8 mars 2023 | Local, C4ISR

Cyber attack hits engineering giant with contracts for military bases, power plants

OTTAWA ? A Canadian engineering giant whose work involves critical military, power and transportation infrastructure across the country has been hit with a ransomware attack.


Sur le même sujet

  • Canada's WWII-era pistols dangerously unreliable — but the quest to find a replacement drags on

    10 décembre 2018 | Local, Terrestre

    Canada's WWII-era pistols dangerously unreliable — but the quest to find a replacement drags on

    Tristin Hopper The Canadian Army brought 20 pistols to an Arkansas shooting competition. Before events had even officially kicked off, 15 of those pistols had jammed so badly during the warmup they couldn't be used. “It was so bad, the guys coming off (the range) were handing over their (remaining five) pistols to the next team because they couldn't trust the others,” said Ken Pole, who wrote about the incident for a feature in Canadian Army Today. On average, Pole found that the Canadians' handguns has jammed once every 62 shots. Their British competitors, by contrast, squeezed off 5,620 rounds without a hitch. This is all pretty standard for the Browning Hi-Power, the 74-year-old pistol still carried as the primary sidearm of the Canadian Armed Forces. Unlike most pistols carried by G7 militaries, Brownings have a tendency to rattle and soldiers have been advised not to fully load the pistol because it will wear out the springs. When a Canadian soldier is deployed to a war zone such as Afghanistan or Mali, they're issued with whatever Browning Hi-Power is deemed to be least likely to give out. That's why some have joked that if they're ever forced to use their sidearm in combat, they'd be better off throwing it than shooting it. “If you give me a choice of a sharp stick or a Browning, I'll ... sadly take the Browning but will look fondly at the stick,” Bob Kinch, a former competitive marksman with the Canadian Armed Forces, wrote in a September Quora post. Like many times when the Canadian military tries to buy something, however, the quest to replace the Browning is now held up in a years-long procurement limbo. A 2016 statement by the Department of National Defence estimated that soldiers wouldn't be able to get their hands on new pistols until at least 2026. Canada's Hi-Powers are so desperately obsolete, however, that the army has been forced to greenlight a stopgap program to buy up some working pistols in the meantime. Known as the “Army Interim Pistol Program,” it will buy about 7,000 sidearms to immediate plug what the army is calling its “current pistol capability gaps.” Full article: https://nationalpost.com/news/canada/canadas-wwii-era-pistols-dangerously-unreliable-but-the-quest-to-find-a-replacement-drags-on

  • ‘First-class’ fighter pilot becomes eVTOL entrepreneur

    28 janvier 2021 | Local, Aérospatial

    ‘First-class’ fighter pilot becomes eVTOL entrepreneur

    BY NATASHA MCKENTY | JANUARY 28, 2021 Estimated reading time 14 minutes, 58 seconds. Brandon Robinson's Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) and Top Aces fighter pilot exploits compare to those of a protagonist in a blockbuster movie. After graduating from the Royal Military College of Canada with First Class Honours, his career quickly skyrocketed from frontline fighter squadron to being selected for the prestigious Fighter Weapons Instructor Course (FWIC) – the Canadian version of Top Gun. He obtained an MBA at Royal Roads University, and then did a tour in Ottawa where he “managed over $4 billion in procurement projects for the Fighter Force.” He spent the next few years instructing for FWIC. “Think ‘Viper' from the movie Top Gun,” he laughed. I then completed our Joint Command and Staff College program for those flagged for senior leadership.” While instructing for FWIC, Robinson earned the CF-18 fighter pilot instructor role at 410 Squadron in Cold Lake, Alberta, leading into oversight of CF-18 Fleet Tactical Standards, and then onto senior project management with a deputy director role in multiple Air Force projects. Robinson is modest. He credits his competitive nature “and a lot of luck” for his success. “I fully acknowledge that without exceptionally talented and competitive friends, I would not have passed, let alone have been fortunate enough to fly jets,” he told Skies. He found Military College to be physically and emotionally demanding, having a way of teaching you your limits and how to “be at peace with them.” Despite the challenges, he was one of the top five engineers in the program all four years. For Robinson, aviation was innate. His grandfather, RCAF Capt Eric Robinson was a Second World War bomber pilot. His father, Brian Robinson, began flying at the age of 14, but his hopes of joining the Air Force were grounded when he learned his vision wasn't good enough. “My father was very young when he and [my grandfather] built from scrap metal what is now a family airplane — an old RC-3 Republic Seabee aircraft.” Brian retired from his day job to turn the family hobby into a successful custom aviation engineering business. There was always “an army of airplanes” in and around Robinson's home. The first time Robinson piloted a plane, he was three years old. His grandfather let him sit in the seat in front of him. “I couldn't sit. I had to stand,” he laughed. “He said, ‘OK, you have control, so take us over there.'” That experience “made an imprint” for Robinson. After high school, much to his “mother's chagrin,” he joined the RCAF to “fly fast jets.” After military training, “there's a big [graduation] ceremony where they hand out the slots, and I remember looking at the card and seeing the CF-18 symbol on the bottom,” he said. Internally, he was bursting. Not surprisingly, when asked about the memorable moments of his career, he said it's difficult to choose. Robinson recalled, after being on the Squadron for just three months in Bagotville, Quebec, he was deployed to Hawaii for a joint exercise with the U.S. Navy. “The U.S. Navy has this big exercise, and the Canadians were asked to go,” he said. “So, we ferried CF-18s across the country, from Quebec to Comox, British Columbia. We overnighted, met up with an aerial refueler and then the next thing I know I'm in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, tanking off a refueler. There's a portion where, if you can't get gas, you're going to have to eject because you can't get back to land. I'm a 27-year-old kid who only has 200 hours of experience in this CF-18, and I'm over the middle of the ocean thinking, ‘OK, you better make this happen.' It's not the easiest maneuver either,” he laughed. Robinson shared the story of how he earned his call-sign: Repo. “I was flying, and my left engine essentially blew up; one of the main turbine hubs fractured. It severely crippled the aircraft, placing it into a reversionary control architecture. The engine was destroyed, and the aircraft was on fire,” he said. After 10 “very long seconds” of being “out of control,” he “dealt with the fire” and regained control. “I was able to land it safely back at the base. However, it was too badly damaged to fix. So, the joke was that the government had to repossess or repo it,” he laughed. “The damaged engine almost fell out when I landed.” He remembered flying low-level over the ocean while “shooting missiles at drones and dropping bombs on remote-controlled moving ships; being in front of 100 angry fighter pilots leading a NATO coalition strike mission; [and] early morning departures over Torrey Pines in California to dogfight over the ocean.” In 2018, with 20 years of service and a list of neck and spine injuries in his rear-view, he knew it was time to find adrenaline elsewhere. “You can't pull seven-and-a-half Gs for 20 years without hurting a few things,” he laughed. Leaving, he admitted, was a difficult decision, but entrepreneurship was also on his radar. The kid that grew up in rural Ontario, Canada, with an “army of airplanes” at his disposal and a military career most would envy, headed out to his next call of duty. He joined forces with his father to start Horizon Aircraft, an aerospace startup that is currently developing the Cavorite X5 — a new eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) design for the urban air mobility market. Horizon has been developing the Cavorite X5 for the past two years. The concept for the X5 came from the company's initial prototype, the X3 — an amphibious design with a hybrid electric power system. “When we were asked to push the performance even further, we naturally began investigating distributed electric propulsion and the potential for eVTOL modification of the core X3 concept,” explained Robinson. “That's how the X5 The five-seat Cavorite X5 is powered by an electric motor coupled with a high-efficiency gas engine, but is ultimately built for fully electric flight. Horizon is building the aircraft to fly at speeds up to 350 kilometers per hour, with a 450-km range. The focus is to produce an aircraft “able to do real work in harsh environments,” including disaster relief, medevac, air cargo and personnel transport. Today, Robinson has his hands full with multiple patents pending, including a “fan-in-wing design” that would allow the Cavorite X5 to fly either like a conventional aircraft or an eVTOL when required. The X5 “flies like a normal aircraft for 99 percent of its mission,” said Robinson. The wing design “allows the aircraft to return to normal wing-borne lift after its vertical portion is complete; when moving forward, the wings close up and hide the vertical lift fans.” Horizon is working towards a large-scale prototype it hopes to have flying by the end of 2021. Robinson has become comfortable fielding questions based on skepticism. He's built an army of support from his highly-skilled network, including Virgin Galactic test pilot and close friend, Jameel Janjua. “Our team is extremely experienced, formed out of my father's previous custom aviation engineering business. We also have an individual leading the technical development who has designed, built and tested two novel aircraft designs from scratch. https://skiesmag.com/news/first-class-fighter-pilot-evtol-entrepreneur

  • Canada’s Air Task Force – Romania begins 2020 NATO enhanced Air Policing mission

    9 septembre 2020 | Local, Aérospatial

    Canada’s Air Task Force – Romania begins 2020 NATO enhanced Air Policing mission

    On Sept. 3, the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Air Task Force – Romania (ATF-Romania) received their readiness certification from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) during a certification ceremony held at the Romanian Air Force Base Mihail Kogalniceanu. This certification allowed the Task Force to officially begin their enhanced Air Policing mission under Operation Reassurance in Romania on Saturday, Sept. 5. During this mission, the detachment from the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), consisting of approximately 135 personnel and six CF-18 Hornet fighter jets, will help secure the skies over Romania until December 2020. The Air Task Force will work with the Romanian Air Force under NATO command and control as part of Operation Reassurance, which is Canada's contribution to NATO assurance and deterrence measures. Protection measures against COVID-19 were taken during the certification ceremony to ensure the health and safety of all present. While conducting their mission, the Air Task Force members are working alongside our regional partners and Allies in Romania, and taking all the necessary precautions to minimize the risk to the safety of our personnel and the local population. Despite the limitations of operating in a COVID-19 environment, the CAF have remained agile and able to conduct successful missions around the world, all while adhering to both domestic and host nation COVID-19 safety requirements. “Every year, this Air Task Force provides a concrete example of Canada's commitment to NATO's collective defence,” said MGen Eric Kenny, Commander 1 Canadian Air Division and Joint Forces Air Component Commander. “Air Policing is a critical part of NATO's mandate and is a mission our crews excel at, thanks to their training and experience with our own 24/7/365 NORAD mandate. I know they will take every opportunity to share their knowledge and learn from our Romanian and regional allies, as they help secure the Romanian skies.” “Having deployed on this mission in 2014, I know how much our pilots and entire Task Force benefit from this opportunity to work with our NATO allies,” said LCol David McLeod, Commander of Air Task Force – Romania. “COVID-19 has not dulled the enthusiasm of the great team that comes with me and I know their knowledge and professionalism will be evident throughout the deployment. Working alongside our NATO allies is critical to collective defence but also provides an invaluable opportunity to learn from one another. I am honoured to be back as the Air Task Force Commander, and I am looking forward to working and flying alongside our Romanian allies again.” Quick Facts During the mission, Canadian fighter pilots, mostly from 433 Tactical Fighter Squadron (433 TFS), will hold a quick reaction alert posture to augment Romanian air policing capabilities. They will also fly training missions together with the Romanian Air Force, as well as other regional Allies and partners. This will include patrolling Romanian air space and, if necessary, intercepting any aircraft that enter it without authorization. Operation Reassurance is Canada's contribution to NATO assurance and deterrence measures, which demonstrates Canada's ability and willingness to react rapidly to international crises and to work side by side with its NATO Allies to reinforce NATO's collective security. Air Task Force – Romania is the Air component of the mission. The Canadian Armed Forces have supported the mission since 2014, with this deployment marking the fifth time Canada has sent a detachment to Romania in support of NATO's enhanced Air Policing. https://www.skiesmag.com/press-releases/canadas-air-task-force-romania-begins-2020-nato-enhanced-air-policing-mission/

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