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March 30, 2021 | Local, Naval

Williams: Under this plan, Canada's new warships will never be built

Williams: Under this plan, Canada's new warships will never be built

DND’s position is unequivocal – and deeply flawed. The department will neither entertain a new design nor undertake a new procurement process.

https://ottawacitizen.com/opinion/williams-under-this-plan-canadas-new-warships-will-never-be-built

On the same subject

  • These Companies Will Work on R2-D2-Like Drone Helper for Air Force Pilots

    July 27, 2020 | Local, Aerospace

    These Companies Will Work on R2-D2-Like Drone Helper for Air Force Pilots

    24 Jul 2020 Military.com | By Oriana Pawlyk Four defense companies have been selected to begin work on the U.S. Air Force's Skyborg program, which aims to pair artificial intelligence with a human piloting a fighter jet. The service chose Boeing Co., General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc., Kratos Unmanned Aerial Systems Inc., and Northrop Grumman Systems Corp. to move forward on the program; however, the companies will be competing for the indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract, estimated to be worth up to $400 million, according to an announcement. The autonomous Skyborg is intended for reusable unmanned aerial vehicles in a manned-unmanned teaming mission; the drones are considered "attritable," or cheap enough that they can be destroyed without significant cost. "Because autonomous systems can support missions that are too strenuous or dangerous for manned crews, Skyborg can increase capability significantly and be a force multiplier for the Air Force," said Brig. Gen. Dale White, program executive officer for Fighters and Advanced Aircraft. White and Brig. Gen. Heather Pringle, commander of the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), together lead the Skyborg program. "We have the opportunity to transform our warfighting capabilities and change the way we fight and the way we employ air power," White said in a release. "Autonomy technologies in Skyborg's portfolio will range from simple playbook algorithms to advanced team decision making and will include on-ramp opportunities for artificial intelligence technologies," added Pringle. "This effort will provide a foundational Government reference architecture for a family of layered, autonomous and open-architecture unmanned aerial [systems]." Skyborg is one of three initiatives in the service's Vanguard Program portfolio for rapid prototyping and development of new-age technologies it can leverage for multiple operations. The Vanguard program brings together the research lab and the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center to "quickly identify cutting-edge technology and transition directly into the hands of the warfighter," the release states. The Air Force launched the bidding process for Skyborg in May; it expects Skyborg's initial operation to be ready by the end of 2023. Dr. Will Roper, assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, technology and logistics, first spoke of the Air Force Research Lab-led program last year. He told reporters during the 2019 McAleese Conference that, while it is reminiscent of the Air Force's proposed Loyal Wingman program to send out drones ahead of fighters to act as scouts, Skyborg will take the concept even further, with an AI plane that trains with its pilot, acting as a sidekick, rapidly thinking through problems and taking command if necessary. In short, it's R2-D2 from "Star Wars" in an aircraft of its very own, he said. "I might eventually decide, 'I want that AI in my own cockpit,'" Roper said. "So if something happened immediately, [the AI] could take hold, make choices in a way that [a pilot would] know because [a pilot has] trained with it." https://www.military.com/daily-news/2020/07/24/these-companies-will-work-r2-d2-drone-helper-air-force-pilots.html

  • SkyAlyne: A True Canadian Collaboration for FAcT

    October 31, 2019 | Local, Aerospace

    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/

  • CSC 2018 Evaluation Stage

    October 1, 2018 | Local, Naval

    CSC 2018 Evaluation Stage

    © 2018 FrontLine Defence (Vol 15, No 5) The Canadian Surface Combatant program is the largest and most complex procurement to be undertaken by the Canadian Government to date. This program intends to replace the existing Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) frigates (specializing in anti-submarine capabilities and multi-role mission support) and the now-retired destroyers (providing anti-air capabilities) with a fleet of 15 versatile new warships that will be in service to the mid 21st century, if not longer. As outlined in its defence policy, the Government remains committed to replacing the Navy’s surface fleet with 15 surface combatants, which will all be built by Irving Shipbuilding as part of the “combatant” portion of the National Shipbuilding Strategy. Although rumours are swirling about the possibility of two variants on a common platform, a DND spokesperson confirms that “the current requirement is that all 15 CSC ships will have the same capabilities: anti-air warfare, anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, electronic warfare as well as command and control.” The DND email to FrontLine goes on to say that “Funding has been set aside to deliver the full complement of ships the Royal Canadian Navy needs, in order to provide capability across the full range of operations. This will replace both the recently retired Iroquois-class destroyers and the Halifax-class frigates with a single class of ship capable of meeting multiple threats on both the open ocean and the highly complex coastal (littoral) environment.” Full article: https://defence.frontline.online/article/2018/5/10490-CSC-2018-Evaluation-Stage

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