26 avril 2019 | Local, Aérospatial

Government expects to award contract for new fighter jet fleet in 2022 (but admits it could face delays)

DAVID PUGLIESE, OTTAWA CITIZEN

Though the federal government expects to award a contract for a new fleet of fighter jets in 2022, it admits that schedule is aggressive and could yet face further delays.

A request for bids to provide 88 new jets to the Royal Canadian Air Force will be released next month, according to a new update on major Department of National Defence projects released Wednesday, with the proposals to be evaluated by 2021 and a contract to be awarded a year later.

But in the update DND also admits that timeline is tenuous. “The approved schedule is considered very aggressive,” it said. “The project team is managing a number of risks which have the potential to impact schedule.”

The document doesn't outline the specific risks but DND officials have acknowledged that government negotiations with private contractors on the industrial benefits that are to be linked to the project could cause delays.

The Liberals have committed to purchasing the new jets in a program expected to cost up to $19 billion. The competition was launched on Dec. 12, 2017, and Canada expects to examine four different fighter jets as candidates for the RCAF's new fleet.

The project team is managing a number of risks which have the potential to impact schedule

The first of the jets is expected to be delivered in the mid-2020s, with the full capability available in the early 2030s, according to the DND document.

The document also outlines the plan to purchase used Australian F-18s in the interim, which the RACF will use to boost the capability of its current fleet of CF-18s until the new generation aircraft are in service. The first of the Australian jets has already been delivered, with final delivery set for the end of 2021, according to the update. However, the parliamentary budget officer has found this interim solution could cost more than $1 billion, and the auditor general's office has pointed out that the air force is lacking pilots and maintenance crews for the planes it already operates.

Wednesday's DND update points out success stories as well as challenges with some of DND's multi-billion dollar projects.

Some programs, such as the purchase of Chinook helicopters and tactical armoured patrol vehicles, are completed or are nearing completion with few problems.

A new $2-billion program to buy heavy trucks is among those expected to be proceed without issues.

Canada also expects to award a contact next year for a mid-life upgrade of the fleet of Cormorant search-and-rescue helicopters, and the conversion of former U.S. presidential helicopters so they can join the flight line for rescue operations.

But the report warns there could be problems with other upcoming projects such as the purchase of a fleet of drones.

It noted that there might not be enough procurement staff with the required expertise to move that program forward on schedule. The department hopes to deal with the problem by hiring contractors. A draft invitation to qualify for that project was released April 5 and a contact is expected to be awarded in 2022, the document said.

The first of a fleet of new fixed-wing search-and-rescue aircraft, meanwhile, are to be delivered in December. The first plane will be sent to 19 Wing Comox, B.C. in the spring of 2020. The 16 new planes will be phased in between 2020 and 2022.

But DND acknowledged it is keeping an eye on the potential that schedule could be affected because of the “complexities associated with transitioning to the new fleet while maintaining the current search and rescue posture.”

In addition, DND is keeping watch on problems with its new upgraded light armoured vehicles. Though the vehicles have been delivered on time, some technical issues will be fixed through a retrofit program. There have also been problems with software design and qualification of components in another new fleet of armoured vehicles that will be used for battlefield surveillance, the first of which is to be delivered next year.

The first new supply ship for the Royal Canadian Navy, being built in Vancouver, is expected in 2023 but won't be ready for operations until a year later. The delivery of the second supply ship “is currently under review,” the update added.

In the meantime, the navy has access to MV Asterix, the supply ship at the heart of the court case involving Vice-Admiral Mark Norman.

That ship, currently being leased to the navy by Quebec firm Davie Shipbuilding, was delivered on time and on budget and is considered a procurement success story.

https://ottawacitizen.com/news/canada/government-expects-to-award-contract-for-new-fighter-jet-fleet-in-2022-but-admits-it-could-face-delays/wcm/a34c8b83-3838-4ff9-87ac-1741fd434059

Sur le même sujet

  • Here’s why Canada’s defence industry is such an innovation powerhouse

    14 septembre 2018 | Local, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR

    Here’s why Canada’s defence industry is such an innovation powerhouse

    Christyn (Chris) Cianfarani In late 2011, the Department of National Defence decided that the rafts it was using to carry out search and rescue operations in open water were due for an update. Part of DND's sea rescue kit, the new rafts needed to be compact and durable, but they also had to inflate reliably at temperatures as low as -50 C in the frozen expanses of Canada's North. If they didn't, lives could hang in the balance. Enter Benoit Corbeil and his team at Tulmar Safety Systems, who found a way to create a light, durable raft that could be safely airdropped, and would inflate manually on the ice or automatically in water. With a fully enclosed canopy, those rescued can now be immediately sheltered from the cold wind and freezing ocean spray. The responsibility to save lives is what drives people like Benoit and thousands of other Canadians working in the defence and security industries to continue creating innovative solutions to complex problems. In my role as the head of the Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries (CADSI), I'm often struck by the sheer level of creativity and talent in our sector. But it shouldn't come as a surprise because we've been gathering evidence on this for a few years now. Flexible, collaborative and fruitful In May, CADSI – in partnership with Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) and Statistics Canada – released the latest State of Canada's Defence Industry report. We found that defence and security companies were behind $400 million worth of research and development (R&D) in 2016, resulting in an R&D intensity close to 4.5 times higher than the Canadian manufacturing average. Our members – now more than 900 of them across Canada – aren't doing this work in a vacuum, of course. They are collaborating with partners in academia, government and supply chains to push boundaries and develop brand new technologies. DND's new Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security (IDEaS) Program will help encourage even more of this type of cooperation, allocating $1.6 -billion over two decades to innovative solutions that address Canada's defence and security challenges. Sixteen initial challenges have been identified, and start-ups, SMEs, corporations and academics have all been invited to apply. The first contracts were awarded in August, with more coming in fall 2018. But our industry's work is already having tangible, real-world impacts for average Canadians. In July, for instance, global satellite operator Telesat – a company headquartered right in Ottawa – launched the Telstar 19 VANTAGE. This powerful satellite will connect communities across Nunavut with faster and more reliable broadband, opening the territory to the world. We featured Telesat vice-president Michele Beck's contributions to this project in our My North, My Home campaign. Full article: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/heres-why-canadas-defence-industry-innovation-cianfarani/

  • Business group wants National Shipbuilding Strategy reopened for Quebec shipyard

    16 janvier 2019 | Local, Naval

    Business group wants National Shipbuilding Strategy reopened for Quebec shipyard

    Murray Brewster · CBC News Association puts pressure on Liberals to direct new projects to Davie yard A Quebec-based business association claiming to represent over 1,000 companies inside and outside the province is launching a high-profile campaign to convince the Liberal government to reopen the oft-maligned National Shipbuilding Strategy. The group is demanding the federal government include the Davie shipyard, in Levis, Que., in the policy and plans to make it a major issue in the October federal election. The Association of Davie Shipbuilding Suppliers, which has been around for about a year, represents companies that do business with the shipyard. It plans an online campaign, beginning Thursday, and will lobby chambers of commerce as well as federal and provincial politicians. It is hoping to use its extensive membership and thousands of associated jobs to put pressure on the government in an election year to direct the building of additional coast guard ships exclusively to the Quebec yard, one of the oldest in the country. The shipbuilding strategy, conceived under the previous Conservative government but embraced by the Liberals, has turned into a giant sinkhole for federal cash with little to show for it, Simon Maltais, the association's vice-president, told CBC News. "We can call it a boondoggle," he said. "It has been seven years in the making. At the moment, there is absolutely no operational ship afloat and working for Canada." The Conservatives under former prime minister Stephen Harper chose two shipyards — Irving Shipbuilding of Halifax and Seaspan in Vancouver — as the government's go-to companies for the construction of new warships and civilian vessels. The Davie shipyard was, at the time, emerging from bankruptcy, and under the strategy it only became eligible for repair and refit work on existing vessels and perhaps the construction of smaller vessels. Delays and cost overruns Irving and Seaspan have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in modernizing their yards and have just begun to produce new vessels. The first Arctic offshore patrol ship for the navy is being outfitted in Halifax and others are in various stages of construction. Three offshore fisheries science vessels, constructed in Vancouver for the coast guard, are undergoing repairs after defective welds were discovered last year. The entire program has been beset with delays and rising cost estimates. Last year, Public Services and Procurement Canada refused to release a revised timeline for the delivery of ships from Seaspan, including construction of a heavy icebreaker and the navy's two joint support ships. Politics and shipbuilding Maltais said it makes no sense to keep excluding Davie from full-fledged ship construction work when much of the coast fleet is over three decades old and in dire need of replacement. Refreshing the strategy would insure the federal government gets the ships it needs and Quebec companies "get their fair share" of the program. "We know it's an electoral year and, yes, we want the federal government and the people in the election to talk about it," he said. Maltais clams members of his association have been talking to federal politicians on both sides of the aisle in the province and they support the idea. "They seem to be on the same page as us," he said. Defence analyst Dave Perry, an expert in procurement and the shipbuilding program, said the political campaign has the potential to make the federal government uncomfortable, but he doubts it will achieve the objective of reopening the strategy to add a third shipyard. "That would certainly be a major change in the strategy," he said. "There had been a view of doing something less than that." The proposal being put forward by the association would not take any work from Halifax or Vancouver, but instead direct all new work, on additional icebreakers for example, to the Quebec yard. Just recently, Davie was awarded a contract to convert three civilian icebreakers for coast guard use, but the association argues the need is greater. The federal government did debate an overhaul of the strategy, according to documents obtained and published by CBC News last summer. The size and scope of the "policy refresh" was not made clear in a heavily redacted memo, dated Jan. 23, 2018. So far, nothing has taken place and government officials have insisted they were still committed to the two-yard strategy. During the last election campaign, the Liberals pledged to fix the "broken" procurement system and invest heavily in the navy. https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/business-group-wants-national-shipbuilding-strategy-reopened-for-quebec-shipyard-1.4979592

  • High cost of living dragging down Armed Forces morale, chaplain general warns | CBC News

    8 octobre 2023 | Local, Terrestre, C4ISR

    High cost of living dragging down Armed Forces morale, chaplain general warns | CBC News

    Military chaplains are seeing an increasing number of soldiers, sailors and aircrew who — squeezed by the soaring cost of living and stuck in a system that forces them to relocate — are in financial distress and seeking assistance.

Toutes les nouvelles