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  • QinetiQ Wins C$51m Contract with the Canadian Armed Forces’ Unmanned Aircraft System Service program

    8 mai 2019 | Local, Aérospatial

    QinetiQ Wins C$51m Contract with the Canadian Armed Forces’ Unmanned Aircraft System Service program

    QinetiQ has been awarded a C$51m (c£30m) contract to deliver unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) that will drive enhanced situational awareness for the Canadian Armed Forces. The contract will be delivered from QinetiQ's state-of-the-art unmanned vehicle manufacturing and operational facilities in Medicine Hat, Alberta. The vertical take-off UAS will provide Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) services to the Royal Canadian Navy and Special Operations Forces Command, for both domestic and international operations. The system, based on the UMS SKELDAR V-200 UAS, will be equipped with a number of sensors including an Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar and Electro-optic infrared (EO/IR) camera. Robert Aube, Managing Director of QinetiQ in Canada says, “We are delighted with this contract win to deliver critical over-the-horizon situation awareness to the Royal Canadian Navy and Special Operations Forces Command. This generates tactical advantages for commanders while minimising the risk to manned helicopters and personnel. As a result of the contract, we will be pleased to see a large number of jobs created in the Southern Alberta region where UAS repair and overhaul services will be carried out.” Aube continues, “We are dedicated to providing a world-class service for the Canadian Armed Forces and the information collected and used by a UAS system of this calibre will be critical for the men and women serving Canada, both domestically and abroad.” Iain Farley, Managing Director International Business at QinetiQ says, “International growth is a core part of QinetiQ's strategy and to facilitate this, we continue to make significant investments in our subsidiary businesses and complementary acquisitions. This contract provides an important proof point that this strategy is delivering. The investment we have made in Canada has helped secure our largest Canadian contract to date and provides us with a solid foundation for delivering further QinetiQ products and services into the Canadian market and beyond.” QinetiQ will work with four principal partners to deliver the ISTAR services: Canadian-UAV, Leonardo, UMS SKELDAR and Wescam: “This is an important contract win for us alongside our partners including QinetiQ and confirms our stated strategic commitment to working with global navies following our announcement last year with the German Navy,” explains Axel Cavalli-Björkman, CEO of UMS SKELDAR, the UAV joint venture between Sweden's Saab and UMS AERO GROUP of Switzerland. “With multiple systems to be delivered in Q3 this year, the Royal Canadian Navy have secured a maritime UAV platform that not only includes our heavy fuel engine manufactured by German-based Hirth Engines, but also has an ability to carry multiple payloads.” “L3 WESCAM is proud to have been chosen by QinetiQ, as it confirms our role as a trusted global supplier of advanced imaging technologies to the UAS market,” said Cameron McKenzie, Vice President, Global Sales & Business Development of L3 WESCAM. “In fact, this order marks many strategic firsts for WESCAM in the Canadian marketplace, including a first for our MX™ Series turrets to be used by the Royal Canadian Navy, a first order for our MX-8 and MX-10D in Canada and our first contract with QinetiQ in Canada.” Sean Greenwood, President, and CEO of Canadian UAVs says, “It's a privilege and an honor to be able to work with the Canadian Armed Forces and QinetiQ, especially on such a novel project. This is the foundational contract the Canadian UAV industry has been waiting for to become world-class in autonomous vehicle service delivery and technology development. QinetiQ's recognition of CUAVS' work to date with Transport Canada in developing advanced UAV operations and their commitment to supporting local SMEs has been fundamental to our growth and cannot be understated.” Wayne Smith, Head of Radar Campaigns from Leonardo says, “We are pleased to be a part of this project with QinetiQ. Our PicoSAR Active Electronically Scanned Array radar provides an unrivalled all-weather capability for Unmanned Aerial Systems. It delivers a high resolution Synthetic Aperture Radar imaging and Ground Moving Target Indication capability that will allow the SKELDAR V-200 to easily acquire a true, all-weather ground mapping and surveillance capability.” https://www.suasnews.com/2019/05/qinetiq-wins-c51m-contract-with-the-canadian-armed-forces-unmanned-aircraft-system-service-program

  • Why can't Ottawa get military procurement right?

    30 novembre 2018 | Local, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité

    Why can't Ottawa get military procurement right?

    Murray Brewster · CBC News The last couple of weeks may go down in the Trudeau government's public record as the point when the desires of deliverology met the drawbacks of defence procurement. Remember 'deliverology'? That lofty concept — measuring a government's progress in delivering on its promises — was the vogue in policy circles at the beginning of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's administration. While it's sometimes derided as an empty concept, deliverology must have seemed tailor-made for a new government inheriting a troubled defence procurement system. The Canadian International Trade Tribunal's decision Tuesday to step into the brawl over which multinational consortium will design and support the construction of the navy's new frigates is another lesson in how (apologies to Robert Burns) the best laid plans of mice and men go awry. The tribunal's decision to order Ottawa to put the frigate project on hold pending the completion of their probe into a complaint by a failed bidder comes at a politically awkward time for the Liberals. One week ago, Auditor General Michael Ferguson delivered an ugly report on the Liberals' handling of fighter jet procurement — specifically, the plan to buy interim warplanes to cover the gap until the current CF-18 fleet can be replaced with new aircraft. Self-inflicted wounds A cynic's reflex (given the checkered history of defence purchasing over the last decade) might be to consider these two events as just another day at the office for the troubled government procurement system. That might not be entirely fair. Still, experts were saying Wednesday that the government is suffering from numerous self-inflicted political and administrative wounds on this file. With a federal election on the horizon, and in a climate of growing geopolitical instability, the question of what the government has actually managed to deliver on military procurement is an important one to ask, said Rob Huebert, an analyst in strategic studies at the University of Calgary. While the system, as the Trudeau Liberals and previous governments have constructed it, seems to be the perfect model of the "evidence based" policy making promised by the champions of deliverology, it's also not built for speed. Some would suggest the deliverology model was followed to the letter in the design competition now tied up before the trade tribunal and in Federal Court. What seemed like endless consultations with the bidders took two years. The government made up to 88 amendments to the tender. And in the end, the preferred bid was challenged by a competitor that claims not all of the navy's criteria were met. Alion Science and Technology Corp. and its subsidiary, Alion Canada, argue the warship Lockheed Martin Canada and BAE System Inc. want to sell to Ottawa cannot meet the speed requirements set by the tender without a substantial overhaul. It does not, the company claims, meet the government's demand for a proven, largely off-the-shelf design. Michael Armstrong, who teaches at Brock University and holds a doctorate in management science, said the government could have avoided the challenges and accompanying slowdowns had it been more precise in its language. "They could have been more clear and firm when they use the words 'proven design'," he said. "Did they literally mean we won't buy ships unless they're floating in the water? Or did they mean that British one that doesn't quite exist yet is close enough? "If they would have been more firm and said, 'We want a ship that actually exists,' that might have simplified things at this stage." Huebert described the auditor general's report on the purchase of interim fighters as an all-out assault on evidence-based policy making. "It is just so damning," he said. A break with reality The Conservatives have accused the Liberals of avoiding the purchase of the F-35 stealth jet through manufacturing a crisis by claiming the air force doesn't have enough fighters to meet its international commitments. The auditor found that the military could not meet the government's new policy commitment and even ignored advice that one of its proposed solutions — buying brand-new Super Hornets to fill the capability gap —would actually make their problems worse, not better. That statement, said Huebert, suggested a jaw-dropping break with reality on the government's part. "They [the Liberals] were just making things up," he said. It might have been too optimistic to expect the Liberals to fix the system, said Armstrong, given the short four years between elections. But Huebert said Ottawa can't carry on with business as usual — that the government now must deliver on procurement, instead of doubling down on rhetoric. The problem, he said, is that governments haven't really paid a price in the past for botched military procurement projects. There was "no political pain for the agony of the Sea King replacement, as an example," he said, referring to the two-decade long process to retire the air force's maritime helicopters. "The thing that makes me so concerned, even outraged, is that we are heading into a so much more dangerous international environment," said Huebert, citing last weekend's clash between Russia and Ukraine over the Kerch Strait and ongoing tension with Beijing in the South China Sea. "When things get nasty, we have to be ready." https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/why-can-t-ottawa-get-military-procurement-right-1.4924800

  • DND launches a call to innovative thinkers for solutions to COVID-19 challenges

    4 juin 2020 | Local, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité

    DND launches a call to innovative thinkers for solutions to COVID-19 challenges

    As part of the Government of Canada's commitment to refocus existing innovation programs to support the fight against the spread of COVID-19, the Department of National Defence has announced the first of a series of calls for innovations aimed at addressing some key challenges Canada is facing. With an initial commitment of $15 million, the first three challenges focus on: Viable and effective processes and methods for safely and rapidly decontaminating enclosed work environments, such as buildings and modes of transportation, containing sensitive equipment; Innovative material and designs to aid in decontamination of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), operational clothing, and equipment for personnel responding to events involving biological hazards; and Data gathering solutions to support the early detection and community-based monitoring of outbreaks of contagious diseases. These challenges were determined by multi-departmental panels led by the National Research Council of Canada as part of the COVID-19 Challenges Procurement Program. In addition to the call for innovation, these panels are engaging Canadian small- and medium-sized enterprises to refine their near-to-market products to meet a COVID-19 related need. Promising solutions in the areas of PPE, sanitization, diagnostics and testing, therapeutics, and disease-tracking technology may receive funding to further their solutions of interest. This effort is a collaboration with the National Research Council of Canada, Public Health Agency of Canada, and Health Canada and sees an additional investment of up to $10 million. Innovators are encouraged to consult the IDEaS program website (https://www.canada.ca/en/department-national-defence/programs/defence-ideas.html) for more information on the challenges and how to apply to the program. “These are unprecedented times. We need to leverage all great minds and innovators in our efforts to combat COVID-19,” said Defence Minister Harjit Singh Sajjan. “We will invest in Canadians as we look for innovative solutions to keep not only the women and men of the Canadian Armed Forces, but all Canadians safe.” – Quick facts Call for innovation – Challenges to Canadian innovators This initiative is being led by DND's Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security (IDEaS) program, with collaboration from the Centre for Security Science Program. The call will be open until June 23, with contracts expected to be awarded this summer. COVID-19 Challenges Procurement Program DND has provided subject matter experts in the areas of public safety and security, medical response, and biology/chemistry for these panels. http://www.lookoutnewspaper.com/dnd-launches-call-innovative-thinkers-solutions-covid-19-challenges/

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