11 novembre 2017 | Local, Aérospatial

Canadian air chief looks to speed up up fighter buy

DUBAI — Canada will kick start its competition for a future fighter jet in 2019 with the hopes of awarding a contract by 2021, but the head of the Royal Canadian Air Force wants the process to move as quickly as possible.

“The plan right now is to have a request for proposal out to industry by 2019. we’re in discussions and have been in discussions with a number of the people who are considering competing for that, and what I’d like to see is that accelerated as much as possible,” said RCAF commander Lt. Gen. Michael Hood, in an exclusive interview with Defense News.

“A 2019 RFP would get us into contract probably by 2021, and certainly my advice to government is the sooner the better.”

The RCAF wants to procure 88 fighter jets to replace its current inventory of aging 76 F/A-18 Hornets, which are nearing the end of their lifespans.

Canada is an international participant in the F-35 joint strike fighter program and has helped pay for the development of the aircraft. But Prime Minister Justin Trudeau vowed not to procure the F-35 during his campaign, and his government has opened up the competition to industry instead of moving forward with a sole-source acquisition. The Eurofighter Typhoon, Dassault Rafale, Boeing Super Hornet and Saab’s Gripen E are all projected to compete for the opportunity.

To bridge the gap between its Hornet fleet and a future fighter, the RCAF initially intended to procure 18 F/A-18 Super Hornets from Boeing — a move some analysts speculated could trigger a larger procurement later on. However, the Canadian government suspended the deal due to Boeing’s legal complaint against Canadian aerospace company Bombardier over its commercial business.

With a Super Hornet buy unlikely as long as Boeing and Bombardier feud, and Trudeau’s promise not to buy the F-35, U.S. defense experts worry that Canada could be driven into the arms of a European fighter manufacturer, thus eroding Canada’s long tradition of flying U.S. jets — a move that increases the militaries’ interoperability.

However, Hood stated that interoperability with the United States continues to be “the most important thing to me as command of the Royal Canadian Air Force.”

“Every step less of interoperability is one step less of effectiveness, so interoperability is right at the top of the list beside operational advantage,” he said. “I want the young men and women that are going to be flying fighters into harm’s way to have an operational advantage, and that will be key to me in the competition that’s coming.”

That need for interoperability with the U.S. Air Force does not diminish the chances of European fighters, he added.

Canada continues to investigate alternative ways to acquire an interim fleet of F/A-18s, including potentially buying used Hornets from Australia. However, a potential deal for Super Hornets with Boeing is still on the table, Hood said.

“I think the government has been presented with the FMS case for Boeing. And as they’re looking at options, that’s one option,” he said. “The Australian aircraft are another, and the government has not made a decision yet.”

If the RCAF moves forward with a used Hornet buy from Australia, it will have to extend the lives of the airframes, which are meeting their structural ends, Hood noted. That business would likely go to L3 Technologies, which has done life extension work on the Canadian F/A-18s in the past. But Canada would still be able to acquire the aircraft “within the next couple of years” once a decision is made.

Lockheed officials have said that if Canada ultimately decided not to procure the F-35, it could end its industrial partnership with Canadian firms — which totals 110 Canadian companies with $750 million in contracts, according to Lockheed — that already help manufacture the F-35.

However, asked whether Canada was concerned about losing that business, Hood demurred.

“I’m not privy to the industrial aspects of our partnership with Lockheed Martin,” he said. “What I can say is Lockheed Martin is a fantastic partner for Canada and for the Royal Canadian Air Force, has been for years. We remain very, very strongly engaged both in the joint project office and helping to continue with the development of the F-35, and Canadian companies continue to bid and win on contracts with that.”

https://www.defensenews.com/digital-show-dailies/dubai-air-show/2017/11/11/canadian-air-chief-the-sooner-the-better-on-fighter-acquisition/

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    25 mai 2020 | Local, Terrestre

    Supacat and Soucy team to offer composite rubber tracks for UK armoured fleet upgrades

    21 May 2020, Leading high mobility military vehicle developer, Supacat, with operations in Devon, UK, and Melbourne, Australia, signed a Teaming Agreement in March 2020 with Soucy International Inc., the Quebec, Canada, based global leader in Composite Rubber Tracks (CRT) for defence equipment. The teaming offers Soucy’s market leading, high performance Composite Rubber Track systems to meet the requirements of the UK armed forces, and others, to upgrade their new and legacy armoured fleets from Steel Track to Composite Rubber Tracks. The integration and support for Soucy tracks could be provided by Supacat, an established prime contractor to both the UK and Australian MoDs, thus securing high value jobs within local supply chains. Supacat’s OEM engineering capability and experienced field support teams would ensure the long-term sustainment of vehicles fitted with Composite Rubber Tracks and a commitment to support troops in peacetime and during operations. Soucy has been in the vanguard of Composite Rubber Track development to not only match but surpass the performance of steel track systems in all measurable areas, from mobility and traction to cost per Km. Soucy provides defence tracks up to a GVW of 50mT and continues developing compounds for higher GVW. Soucy tracks are approved by military forces worldwide and it has supplied Composite Rubber Tracks for platforms such as M113, Warthog, Bronco, BVS10, BAE Systems MPF, CV90 and Redback, with many more in development. The value of the UK armed forces’ requirement is estimated at £500m in track sales over 25 years but deliver potential savings to the UK MoD of £330m from just four platform configurations transitioned to Composite Rubber Tracks, based on current track mileage allocations. For the UK MoD, the Soucy – Supacat teaming enables it to acquire global market leading technology through an innovation led British SME and level up employment into South West England; and post Brexit, to further the UK – Canada trade partnership in helping Soucy expand its presence in the UK to create new job opportunities. Other armed forces in Europe are planning upgrades but acceptance onto some of the British Army’s larger fleet is key to the UK-Canada team. Composite Rubber Tracks reduce the noise and vibration levels generated by steel that impact the health of both vehicle system and user. They significantly improve crew safety, durability and system life while lowering fuel and life cycle costs. Rubber tracks also benefit programmes with weight restrictions, such as the Mobile Fires Platform (MFP). Nick Ames, CEO of Supacat parent SC Group said, "We are delighted to be teamed with the world leading rubber track manufacturer, Soucy. We have had experience with tracks over the years for both military and civil applications, most notably the RNLI Launch and Recovery System. This teaming takes our exposure to rubber tracks to a new level and we look forward to working with Soucy on bringing the undeniable benefits of rubber tracks to the relevant UK and Australian vehicle fleets in the coming months and years ensuring the economic benefits are retained in both countries”. Normand Lalonde said, ‘’ This teaming agreement between Soucy and Supacat is directly linked to the global positioning strategy of Soucy. It will allow us to enhance our value proposition offer of CRT to the UK MOD and to the different European and Australian armies while supporting local employment. It will allow the Armies to capitalize greatly on the benefits brought by the CRT helping them to increase their operational capabilities. Soucy is very honored to work with Supacat, both companies have the same values.’’ https://www.armyrecognition.com/may_2020_news_defense_global_security_army_industry/supacat_and_soucy_team_to_offer_composite_rubber_tracks_for_uk_armoured_fleet_upgrades.html

  • PAL soon hiring for SAR main operating bases

    15 novembre 2017 | Local, Aérospatial

    PAL soon hiring for SAR main operating bases

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  • Industry updates: New search and rescue aircraft to fly in Canada in mid-2020, second Offshore Fisheries Science Vessel delivered

    2 janvier 2020 | Local, Aérospatial, Naval, Sécurité

    Industry updates: New search and rescue aircraft to fly in Canada in mid-2020, second Offshore Fisheries Science Vessel delivered

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