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  • NATO official warns EU force would be ‘unwise’

    November 19, 2018 | International, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR

    NATO official warns EU force would be ‘unwise’

    By: Joe Gould HALIFAX, Canada — A top uniformed NATO official warned Friday the European Union army concept endorsed by French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel would be “duplicative” and “unwise.” In an interview at the Halifax International Security Forum, UK Air Marshal Sir Stuart Peach, chairman of the NATO Military Committee, pointed to NATO's strength as a single set of forces, with a unique command and control network and planning process. “It's not rhetoric based. It's real planning based on real data,” Peach said. “And therefore, why would you wish to duplicate or replicate the strengths of an existing strong alliance.” The comments came after Merkel on Tuesday floated the idea of a “real, true European army,” to compliment NATO during a speech before a session of the European Parliament. Those remarks virtually echoed Macron's call a week earlier, in an interview with Europe 1. U.S. President Donald Trump called Macron's comments “very insulting” in a spate of Twitter posts as the two held a meeting last week in Paris. Trump himself has tested the strained bonds with some of America's closest allies by pressuring NATO allies to rely less on the U.S. and dedicate a greater percentage of their gross domestic products to defense. On Tuesday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg alluded the proposal of a European force at a NATO conference in Berlin, saying he welcomed, “increased EU efforts on defense, because I think that can actually help to strengthen NATO.” European allied militaries can act without the U.S. so long as they use NATO command structures, Stoltenberg said. “It will be not a wise decision by all those nations who are members of both NATO and the European Union to start to have two sets of command structures, or duplicate what NATO is doing,” Stoltenberg said. On Friday, Peach referred to Stoltenberg's remarks, saying, “Of course, as chairman of the military committee, I agree with [Stoltenberg]. It's unwise to duplicate.” Peach emphasized that NATO has a, “single set of forces, and in our processes, those forces are trained, and assured and certified by NATO.” At the conference, Peach had a broader message that the alliance's 29 members member remain committed to it — and that it is adapting with the times. “Throughout the history of the alliance there have been inevitable tussles about how to go forward,” Peach said. “But throughout as a military alliance, we have adapted our command and control structure, responded to new challenges, embraced new members and continued to adapt to new types of warfare and new threats.” Separately, Finland and Norway intend to launch diplomatic discussions with Moscow over suspected GPS signal-jamming by Russia's military, which overlapped with NATO's Trident Juncture exercises, the largest maneuvers in the High North since the end of the Cold War. Peach on Friday would not confirm the interference took place, but called the principle of freedom of navigation, “very, very important, both to NATO and the International community.” “Freedom of navigation is not just freedom of navigation at sea, so we need to analyze claims with data. And anything that interrupts freedom of navigation is important to be reported," he said. How to manage and operate within the electromagnetic spectrum are important topics that deserve more attention, he said.

  • GA-ASI Selected to Provide RPAS to Australian Defence Force

    November 19, 2018 | International, Aerospace

    GA-ASI Selected to Provide RPAS to Australian Defence Force

    ADELAIDE, Australia--(BUSINESS WIRE)--General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI), the world's leading manufacturer of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS), has been advised that, following consideration by the Australian Government, it has been selected to provide the Armed Remotely Piloted Aircraft System under Project Air 7003 for the Australian Defence Force (ADF). “We look forward to providing our world-leading RPAS to meet the Air 7003 requirements,” said Linden Blue, CEO of GA-ASI. “We'll work closely with Team Reaper® Australia partners to provide a highly capable and affordable RPAS to the ADF, while creating meaningful and enduring Australian jobs.” The ADF joins other top-tier military forces in choosing a MQ-9 variant because of its proven multi-role combat performance. Known as the “operators” choice, the MQ-9 is part of GA-ASI's Predator® series of RPAS, which is the world's most trusted and capable Armed Medium-Altitude, Long-Endurance (MALE) RPAS, and hails from a family of RPAS which recently surpassed five million flight hours. GA-ASI announced its intention to offer a MALE RPAS to the ADF during AVALON 2017 – the Australian International Aerospace and Defence Exposition – with the launch of Team Reaper Australia, a robust grouping of Australian industry partners. The team currently consists of ten Australian companies providing a range of innovative sensor, communication, manufacturing and life-cycle support capabilities that includes Cobham, CAE, Raytheon, Flight Data Systems, TAE Aerospace, Quickstep, AirSpeed, Rockwell Collins Australia, Ultra, and SentientVision. About GA-ASI General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI), an affiliate of General Atomics, is the world's leading designer and manufacturer of proven, reliable Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS), radars, and electro-optic and related mission systems, including the Predator®, Reaper® and Gray Eagle UAS programs of record and the Lynx® Multi-mode Radar. With more than five million flight hours, GA-ASI provides long-endurance, multi-mission capable aircraft with integrated sensor and data link systems required to deliver persistent flight, enabling situational awareness and rapid strike. The company also produces a variety of ground control stations and sensor control/image analysis software, offers pilot training and support services, and develops meta-material antennas. For more information, visit Predator, Reaper, and Lynx are registered trademarks of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc.

  • Russian aggression and cyber-warfare key issues for Canada to confront: Sajjan

    November 16, 2018 | Local, C4ISR, Security

    Russian aggression and cyber-warfare key issues for Canada to confront: Sajjan

    HALIFAX — Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan says Russia's disruptive behaviour on the world stage is a key concern for Canada. Sajjan made the remark Friday at the opening of the Halifax International Security Forum, a three-day event that has attracted security experts and politicians from around the world. The minister cited Russia's annexation of Crimea and its aggressive posture toward neighbouring Georgia as examples of a worrisome trend. "The disruptive nature that Russia has taken, it goes against the rules-based order that we're used to," he told a news conference at a downtown hotel. He said the recent commemorations marking the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War serve as a poignant reminder of the fragility of democratic institutions. "It's even more important now that nations act in a responsible manner; that we do not provoke," he said. "Unfortunately, because of the actions that Russia has taken, we do need to make sure we send a strong message of deterrence, and with NATO we are doing that." Canada has taken a particular interest in confronting Russia's use of so-called hybrid warfare, which blends conventional warfare and cyber-warfare to destabilize democracies, Sajjan said. Peter Van Praagh, president of the Halifax International Security Forum, said Russia's internal struggles have had an impact on the rest of the world. "Russia is a great country historically, but Russia is also a failing country, simultaneously," Van Praagh told reporters. "Russia is struggling with both of those things going on at the same time." On Saturday, a panel of experts will take part in a discussion titled: "Beijing's Cravings, Kremlin's Gremlins: Freedom's Foes." "Russia doesn't have the same advanced tools that Canada and NATO has," Van Praagh said. "Russia is using different tools to exert influence ... We can't allow Russia or any other country to interfere in the operations of domestic democracies." The conference, which has attracted 300 delegates from 70 countries, is being held in conjunction with a meeting of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. Van Praagh also cited the end of the First World War 100 years ago, saying delegates to the conference will be keeping that key event in mind. "Looking at 1918 through the prism of 100 years is a good reminder of the cost of war," he said. "It is also a reminder of our responsibility to protect our democracy. The work of democracy is never quite complete." It's the fourth time Sajjan has attended the security conference as defence minister. He said other key issues that require delegates' attention include the conflicts in Syria and Yemen, ongoing political changes on the Korean peninsula and Canada's renewed role as an international peacekeeper. "For a decade, (the forum) has been the place to discuss global defence and security issues that define our times," he said. Among those invited to speak at the forum is U.S. Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Dunford is the highest-ranking military officer in the United States and an adviser to President Donald Trump. The delegates to the forum are almost exclusively from democratic regimes. Michael MacDonald, The Canadian Press

  • Contract Awards by US Department of Defense - November 15, 2018

    November 16, 2018 | International, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security

    Contract Awards by US Department of Defense - November 15, 2018

    NAVY Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is awarded a $348,915,105 cost-plus-incentive-fee contract to provide the infrastructure to support developmental laboratory facilities and flight test activities in support of F-35 development, production and sustainment. Work will be performed at Edwards Air Force Base, California (35 percent); Patuxent River, Maryland (35 percent); and Fort Worth, Texas (30 percent), and is expected to be completed in March 2020. Fiscal 2018 research, development, test and evaluation (Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy); and non-Department of Defense (DOD) participant funds in the amount of $177,042,349 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract combines purchases for the Air Force ($70,932,017; 40 percent); Marine Corps ($35,466,009; 20 percent); Navy ($35,466,008; 20 percent) and non-DOD participants ($35,178,315; 20 percent). This contract was not competitively procured pursuant to Federal Acquisition Regulation 6.302-1. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, is the contracting activity (N00019-19-C-0004). Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is awarded a not-to-exceed value $83,100,000 undefinitized contract action. This contract provides for the development, integration, certification, and testing of dual capable aircraft capability to include hardware and software into the Air Force F-35A. Work will be performed in Fort Worth, Texas (70 percent); Edwards Air Force Base, California (29 percent); and St. Charles, Missouri (1 percent), and is expected to be completed in February 2024. Fiscal 2019 research, development, test and evaluation (Air Force) funding in the amount of $24,630,000 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured pursuant to 10 U.S. Code 2304(c)(1). The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity (N00019-19-C-0010). CSRA LLC, a General Dynamics Information Technology Co., Falls Church, Virginia, is awarded a $64,664,646 cost-plus-fixed-fee, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. This contract provides project management and engineering support for Navy and Marine Corps land, sea, and air platforms with a responsive, efficient, and reliable means to collect, detect, assess, identify, exploit, neutralize, and disseminate products to the U.S. and its interests. The procurement supports the execution of systems engineering activities to meet current and future electronic warfare mission information engineering capabilities and security protection needs for Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division integrated product teams. Work will be performed in Point Mugu, California (80 percent); Eglin Air Force Base, Florida (15 percent); and other locations in the U.S. (5 percent), and is expected to be completed in November 2023. Fiscal 2018 working capital funds (Navy) in the amount of $50,000 will be obligated at the time of award. This contract was competitively procured via an electronic request for proposals; three offers were received. The Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, China Lake, California, is the contracting activity (N68936-19-D-0016). Rolls-Royce Corp., Indianapolis, Indiana, is awarded a $40,890,720 firm-fixed-price modification to previously-awarded contract N00019-17-C-0081 for the procurement of 20 production MT7 marine turbine engines for Landing Craft, Air Cushion (LCAC) 100 class craft 109 through 113. This procurement is in support of the Ship-to-Shore Connector program. Each LCAC 100 craft incorporates four MT7 engines. Work to be performed includes production of the MT7 engines and delivery to Textron Marine Systems for the assembly of the LCAC 100 class craft. Work will be performed in Indianapolis, Indiana, and is expected to be completed by January, 2020. Fiscal 2017 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy) funding in the amount of $16,356,288; and fiscal 2018 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy) funding in the amount of $24,534,432 will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, District of Columbia, is the contracting activity, working in conjunction with the Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland. Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems, St. Petersburg, Florida, is awarded a $33,848,885 cost-plus-incentive-fee modification to previously-awarded contract N00024-13-C-5230 for Common Array Block antenna pre-production unit requirements in support of the Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) program. The Common Array Block antenna is an integral component of the CEC system. CEC is a sensor netting system that significantly improves battle force anti-air warfare capability by extracting and distributing sensor-derived information such that the superset of this data is available to all participating CEC units. CEC improves battle force effectiveness by improving overall situational awareness and by enabling longer range, cooperative, multiple, or layered engagement strategies. Work will be performed in Largo, Florida (70 percent); and Andover, Massachusetts (30 percent), and is expected to be completed by October 2020. Fiscal 2019 and 2018 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy) funding in the amount of $14,930,655 will be obligated at time of award, and funds in the amount of $2,494,788 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, District of Columbia, is the contracting activity. AIR FORCE Lockheed Martin Corp., Orlando, Florida, is awarded a $172,145,533 fixed-price incentive-fee contract for long range anti-ship missiles (LRASMs) Lot 2 production. The contract allows for the production of 50 LRASMs. Work will be performed in Orlando, Florida, and is expected to be completed by Dec. 31, 2021. The award is the result of sole- source acquisition. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, is the contracting activity (FA8682-19-C-0010). Avix-BGI JV LLC, Yorktown, Virginia, is awarded a $45,262,100 firm-fixed-price contract for the EC-130H/A-10C Contract Aircrew Training and Courseware Development program. The contractor shall furnish all personnel, equipment, tools, materials, supervision and all other items and services that are required to perform the contract. Work will be performed at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona; Moody AFB, Georgia; and other places as required. Work is expected to be completed by Jan. 31, 2024. This award is the result of a competitive acquisition and seven offers were received. The Acquisition Management and Integration Center, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, is the contracting activity (FA4890-19-C-0004). Parker-Hannifin Corp, Irvine, California, is awarded a $39,026,578 modification to contract FA8109-18-D-0004 for 12 additional spare national stock numbers items and the remanufacture of 11additional national stock numbers to support the A-10, B-1, B-52, C-135, C-5, C-130, C-17, E-3, F-15, F-16, and HH-60 aircraft. These items also support the TF33, F100, F101, F110, and F118 engines. Work will be performed in Irvine, California; Glendale, Arizona; Mentor, Ohio; and Kalamazoo, Michigan, and is expected to be completed by April 5, 2027. This award is the result of a sole-source acquisition. This is a requirements contract, so no funding is being obligated at the time of award. Air Force Sustainment Center, Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma, is the contracting activity. Bismark Construction Corp., Newark, New Jersey, is awarded a $17,108,065 modification (P00007) to contract FA4484‐16‐D‐0003 for maintenance and repair services. The maintenance and repair contract is a large tri-service indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity that supports physical infrastructure. Work will be performed at Joint Base McGuire‐Dix‐Lakehurst, New Jersey, and is expected to be completed by Nov. 15, 2019. No funds are being obligated at the time of award. The 87th Contracting Squadron, JB McGuire‐Dix‐Lakehurst, New Jersey, is the contracting activity. DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY Federal Prison Industries Inc.,* doing business as Unicor, Washington, District of Columbia, has been awarded a maximum $49,920,000 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for various types of trousers. This is a four-year contract with no option periods. Locations of performance are District of Columbia, Texas and Alabama, with a May 15, 2023, performance completion date. Using military services are Army and Air Force. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2019 through 2023 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (SPE1C1-19-D-F016). Southeast Power Systems of Orlando Inc.,** Orlando, Florida, has been awarded a maximum $9,342,729 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for fuel pumps for the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle. This was a sole-source acquisition using justification 10 U.S. Code 2304(c)(1), as stated in Federal Acquisition Regulation 6.302-1. This is a five-year contract with no option periods. Location of performance is Florida, with a Nov. 14, 2023, performance completion date. Using military service is Army. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2019 through 2024 Army working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime, Warren, Michigan (SPRDL1-19-D-0013). DEFENSE INFORMATION SYSTEMS AGENCY Peraton Government Communications Inc., Herndon, Virginia, was awarded a $9,289,610 contract modification (P00021) exercising Option Period Three on task order GS-35F-5497H / HC1013-16-F-0005. Performance directly supports American national security interests on the continent of Africa. This action is funded by fiscal 2019 operations and maintenance funds. The total cumulative face value of the task order is $50,089,527. Proposals were solicited via the General Services Administration's Federal Supply Schedule, Information Technology Schedule 70, and two proposals were received from 27 proposals solicited. The period of performance for Option Period Three is Nov. 15, 2018 – Nov. 14, 2019, and there is one remaining unexercised option period for this task order. The Defense Information Technology Contracting Organization, Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, is the contracting activity. (Awarded Nov. 14, 2018) *Mandatory Source **Small business

  • UK to double F-35 fleet with 17-jet order, Defence Secretary announces

    November 16, 2018 | International, Aerospace

    UK to double F-35 fleet with 17-jet order, Defence Secretary announces

    Ministry of Defence, Defence Equipment and Support, and The Rt Hon Gavin Williamson CBE MP The multi-million-pound contract signed will see the UK own 35 stealth jets by end of 2022 with Britain manufacturing 15% of the overall global order for 255 aircraft. The UK is set to double its number of world-beating F-35 stealth jets after ordering 17 more aircraft, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has announced. The 17 new F-35B aircraft will be delivered between 2020 and 2022 and will complement the 16 British aircraft currently based at RAF Marham and in the US, as well as two additional aircraft which are already on order. Overall, the UK has committed to procure 138 aircraft over the life of the programme. Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: I am delighted to confirm that we are doubling the size of our F-35 force into a formidable fleet of 35 stealth fighters. This is another massive order in the biggest defence programme in history. Our military and industry are playing a leading role in the F-35 programme. We are now building this game-changing capability that will soon be ready for frontline action. This programme is set to bring an immense boost of £35 billion into the British economy, and it will be welcome news to our firms that many more jets are now set for production. The 17 jets being ordered are part of a $6 billion contract for 255 aircraft being built for the global F-35 enterprise. The announcement is also good news for the UK economy, as British companies are building approximately 15% by value of all 3,000-plus F-35s planned for production. It is projected that around £35 billion will be contributed to the UK economy through the F-35 programme, with around 25,000 British jobs also being supported. CEO of Defence Equipment and Support, Sir Simon Bollom said: As the largest operator of F-35s outside of the US, the acquisition of 17 more Lightning aircraft underscores our commitment to the programme. This new contract demonstrates how our Armed Forces are equipped by DE&S with the latest equipment and support. News of this latest order comes as F-35B aircraft are currently embarked on HMS Queen Elizabeth for flying trials in the US, which continue to progress well. The fighter jets will be jointly manned by the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy and can operate from land and sea, forming a vital part of Carrier Strike when operating from the Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers.

  • NorthStar Earth and Space Inc. announces partnerships, $52 million in additional financing for global environment information platform

    November 15, 2018 | Local, C4ISR

    NorthStar Earth and Space Inc. announces partnerships, $52 million in additional financing for global environment information platform

    Telesystem Space, Canada, Quebec, Europe's Space Alliance, US-based KinetX form the NorthStar team MONTREAL, Nov. 15, 2018 /CNW/ - Human beings have left a legacy to Earth which threatens the sustainability of our planet and the livelihoods of future generations. The cause: a lack of tools to manage and monitor our impact on the environment. NorthStar Earth & Space Inc. (NorthStar E&S) is pleased to announce C$52 million in additional financing from strategic partners for the development of NorthStar, a global environment information platform which will transform humanity's ability to manage our impact on Earth and its natural resources. The Governments of Canada and Quebec are each contributing C$13 million. Private partners include Telesystem Space Inc. of Montreal, the majority shareholder, and the Space Alliance of Europe. Formed by Telespazio and Thales Alenia Space, the Space Alliance is a strategic partnership between Leonardo and Thales, the major industrial groups in the aerospace industry of Italy and France. This C$52 million sum adds to the C$31 million already contributed by NorthStar E&S's Canadian and US founding partners. The NorthStar platform is based on a 40-satellite constellation with sophisticated sensors and information delivery capability. NorthStar will enable new advances in continuous environmental management including pollution detection, charting the health of the world's oceans and rivers, enhancing the productivity of agriculture, wildfire alerts, and pipeline oil and gas monitoring to prevent spills and contamination. Around and above the planet, NorthStar's sensors will track orbital debris to reduce the probability of collisions and protect high-value assets in space. "Our goal is to empower humanity to preserve our planet," said NorthStar E&S CEO Stewart Bain. "Information provided by NorthStar will enable citizens, industry and governments to measure and manage our impact on the natural resources of Earth, creating a more sustainable world for now and for future generations. As a Canadian enterprise along with Telesystem Space, we welcome the participation of the governments of Canada and Quebec, and the Space Alliance, all critical to the success of our mission". According to The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions, "NorthStar's project demonstrates how Canada'sspace sector is driving game-changing innovations and developing solutions for real-world problems. Our government's investment will help ensure that Quebec remains at the forefront of advanced information technology, creating good jobs for the middle-class and positioning Canada's economy to be globally competitive." "The growth of the aerospace industry in Quebec is directly linked to corporate innovation efforts," according to Pierre Fitzgibbon, Minister of the Economy and Innovation and Minister responsible for the Lanaudière region. "Our government reiterates its support for the growth of this industry, which is essential to Québec's economy, by enabling innovative companies to achieve their goals. That is why the Québec government is proud to support the NorthStar project, which will generate new expertise and quality jobs in the aerospace, the information and the communications technology sector." In a joint statement from The Space Alliance, Luigi Pasquali, CEO of Telespazio and Jean Loïc Galle, CEO of Thales Alenia Space said, "This investment in NorthStar is strategically in line with Space Alliance's global offer and we are convinced this solution will bring benefit to our customers and their priority needs". Commercial Earth Observation and Space Object Tracking services are rapid-growth areas and represent the future of the global space economy in Canada and abroad. When fully operational, NorthStar E&S expects to create an estimated 400 highly-skilled direct jobs and 1200 indirect jobs related to Big Data and Information Analytics, and support the expansion of aerospace, satellite design and sensor technology industries in Canada and abroad. Data services will be made available through NorthStar's AGILE (Applications for Global Innovation and Leadership) Centre Platform, in cooperation with a worldwide community of Applications Developers. AGILE Centres around the world will foster clusters of activity in Big Data and Predictive Analytics, the first generation of smart environmental protection apps. According to NorthStar CEO Bain, the first AGILE Centre will be based in Montreal, Canada. "With its talent base in the IT, AI and aerospace sectors and general quality of life which attracts the best and the brightest from around the world, Montreal is the ideal home for the NorthStar platform, " said Bain. Government of Canada funding includes C$9.5 million from the Strategic Innovation Fund and C$3.5 million from Economic Development Quebec Region. The Government of Quebec, via Le Fonds du développement économique (FDE), also invested C$13 million. With today's announcement, NorthStar Earth & Space Inc. has gathered a total of C$83 million for its NorthStar platform. ABOUT NORTHSTAR The space infrastructure will rely on a constellation of 40 satellites equipped with Hyperspectral, Infrared and Optical sensors. NorthStar will continuously detect and analyze the fine chemistry of objects on the complete surface of the Earth. Via proprietary data analysis and predictive analytics, NorthStar will deliver Earth Observation information with a dimension, precision, richness and timeliness never before available. NorthStar's Space Situational Awareness service will have the ability to identify, track and predict the trajectories of more than 300,000 objects in Earth's orbit, now classified as space debris, which is significantly more than currently possible. This information is critical for an expanding satellite industry owned and operated by both the private and public sectors. The founding shareholders of NorthStar E&S include Telesystem Ltd, based in Montreal, and US-based KinetX Inc. Telesystem Ltd, a media and technology holding company managed by the Sirois family, has built a successful track record as a leading global telecommunications player and with high growth technology start-ups. KinetX Inc is a US-based company which specializes in orbital dynamics and is the originator of the NorthStar concept. Telesystem Space Inc, the majority shareholder of NorthStar Earth and Space Inc, is a Canadian company jointly owned by Telesystem Ltd and an affiliate of Rogers Telecommunications Limited (RTL), created to help define and support the launch of the NorthStar global environment information platform. RTL is a private holding company of the Rogers family and together with affiliated companies controls Rogers Communications Inc, one of the largest telecommunications and media companies in Canada. SOURCE NorthStar Earth & Space For further information: Website:; Press Contact: Jean-Philippe Arseneau, 1-514-953-8597,

  • Ottawa to spend $90M to build, repair First Nations police stations

    November 15, 2018 | Local, Security

    Ottawa to spend $90M to build, repair First Nations police stations

    Funding comes on top of $291M announced earlier this year to hire staff, buy equipment Kathleen Harris · CBC News The federal government will spend nearly $90 million to build and repair police stations in First Nation and Inuit communities. The money is meant to address "pressing needs" in policing infrastructure by repairing, renovating or replacing facilities, many of them in remote or fly-in communities. The program, which is cost-shared with the provinces and territories, will help ensure policing infrastructure complies with current building, policing facility and health and safety standards. The first two-year phase of the $88.6 million program will fund communities in need of urgent repairs, while a second phase will fund projects based on merit. The funding will roll out over seven years. The federal government will launch a bidding process to assess First Nation and Inuit police service facilities, which will help guide the selection of phase two infrastructure projects. Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said the First Nations Policing Program serves about 400,000 people in 450 communities through "culturally relevant" policing. "Building on our government's major investments in new officers, salaries and equipment, we are making new investments in policing facilities so officers can do their jobs properly and keep their communities safe," he said in a statement. Indigenous forces complain of underfunding The money announced today comes on top of the $291 million over five years Goodale announced earlier this year for First Nations policing operations. That announcement came after years of complaints and legal challenges from Indigenous police forces that claim they've been chronically underfunded. At the time, Goodale said the figure nearly triples the basic amount earmarked in 2017, representing the largest federal financial commitment since 1991. The money will go toward improving salaries, hiring new officers and buying new equipment. Some underfunded forces had been struggling to replace expired bulletproof vests and update officer training. Kent Elson, a lawyer who has acted in cases involving policing in Indigenous communities, said the new funding represents "good progress" but doesn't go far enough to fix widespread problems. He said the funding ought to follow an essential service model based on need. Deadly conditions "If a police station is unsafe, then you have to replace it," he said. "You can't just put it on a waiting list and say, 'Sorry we're maxed out this year.' "People have died and more would die if the stations are not adequate." Elson said conditions have improved since a deadly fire at an isolated northern Ontario reserve's police station in 2006, but the inequities remain "stark." Ricardo Wesley, 22, and James Goodwin, 20, burned to death on Jan. 8, 2006, while being held for public intoxication at the Kashechewan First Nation police detachment. Community constable pilot The RCMP has a special pilot program to address gaps in policing, including Indigenous communities, but a recent evaluation of that program found that it is not focused on its mandate. The Community Constable pilot program currently has 19 armed, uniformed peace officers with local knowledge of the communities they serve, including their languages, cultures and geography. While the program's mandate was to prevent crime through community engagement, the evaluation found that most of the constables weren't clear on the mandate, and participated in more enforcement activities than prevention activities. RCMP Staff Sgt. Tania Vaughan said community constables are meant to enhance, not replace, existing RCMP services in a community. "At this time, the community constable program remains a pilot program, and no final decision on its future has been made," she said in an email. "The purpose of the evaluation was to provide senior management with a neutral, timely and evidence-based assessment of the pilot program to help inform decision-making on its permanency. The RCMP is now better informed in order to enhance the CC Program, and make changes to it that will better serve our communities." Vaughan said the RCMP is responding to the evaluation by responding to questions and concerns from the community constables and developing a clearly defined program mandate. It will also better track performance information and formalize the governance structure, roles and responsibilities.

  • The Government of Canada donates surplus Coast Guard helicopters

    November 15, 2018 | Local, Aerospace

    The Government of Canada donates surplus Coast Guard helicopters

    News release November 14, 2018 Saint Hubert, Québec Canadian Coast Guard The Government of Canada is supporting the development of well-trained, skilled personnel to serve the aerospace industry of the future, by donating surplus Coast Guard assets to educational institutions across Canada. These donations are helping to support aircraft maintenance training in Canada, providing practical and hands-on experience to students. On behalf of the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, Sherry Romanado, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Seniors and Member of Parliament for Longueuil–Charles-LeMoyne, announced today that École nationale d'aérotechnique, affiliated with Cégep Édouard-Montpetit, along with nine other educational training institutions located across Canada, have received a Coast Guard Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm BO105 helicopter. The ten BO105 helicopters were in service in the Canadian Coast Guard for more than 30 years. The first BO 105 helicopter was purchased by Coast Guard in April 1985, and the last unit was purchased in April of 1988. The helicopter fleet plays an essential part in supporting programs such as icebreaking, marine communication, aids to navigation, environmental response, waterway protection, conservation and protection, science and support to other government departments as required. As part of the Coast Guard's Fleet Renewal Plan, the Government of Canada has purchased and deployed 22 new helicopters, including 15 light-lift helicopters (Bell Epi 429) and seven medium-lift helicopters (Bell Epi 412). Quotes “I am proud that these Coast Guard helicopters will help develop students across the country allowing them to have practical and hands-on experience. These assets have a lot of history and are part of the Coast Guard's heritage. I am glad that they will benefit the generations to come in building high-level aircraft maintenance expertise.” Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard “Students from l'École nationale d'aérotechnique, will benefit from the Government of Canada's donation. There is nothing like being able to provide students with the opportunity to grow and develop their skills by learning on real Coast Guard assets.” Sherry Romanado, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Seniors and Member of Parliament for Longueuil–Charles-LeMoyne “École nationale d'aérotechnique (ÉNA) is among the ten educational training institutions in Canada having received a BO-105 as a donation. By adding to the 37 aircrafts owned by ÉNA, it allows us to increase the educational value of laboratories and hands-on activities in the hangars on a new type of helicopter. We are very grateful to the Canadian Coast Guard for this donation that allows our students to acquire a training even more tailored to the needs of the industry, while at the same time renewing our aircraft fleet.” Sylvain Lambert, executive director of cégep Édouard-Montpetit, and ÉNA's director Quick facts In total, ten Transport Canada-approved training institutes offering aircraft maintenance engineer programs across Canada have received a donated BO105 helicopter. The Canadian Coast Guard has completed construction and delivery of 15 Bell 429 light-lift helicopters and seven Bell 412EPI medium-lift helicopters as part of its ongoing Fleet Renewal Plan. All 22 of the new helicopters have been deployed to Coast Guard bases across the country. The Canadian Coast Guard is currently building a full flight simulator that will provide a platform for training for the new fleet. The BO105s will be used by the recipient institutions for hands-on training for mechanical and engineering programs.

  • Saudi Arabia and the Canadian Arms Lobby

    November 15, 2018 | Local, Land

    Saudi Arabia and the Canadian Arms Lobby

    by Yves Engler Will they cancel the contract or won't they? In order to understand Ottawa's decision making process regarding General Dynamics' massive arms deal with Saudi Arabia one must look closely at industry lobbyists. While the Trudeau government is under substantial public pressure to rescind the $15 billion Light Armored Vehicle sale, to do so would challenge the company and the broader corporate lobby. Last week a senior analyst with the GD-financed Canadian Global Affairs Institute boldly defended the LAV sale. "There has been no behavior by the Saudis to warrant canceling this contract", said David Perry to the London Free Press. Perry must have missed the Kingdom's violence in Yemen, repression in eastern Saudi Arabia and consulate murder in Istanbul. Two weeks ago Perry told another interviewer that any move to reverse the LAV sale would have dire consequences. "There would be geopolitical implications. There would be a huge number of economic implications, both immediately and in the wider economy... canceling this, I think, would be a big step because as far as I understand the way that we look at arms exports, it would effectively mean that we've changed the rules of the game." Amidst an earlier wave of criticism towards GD's LAV sale, the Canadian Global Affairs Institute published a paper titled "Canada and Saudi Arabia: A Deeply Flawed but Necessary Partnership" that defended the $15-billion deal. At the time of its 2016 publication at least four of the institute's "fellows" wrote columns justifying the sale, including an opinion piece by Perry published in the Globe and Mail Report on Business that was headlined "Without foreign sales, Canada's defense industry would not survive." Probably Canada's most prominent foreign policy think tank, Canadian Global Affairs Institute is a recipient of GD's "generous" donations. Both GD Land Systems and GD Mission Systems are listed among its "supporters" in recent annual reports, but the exact sum they've given the institute isn't public. The Conference of Defence Associations Institute also openly supports GD's LAV sale. Representatives of the Ottawa-based lobby/think tank have writtencommentaries justifying the LAV sale and a 2016 analysis concluded that "our own Canadian national interests, economic and strategic, dictate that maintaining profitable political and trade relations with ‘friendly' countries like Saudi Arabia, including arms sales, is the most rational option in a world of unpleasant choices." Of course, the Conference of Defence Associations Institute also received GD money and its advisory board includes GD Canada's senior director of strategy and government relations Kelly Williams. Full article:

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