23 mai 2023 | Local, Naval

Davie dans la Stratégie nationale de construction navale | Sorel-Tracy veut renouer avec son passé

La nostalgie de Marine Industrie remonte à la surface à Sorel-Tracy lorsqu’on évoque le chantier maritime Davie. Dans cette ville de la Montérégie, la construction de brise-glaces en territoire québécois représente l’occasion de renouer avec ce qui était jadis son épine dorsale économique : la construction navale.

https://www.lapresse.ca/affaires/2023-05-23/davie-dans-la-strategie-nationale-de-construction-navale/sorel-tracy-veut-renouer-avec-son-passe.php

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  • String of radar stations in Canadian Arctic nearly obsolete — and modernizing them will cost billions

    9 octobre 2018 | Local, C4ISR

    String of radar stations in Canadian Arctic nearly obsolete — and modernizing them will cost billions

    David Pugliese, Ottawa Citizen The radar sites detect potential threats entering North America's airspace and transmit a stream of data to military command centres in the south CAMBRIDGE BAY, Nunavut — The white domes that rise from the tundra look innocuous enough, and yet they play a critical role in protecting millions of Canadians and Americans thousands of kilometres away. Inside, where photographs are forbidden, they are like a time capsule from the late 1980s, the décor still reflecting the late Cold War era when the Canadian and U.S. governments established the North Warning System, the chain of mostly unmanned radar sites of which the Cambridge Bay facility is a part. Spanning Canada's northern coastline across the Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Labrador, the radar sites exist to detect potential threats entering North America's airspace, transmitting a stream of data to military command centres in the south. At the Cambridge Bay site, dozens of civilian contractors — employees of Raytheon Canada — work around the clock to keep the installation operating in temperatures that can dip to -60 C in January or February. At times during the winter, Arctic storms almost completely cover some of the sites in snow, requiring contractors to climb through hatches in the roofs of the buildings to conduct maintenance work. But the North Warning System now faces a threat greater than the harsh Arctic environment. In seven years the radar system is expected to be obsolete. The Canadian and U.S. governments are trying to figure out how to upgrade the radars for modern times — opening the door that the sensors could be plugged in to the Pentagon's missile defence system as well as be modernized so they can track a new generation of Russian cruise missiles. Canada and the U.S. are trying to figure out technological improvements for the early warning system and are in the midst of discussions on the topic. A joint study on continental defence is expected to be finished by next year, Department of National Defence spokesman Dan Le Bouthillier told Postmedia. “Following the completion of the study, Canada and the United States will determine the next steps for the replacement of the NWS and update the project timelines accordingly,” he added. But that could emerge as yet another point of contention between Canada and the Trump administration in the U.S., which has already admonished Canada for not spending enough on defence. The last time the U.S. and Canada modernized the radar system was during the tenure of U.S. President Ronald Reagan, when relations between the two nations were on a solid footing. “Negotiating with the Trump administration is going to be a lot different than with the Reagan government,” explained defence analyst Martin Shadwick. “Trump will be the wild card.” Shadwick said details about funding and what the radars need to do in the future could become sticking points. The Liberal government has recognized it has to do something about what it calls the capability gaps in the North Warning System. “While the current NWS is approaching the end of its life expectancy from a technological and functional perspective, unfortunately the range of potential threats to the continent, such as that posed by adversarial cruise missiles and ballistic missiles, has become more complex and increasingly difficult to detect,” the government's defence strategy, released last year, pointed out. But the Liberals did not include funding for the modernization of the NWS in that policy, saying it would come later. Canada is currently responsible for 40 per cent of the cost of the North Warning System, with the remaining 60 per cent falling to the Americans. Canada owns the sites and provides the site operations and maintenance while the U.S. owns the radar and radio equipment. Ernie Regehr, a senior fellow in Arctic security and defence at The Simons Foundation, has found that while the cost for upgrading the North Warning System is unknown at this time it can be expected to run into the billions of dollars. Canada and the U.S. share the responsibility for a credible contribution to the defence of North America, Regehr pointed out. “And the American definition of credible is the one that counts,” he wrote in a March briefing for the Simons Foundation. Full article: https://nationalpost.com/news/modernizing-warning-radars-in-the-arctic-will-cost-canada-and-the-us-billions-of-dollars

  • F-35s Are Dead: The Sixth Generation of Fighter Aircraft Is On Its Way

    21 janvier 2020 | Local, Aérospatial

    F-35s Are Dead: The Sixth Generation of Fighter Aircraft Is On Its Way

    by Kris Osborn Key point: At this rate, the F-35 won't even see combat before its outmoded. It is also possible that the new 6th-generation fighter could use advanced, futuristic stealth technology able to enable newer, more capable air defenses. The air defenses of potential adversaries are increasingly using faster computing processing power and are better networked together, more digital, able to detect a wider range of frequencies and able to detect stealthy aircraft at farther distances. The Air Force has begun experimenting and conceptual planning for a 6th generation fighter aircraft to emerge in coming years as a technological step beyond the F-35, service leaders said. "We have started experimentation, developmental planning and technology investment," Lt. Gen. Arnold Bunch, Military Deputy, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force, Acquisition, told Scout Warrior in an interview. The new aircraft, engineered to succeed the 5th-generation F-35 Joint StrikeFighter and explode onto the scene by the mid 2030s, is now in the earliest stages of conceptual development with the Air Force and Navy. The two services are now working together on early conceptual discussions about the types of technologies and capabilities the aircraft will contain. While the Air Force has not yet identified a platform for the new aircraft. The Air Force characterizes the effort in terms of a future capability called Next-Gen Air Dominance. While Bunch did not elaborate on the specifics of ongoing early efforts, he did make reference to the Air Superiority 2030 Flight Plan which delineates some key elements of the service's strategy for a future platform. Fighter jets in 20-years may likely contain the next-generation of stealth technology, electronic warfare, sophisticated computer processing and algorithms, increased autonomy, hypersonic weapons and so-called "smart-skins" where sensors are built into the side of the aircraft itself. Some of these characteristics may have been on display more than a year ago when Northrop Grumman's SuperBowl AD revealed a flashy first look at its rendering of a new 6th-generation fighter jet. Northrop is one of a number of major defense industry manufacturers who will bid for a contract to build the new plane - when the time is right. While there are not many details available on this work, it is safe to assume Northrop is advancing concepts, technology and early design work toward this end. Boeing is also in the early phases of development of a 6th-gen design, according to a report in Defense News. The Navy's new aircraft will, at least in part, replace the existing inventory of F/A-18 Super Hornets which will start to retire by 2035, Navy officials said. The Navy vision for a future carrier air wing in 2040 and beyond is comprised of the carrier-launched variant of the Joint Strike Fighter, the F-35C, and legacy aircraft such as the EA-18G Growler electronic jamming aircraft. Also, around this time is when Navy planners envision its 6th generation aircraft to be ready, an aircraft which will likely be engineered for both manned and unmanned missions. Technologies are rapidly advancing in coatings, electromagnetic spectrum issues, artificial intelligence, maneuvering, superiority in sensing the battlespace, communications and data links, Navy leaders have said. Navy officials also add that the Navy is likely to develop new carrier-launched unmanned air vehicles in coming years as well. For instance, Northrop's historic X-47B demonstrator aircraft was the first unmanned system to successfully launch and land on the deck of an aircraft carrier. Analysts have speculated that as 6th generation developers seek to engineer a sixth-generation aircraft, they will likely explore a range of next-generation technologies such as maximum sensor connectivity, super cruise ability and an aircraft with electronically configured “smart skins.” Super cruise technology would enable the new fighter jet to cruise at supersonic speeds without needing afterburner, analysts have explained. As a result, super cruise brings a substantial tactical advantage because it allows for high-speed maneuvering without needing afterburner, therefore enable much longer on-location mission time. Such a scenario provides a time advantage as the aircraft would likely outlast a rival aircraft likely to run out of fuel earlier. The Air Force F-22 has a version of supercruise technology. Maximum connectivity would mean massively increased communications and sensor technology such as having an ability to achieve real-time connectivity with satellites, other aircraft and anything that could provide relevant battlefield information.The new aircraft might also seek to develop the ability to fire hypersonic weapons, however such a development would hinge upon successful progress with yet-to-be-proven technologies such as scramjets traveling at hypersonic speeds. Some tests of early renderings of this technology have been tested successfully and yet other attempts have failed. The Air Force Chief Scientist, Dr. Geoffrey Zacharias, has told Scout Warrior that the US anticipates having hypersonic weapons by the 2020s, hypersonic drones by the 2030s and recoverable hypersonic drone aircraft by the 2040s. There is little doubt that hypersonic technology, whether it be weaponry or propulsion, or both, will figure prominently into future aircraft designs. Smart aircraft skins would involve dispersing certain technologies or sensors across the fuselage and further integrating them into the aircraft itself, using next-generation computer algorithms to organize and display information for the pilot. We see some of this already in the F-35; the aircraft sensor fusion uses advanced computer technology to collect, organize and display combat relevant information from a variety of otherwise disparate sensors onto a single screen for pilots. In addition, Northrop's Distributed Aperture System is engineered to provide F-35 pilots with a 360-degree view of the battlespace. Cameras on the DAS are engineered into parts of the F-35 fuselage itself to reduce drag and lower the aircraft's radar signature. Smart skins with distributed electronics means that instead of having systems mounted on the aircraft, you would have apertures integrated on the skin of the aircraft, analysts have said. This could reduce drag, increase speed and maneuverability while increasing the technological ability of the sensors. It is also possible that the new 6th-generation fighter could use advanced, futuristic stealth technology able to enable newer, more capable air defenses. The air defenses of potential adversaries are increasingly using faster computing processing power and are better networked together, more digital, able to detect a wider range of frequencies and able to detect stealthy aircraft at farther distances. The new 6th-generation fighter will also likely fire lasers and have the ability to launch offensive electronic attacks. https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/f-35s-are-dead-sixth-generation-fighter-aircraft-its-way-114901

  • Artificial intelligence at border could infringe on human rights: report

    26 septembre 2018 | Local, Sécurité

    Artificial intelligence at border could infringe on human rights: report

    By Anna Desmarais Using artificial intelligence at Canada's official points of entry can lead to serious human rights violations, according to a new report. Released Wednesday by the University of Toronto's International Human Rights Program (IHRP) and the Citizen Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, the report says the use of artificial intelligence (AI) at regular points of entry is “quite risky” without appropriate government oversight. “We know that, in other contexts, AI is not neutral,” report author Petra Molnar told iPolitics. “It's basically like a recipe. If your recipe is biased, then the result that is going to come out of the algorithm is also going to be biased.” What these technologies could do, according to the report, is decide whether a marriage is genuine, an application is complete, or whether someone entering the country is deemed “a risk” to public safety. If the government doesn't provide more oversight, such decisions could rely on appearance, religion, or travel patterns as “proxies” for more relevant data normally gathered by immigration officials. This could compromise some quintessential human rights for immigrants and refugees at the border, including the right to equality and to be protected from discrimination under the law. The report says AI machines could be taught algorithms for how to assess “red flags,” “risks,” and “frauds” based on pre-existing biases in some of the immigration and refugee system's current regulations. For example, the report said the Designated Country of Origin list, which classifies which countries are “safe” for refugee claimants, uses an “incomplete” definition of safety that does not take into account specific risks for minority groups, such as women or members of the LGBTQ community. The use of AI technologies could mean cases are likely to be determined only based on these types of guidelines and might not include the discretion and empathy employed by immigration officials when reviewing the details of a refugee claim. “Depending on how an algorithm is designed, it may result in indirect discrimination,” the report found. “The complexity of human migration is not easily reducible to an algorithm.” If someone is triaged or flagged for early deportation, it could also affect their ability to apply for a visa, appeal a negative immigration ruling, or continue to move between borders. AI technologies also bring up procedural-rights issues, such as how a potential immigrant or refugee claimant would challenge the outcome of his case at the border. “When you introduce AI, if you don't agree with the decision, where do you appeal? And what kind of appeal are you crafting?” Molnar said. “These are all new questions we have to ask ourselves.” The report found that the government has been experimenting with artificial intelligence since 2014. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada confirmed to the report's authors in June it was already using an automated response to “triage,” or separate, simple claims from complicated ones that need further review. This summer, the government sent out an RFI (a preliminary procurement document) seeking an “Artificial Intelligence Solution” to provide legal support for migrants entering at formal points of entry. These investments fit into the federal government's $125-million Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy to “develop global thought leadership on the economic, ethical, policy and legal implications” of AI research throughout the country. Molnar said she heard from government officials that their use of AI is “preliminary” at best. What the government is considering, she continued, is using AI technologies only for preliminary screening. After AI technologies have reviewed a case, Molnar said immigration officers should still be asked to review the decision and make any appropriate changes. Molnar said it's still too soon to tell what AI could look like at the borders, but noted the technological changes could be vast. “It can be as simple as an Excel sheet, all the way to totally autonomous robots in other sectors,” she continued. “In immigration, how this could manifest ... could include a triage system where a traveller might be designated a high risk or low risk, or streamed for high risk and low risk.” To solve these possible human-rights infringements, the report suggests installing an independent, arms-length government-oversight body to “engage in all aspects of oversight,” before the government continues to develop these technologies. This recommendation, Molnar said, is in line with the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat's review into responsible use of AI throughout government offices. Among other recommendations, the board suggests more transparency from government offices about when AI technologies will be used during a discretionary decision-making process. The report notes this suggestion “is promising, from a human-rights perspective,” but the document is non-binding and is still subject to change. Until the review body is created, the report suggests government freeze “all efforts to procure, develop or adopt” any new automated-decision-system technology before a government oversight process is in place. https://ipolitics.ca/2018/09/26/artificial-intelligence-at-border-could-infringe-on-human-rights-report/

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