All these variables will lead to different analyses of current and future value in defense. Is it a good time to hunker down and wait to see what happens or to act in the time that remains in 2019-20 before investors and creditors draw their own conclusions? These uncertainties alone suggest that some will act in anticipation of a change rather than just wait and see.

  • L3 Wescam launches In-Flight training course for MX-Series EO/IR turrets

    March 5, 2019 | Local, Aerospace, C4ISR

    L3 Wescam launches In-Flight training course for MX-Series EO/IR turrets

    L3 Wescam announced on March 4 the launch of its In-Flight training course as the latest solution in its family of aviation training platforms for MX-Series airborne electro-optical and infrared (EO/IR) imaging and targeting systems. L3’s In-Flight training program includes theoretical in-class training combined with pre- and post-flight simulation training and in-flight, mission-centric training. With the ability to tailor the training curriculum to match a customer’s specific turret configuration and the advantage of both daylight and low-light flight opportunities, the course has been developed to support students of varying levels of skill and experience with conventional flight scenarios and operator experiences. Designed to facilitate student-centric learning, the four-day program includes in-depth training of all sensors, maintenance and organizational-level maintenance tasking, and crew resource management. “L3 is proud to support the development of MX operational and maintenance teams with a comprehensive suite of progressive training solutions that ensures crews are always mission-ready and able to operate their MX product to its full ability,” said JD Richard, vice-president of Customer Service for L3 Wescam. “The curriculum has been built to help students identify first-hand knowledge and operational gaps, and participate in closed-loop, adaptive training to support their personal growth and development, which ultimately helps produce higher-quality and better prepared operators.” “What’s so unique about this course is that it is developed and delivered by us, the OEM,” said Brendan McCormick, lead trainer for L3 Wescam. “Train from the source. Learn from the best. We know the MX products, technologies and capabilities better than anyone else – no one is better qualified to teach and train the user community than our team of highly qualified trainers here at L3.” L3’s In-Flight training can be purchased as a complete buy-out, where customers book all six seats and have the curriculum fully customized to support their exact turret and configuration. Training can be facilitated using the customer’s aircraft and sensor system, or customers can take advantage of L3’s extensive inventory of training assets complete with Wescam’s latest sensor offerings. Alternatively, L3 offers open enrollment for the purchase of individual seats. The curriculum is delivered using a generic turret configuration. L3 Wescam’s Cessna Caravan 208B is one asset used for this practical training – it allows for the installation of a variety of combination turrets as two turrets can be mounted at one time. Courses are hosted from L3’s training facilities in the USA. Visit for training dates and availability.

  • Operation recovery: Airlifting a CC-138 off the Arctic ice

    September 25, 2020 | Local, Aerospace, Security

    Operation recovery: Airlifting a CC-138 off the Arctic ice

    Chris Thatcher In early June, the RCAF regained possession of a CC-138 Twin Otter that, 15 months earlier, had suffered severe damage to its nose and tail during a difficult landing on the ice of the Beaufort Sea A workhorse of the north, the Viking Air DHC-6 was built to withstand much that the harsh Arctic could throw at it. But this aircraft’s return to service is a tale of ingenuity and a testament to the recovery and salvage capability of the Air Force and its partnership with Canadian industry. The aircraft, 803, was one of two Twin Otters from 440 Transport Squadron in Yellowknife participating in Operation Nanook 2019, an annual Canadian Armed Forces interoperability exercise with allies and civilian agencies held across the Arctic. The crew was on a scouting mission near Pelly Island on that afternoon of March 10, 2019, carrying three defence scientists looking for landing spots on the unprepared sea ice to conduct research later in the exercise. They had landed without incident near Tuktoyaktuk earlier in the day and were attempting to set down on a smooth area of ice when the aircraft “bounced into the air after contacting a drift perpendicular to the aircraft’s heading … [and] impacted the base of a larger drift,” according to the flight safety investigation report, collapsing the nose landing gear. One hundred and sixty kilometres away in Inuvik, Maj Andrew Oakes, commander of the second Twin Otter, had just settled into his hotel room when the phone rang. “I thought to myself, this is not good. There is only one person I know with a sat phone at the moment who could be calling my cell phone.” The news was mixed: There were no injuries but there was no way the crew was flying the aircraft off the ice. Armed with their location, Oakes and a crew immediately took off in the second CC-138 “to see if we could land and pick them up.” When he arrived overhead an hour and a half later, the damaged Twin Otter was sitting low in the ice and the nose, buried in the snow, appeared to be sheered off. With the low angle of the sun, the undulations of snowdrifts were now visible across the ice. He quickly reconsidered attempting a landing. Landing on ice requires a deft touch. Because of its varied operations, the CC-138 has a landing assembly that includes both tires and skis, a heavier and less flexible construction than just the skis. The aircraft must set down at the exact spot “you want to land” and then slow as rapidly as possible, using reverse thrust and some elevator control. “It is tricky. It is easily the most challenging thing that is done in a Twin Otter,” said Oakes. While the stranded crew had prepared a snow camp for the night, a civilian search and rescue helicopter, dispatched from Inuvik shortly after the accident, soon arrived on scene and transported them back to the town. An instructor on the Twin Otter, Oakes had been seconded to the exercise as an aircraft commander from his job as a staff officer for air mobility readiness at 1 Canadian Air Division (1 CAD) in Winnipeg, Man. He soon found himself tasked with commanding Operation Recovery, an air task force quickly assembled to salvage the aircraft. The RCAF has over many years developed considerable specialized recovery and salvage capability. And in 2012, a CC-138 with a sheared nose landing gear strut was lifted from dry tundra southwest of Inuvik in much warmer conditions. More recently, in -20 C temperatures of January 2019, the RCAF employed a CH-147F Chinook to lift and sling a CH-146 Griffon belonging to 417 Combat Support Squadron some 50 miles from the Cold Lake Air Weapons Range after the helicopter’s main rotor blade struck a communication tower. MGen Christian Drouin, commander of 1 CAD at the time, observed: “We now have this recovery capability because of the professionalism and ingenuity of the personnel involved.” The preferred and most cost-effective option would have been to fly in technicians from 440 Squadron and the salvage and recovery team based at 8 Wing Trenton, Ont., to repair the aircraft on the ice and fly out. “It would have been very good exposure for the technicians, because it is not something they would do normally. They have equipment and some training on how to extract an aircraft from [unusual] sites,” said Oakes. However, daytime temperatures were already reaching -5 C and forecasted to rise to zero, so conditions to land and take off from ice on skis were no longer ideal. “When you are warmer than minus 10, landing and takeoff distances will start increasing exponentially.” He also weighed a second option of calling in a Chinook from 450 Tactical Helicopter Squadron in Petawawa, Ont., to lift and transport the Twin Otter back to Inuvik. But nighttime temperatures were “still going down quite a bit and there was a chance the aircraft would freeze in …. That would be a worst-case scenario where no one is getting the aircraft off the ice, period.” In the end, the discussion among the crews and with 1 CAD was “pretty short,” Oakes recalled. In coordination with the Combined Aerospace Operations Centre in Winnipeg, a plan was soon in place to lift and sling the aircraft with contracted support from Momentum Decisive Solutions. By March 16, a CC-177 Globemaster III carrying two Griffon helicopters and various technicians from 440 Squadron and the salvage team arrived in Inuvik. Under the watchful eye of a Canadian Ranger patrol from Tuktoyaktuk that arrived by snowmobile and set up predator defence from polar bears that had been spotted in the area, the technicians began to lighten the CC-138 for airlift. They removed the nose gear, fuel and non-essential parts, and then strapped wooden blocks to the top of the wings to sling the load. They also attached a drogue parachute to help stabilize the flight. On March 24, Oakes watched from one of the Griffons as a Sikorsky S-61R, a derivative of the S-61/SH Sea King, operated by VIH Aviation Group of British Columbia, lifted the 7,800-pound CC-138 and, steadied by the chute, began the 160-kilometre flight to the Inuvik airport. To manage the distance, VIH had prepositioned a fuel cache on the ice about midway from Inuvik. Even without its own power, the Twin Otter still wanted to “fly,” Oakes observed. “It was pretty spectacular to watch.” A brand-new aircraft Bringing the Twin Otter back to life was no small task. KF Aerospace, formerly Kelowna Flightcraft, is the prime contractor for a CC-138 life extension project as well as regular in-service support. Within days of the incident, the company was contacted and dispatched aircraft maintenance engineers to Inuvik to guide the removal of the wings. Back in Kelowna, they then built special fittings to anchor the aircraft in the cargo hold of a CC-177. When the damaged Twin Otter arrived at their facility on June 14, special jigs and a donor nose were already in place. “This isn’t the first time we’ve had to fix the nose section of a Twin Otter, so we had some good jig structures … and we were able to reuse them,” explained Gregg Evjen, vice-president of maintenance and engineering. KF Aerospace frequently performs heavy structural modifications, including freighter and tanker conversions, so the tricky modifications to the CC-138 were well “within our wheel house,” said Evjen. Still, the company had to fabricate some parts to connect the new nose and repair the landing gear and tail section. With the aircraft already stripped bare, the company took advantage of the situation to conduct a full periodic inspection and maintenance program and complete the life-extension package, including re-winging the airframe. “It looks like a brand-new airplane,” he said. KF Aerospace has taken on some challenging jobs in the past, including an upgrade program for the Bolivian Air Force T-33 jet that involved taking apart and crating aircraft, flying them to Canada for the modifications, test flying them, and then re-crating and returning them to Bolivia to be assembled. Resuscitating a Twin Otter was hardly new. “But the fact that it was up North and had to be brought off the ice pack, and we had to mount it in a C-17 and manufacture special fittings so we could strap it down properly – that was unique,” said Evjen. Though the military strives to be self-sufficient and will build capacity to overcome most obstacles, Operation Recovery was a textbook example of the collaborative role civilian partners can play. To Oakes’ surprise, it was also a remarkable instance of how quickly the chain of command can make decisions when time is of the essence. “I was really impressed with the speed that this came together, and with the level of co-ordination and teamwork,” he said. “It was a great example of how we can get things done. It did help working with the civilian contractor. They were experts. They knew exactly what to do and they had the equipment.”

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