15 août 2019 | Local, Naval

Government of Canada awards third contract to help maintain Canada's fleet of combat vessels

GATINEAU, QC, Aug. 15, 2019 /CNW/ - Through the National Shipbuilding Strategy, the Government of Canada is revitalizing a world-class marine industry in order to provide the women and men of the Royal Canadian Navy with the safe and effective warships they require to protect Canadian sovereignty.

The government is investing more than $7.5 billion in the Royal Canadian Navy's 12 Halifax-class frigates to provide necessary ongoing maintenance until they are retired in the early 2040s.

Today, the Government of Canada awarded a $500-million contract to Irving Shipbuilding Inc., of Halifax, Nova Scotia, to carry out maintenance work on the Halifax-class frigates.

This initial five-year contract guarantees a minimum of three frigates for the shipyard, with work planned to begin in the early 2020s. The contract is expected to rise in value as additional work packages are added.

This contract is expected to result in up to 400 jobs at the shipyard, plus hundreds of related jobs for marine sector suppliers and subcontractors across the country.

On July 16, 2016, the Government of Canada awarded similar contracts to Seaspan's Victoria Shipyards Limited in Victoria, British Columbia, and Chantier Davie in Lévis, Quebec.

The Canadian Surface Combatants will replace the Halifax-class frigates and the retired Iroquois-class destroyers. With them, the Royal Canadian Navy will have modern and capable ships to monitor and defend Canada's waters, to continue to contribute to international naval operations for decades to come and to rapidly deploy credible naval forces worldwide, on short notice. Construction on the Canadian Surface Combatants is scheduled to begin at Irving in the early 2020s.


"The National Shipbuilding Strategy continues to support the women and men of the Royal Canadian Navy by providing them with safe, reliable ships to carry out their important work on behalf of Canada. This contract is another example of how the Strategy is helping to maintain our existing fleet, while supporting economic opportunities for the Canadian marine sector across the country."

The Honourable Carla Qualtrough
Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility

"This announcement is essential for supporting the modernization of the Royal Canadian Navy. With our government's continued investment, our navy will continue to contribute to maritime security and stability around the world. This is a testament to how our defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, continues Canada's re‑engagement in the world. I am proud of our sailors and the great work they do."

The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan
Minister of National Defence

Quick facts

  • Docking maintenance work periods are essential to ensure the Halifax-class frigates are available and reliable during their operational cycle and deployments.
  • Of the current fleet of Halifax-class frigates, 7 have their home port in Halifax, Nova Scotia, while the 5 others are based in Esquimalt, British Columbia.
  • The Royal Canadian Navy requires that at least 8 of the 12 frigates are able to deploy at all times to meet the Navy's commitment to the Government of Canada.
  • The Industrial and Technological Benefits Policy, including the Value Proposition, was applied to this procurement.
  • These frigates monitor and control Canadian waters, defend Canada's sovereignty, facilitate large-scale search and rescue activities, and provide emergency assistance when needed. The frigates operate with and integrate into the United Nations, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and coalitions of allied states in support of international peace and security operations. Introduced into service in the 1990s, the Canadian-built Halifax-class frigates were recently modernized to remain effective and operationally relevant until the Canadian Surface Combatants enter into service



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  • For CAE the future means expansion in cyber, space and more defense acquisitions

    8 février 2021 | Local, Aérospatial, C4ISR, Sécurité

    For CAE the future means expansion in cyber, space and more defense acquisitions

    By: Aaron Mehta  WASHINGTON — With defense budgets around the globe expected to fall, simulation and training firm CAE is moving to diversify its defense and security portfolio, with an emphasis on space and cyber capabilities. Dan Gelston, who took over CAE’s defense and security business unit in August 2020, told Defense News that his team is also looking to partner with defense primes during the early stages of new competitions, a shift which could require CAE investing in research and engineering efforts. Over the last two decades, CAE was “very focused” on traditional platforms, particularly planes and unmanned aerial vehicles, Gelston said. Now, he expects the future of the company to involve “a real focus on space and cyber, not only for that customer, but also for CAE. And those are areas that we need to augment our capabilities to make sure that we’re providing the best product, the best service to help our customers.” The full interview will air as part of CAE’s OneWorld event Feb. 9. CAE reported just over $1 billion in defense revenues in 2019, which made it the highest-ranked Canadian company on the annual Defense News Top 100 list. Currently, Gelston’s unit makes up about 40 percent of the company’s overall business, but he sees a chance to hit a “much larger” market going forward. Gelston’s plan includes increasing the “security” part of the company’s “defense and security” portfolio by aggressively pursuing contracts for government agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security and Transportation Security Administration. This would competing for what he describes as a “multi-hundred-million dollar opportunity with TSA here in the next few months” for training security forces for airports. “With space assets ability to target, with cyber assets ability to attack anywhere and everywhere, it’s not just the Pentagon, it’s critical infrastructure, it’s a lot of what we traditionally have separated into DHS. So that security element is crucial,” he said. “We could really bring a lot of our research and development, our capabilities in machine learning and AI and virtual reality and augmented learning management systems” to DHS, which “you could categorize a little more of a traditional time phased approach to training.” As the company seeks to expand into the non-defense security realm, Gelston said the company is keeping an eye out for potential merger and acquisition options, saying “I certainly would like to think in the next 18 to 24 months a property would come along, that’s particularly attractive to me.” 2020 was a rocky year for CAE, which was hit particularly hard given its ties to the commercial aviation space. But the company worked quickly to shave costs, and toward the end of the year issued a public offering, with the goal of raising roughly $2 billion Canadian ($1.56 bn American). The plan, as Gelston said, was to have enough “dry powder to make sure that we’re coming out leaning forward out of the COVID crisis. We don’t want to be hunkering down just trying to survive. We want to take advantage of this.” While not discussing specifics, Gelston emphasized that “I’d love to get a little more robust training capability in the cyber realm… that’s an area that that I can certainly see augmenting with potential acquisition here in the next 18 to 24 months if the right property comes along, I think we would be positioned to potentially pursue that.” Teaming with defense manufacturers That focus on new areas doesn’t mean the company is turning away from traditional defense projects, but it does come with a greater focus on teaming up with prime contractors early in the process to offer the DoD and other customers a package solution from the start, as opposed to bidding on training and simulation contracts after a design has been selected. He pointed to the surprise rapid test-flight of the Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) demonstrator from last September as an example of how defense acquisition is speeding up. “Our defense acquisition officials are really looking for skin in the game from industry” early on, he said. “We don’t have the time for the classic cost-plus development work, years and years and multiple phases” of a project. “No company, even the big OEMs, have unlimited research and development budgets. No company, even Lockheed Martin, has unlimited engineering assets,” he continued. “So if I can partner with these OEMs on these major next generation platforms now and start co developing as they develop the platform, I’m codeveloping the training in the simulation experience, and sharing some of that burden, adding skin into the game for research and development engineering — It’s not just money, it’s also time, and time, arguably right now is our is our biggest enemy — I can really help those OEMs and give them a true discriminator in their offering.” “And certainly at the end, that international or us customer is going to be much better off as they’ve got a fully baked, fully integrated training and simulation solution with that new platform.” In addition to looking into NGAD, Gelston said the company plans to pursue nearer-term contracts related to the F-35 joint strike fighter, MQ-9B drone, and the Army’s Future Vertical Lift competition, while also continuing ongoing efforts like its C-130H business, which was awarded in 2018. https://www.defensenews.com/training-sim/2021/02/08/for-cae-the-future-means-expansion-in-cyber-space-and-more-defense-acquisitions

  • Feds closing in on winning bidder for $60-billion warship project

    25 septembre 2018 | Local, Naval

    Feds closing in on winning bidder for $60-billion warship project

    By BEATRICE PAEZ  Some industry observers say there are rumblings that the multibillion-dollar announcement on the Canadian Surface Combatant could happen in a few weeks' time, but Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan says he hopes a decision will be announced on the design by 'the end of the year.' Ottawa could be close to settling on the winning bid for the $60-billion procurement of multi-purpose vessels that will form the backbone of the Canadian Navy, with rumours swirling that a decision could come in a few weeks’ time, although Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan says the government will announce it by the end of the year. Some industry observers have heard rumblings that the multibillion-dollar announcement on the Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC) project, the biggest procurement in the federal government’s history, could happen as early as the upcoming defence and aerospace convention in Halifax, otherwise known as DefSec, slated for Oct. 2-4.  Asked if the government plans to announce the winner in Halifax, Byrne Furlong, press secretary to Mr. Sajjan (Vancouver South, B.C.) said, the minister would be attending the convention as he does every year. Mr. Sajjan, in an interview with The Hill Times earlier this month said, the preferred bidder will be named by the end of the year.  “We wanted to make sure that we gave industry enough time so that the right bid process is done correctly and we’re hoping that by the end of this year, we will be able to make the announcement and a selection will be made on the design,” Mr. Sajjan said in a phone interview on Aug. 29. Three companies are competing to help deliver 15 warships over the next 25 years. Those ships will eventually replace Canada’s aging fleet, namely, the 12 Halifax-class frigates and the four Iroquois-class destroyers, which have been decommissioned. In its entirety, the CSC project is estimated to cost between $56-billion and $60-billion. The cure process—a chance for the contenders to adjust their bids to fit the government’s criteria—wrapped up in July. “I don’t expect there to be another cure process. I think they’ve got a decision ready to go,” said Brian Botting, principal at Earnscliffe Strategy Group. He added there are rumours suggesting the “evaluation has been completed, and it’s a matter of getting the right announcement put together,” while noting that the chance of there being an announcement is 50-50. Mr. Botting is a defence-industry consultant, whose client, Naval Group, submitted a bid outside the competitive process. The bid was rejected. DefSec is a major attraction in defence circles, and unveiling the winner in that venue would be a good play, from a communications perspective, Mr. Botting said. Still, one observer said that Mr. Sajjan’s noncommittal response on the precise timing of the announcement leaves the department some wiggle room. Dave Perry, vice-president and senior analyst at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute, said he’d be surprised if the government had chosen a winner by then. The preferred bidder will work with Irving Shipbuilding, which won a separate competition to build the 15 ships in the company’s Halifax shipyard. Three vessels in the running Three bidders are competing to supply the ships’ design: a coalition that includes shipbuilder BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin, and L3 Technologies; Alion Science and Technology; and Navantia, a state-owned corporation in Spain. Mr. Botting said that BAE Systems’ Type 26 frigate appears to have an edge over the other two companies, thanks to the support it enjoys in the navy ranks, “There’s a lot of supporters of Type 26 in the navy. It’s not that much different than what the royal navy operates on. … We tend to have a strong focus on submarine warfare, which this ship operates as.” Type 26 is under construction in the U.K. for its navy and would be the first of its class. Construction under the CSC program is expected to start in the mid-2020s. That the navies of Canada and the U.K. face similar environments and needs makes for a compelling case in Type 26’s favour, even in the face of criticism that BAE and Lockheed Martin’s offer is still a design on paper, according to Mr. Botting. In addition to landing a contract with the U.K., BAE was also selected by Australia to build a new generation of warships. Multiple requests for an interview with Lockheed Martin’s executive were declined. A company spokesperson touched base with The Hill Times briefly on background.  In contrast, one of Alion’s biggest selling points, as characterized by the company’s chief operating officer, Bruce Samuelson, is that the company’s offer is a “proven, off-the-shelf design” and does not carry the risks of going with a new design. Unlike its competitors, Alion is not in the business of making products, but rather it takes a “vendor-agnostic” approach as an integrator. That means that, as the designer and engineering firm, Alion works to select the different components, from the sensors to the combat-management system, which make up the ship through what’s available in the marketplace. “The reason you’d buy straight off the shelf is like going to a car lot and buying a car. You know exactly what you’re getting,” said Mr. Samuelsen. “Why do you change it a little bit? Because you have slightly different needs, but you really want to take advantage of what everyone else has done for that car.” The anchor to its overall design is the De Zeven Provinciën-class frigate, which has been in service in the Dutch navy for more than a decade. Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding, the Netherlands-based company, has had experience tucking under another shipyard to produce its design, said Mr. Samuelsen. The winning subcontractor will have to work with Irving. When the warship is eventually built it will resemble a mini-city. The ship has to have the trappings of a town: there has to be a functional sewage system, provide food, shelter, medical care, and at the same time, it has to be built to respond to the hostile environment that is the ocean, said Mr. Samuelsen. Navantia’s proposal, which is a partnership with Saab Australia and CEA Technologies, is also based on an existing model, the F-105 frigate. Seven are in service with the Spanish and Australian navy, and there are five “smaller variants” in the Norwegian navy, according to the company. In an email response to The Hill Times, Emiliano Matesanz Sanz, the company’s business development manager, said Navantia is in the “best position to face the challenging task of working with the local industry,” given that it has operated in a similar scenario as the one set up under the CSC project. Its ship was built in a new shipyard in Australia, by ASC. Two frigates have, so far, been delivered, Mr. Matesanz Sanz said. (Navantia initially agreed to a phone interview, but said due to the sensitivity of the file, an email Q&A was the only possible option.) The government had initially stated a preference for a mature design—one that was already in operation in a NATO country, for example—to mitigate the risks of cost overruns that could, for example, tie up production. But the government appeared to have been convinced by the team behind Type 26 to consider its bid because it changed the parameters for considering bids, said Mr. Botting. Due to inflation, for every year of delay, the program is projected to cost $3-billion or more, according to the Parliamentary Budget Officer. If going with an untested design carries more risks, why would Canada potentially sweep those concerns aside? Part of the answer lies in the argument that while there isn’t a “physical ship in the water” yet, Type 26 stands to have “some of the most modern technology,” said Mr. Perry. The chance to hold the intellectual property rights to the design is also cited as a possible point in its favour. “People would make the argument that if you have a ship that hasn’t sailed and been tested yet, you can offer up the IP, because you don’t have an understanding of what its full value is. Whereas if you have something that’s more of a known quantity, you can put whatever premium you want on it,” he added. Conflict-of-interest concerns flared up in late 2016 when it was announced that Irving Shipbuilding planned to work with BAE Systems to bid on a $5-billion contract to provide maintenance and support for Arctic patrol vessels and resupply ships, according to a CBC report, while BAE was pursuing the CSC project that Irving is involved in overseeing. Both Irving and Ottawa said at the time that they have taken steps to ensure the process is fair. Mr. Perry dismissed conjectures that suggest changes to the bidding process have been made with the “explicit goal” of giving Type 26 the upper hand. “I don’t think that’s accurate. Because that’s not the way the procurement system is set up. What the government has done is to try and make this environment as competitive as possible,” he said. “But you can never totally level the playing field. … Some bids are always gonna be better than others in different respects.” Billed as the most-complex, most-expensive procurement on record in Canadian history, CSC, and more broadly, Canada’s shipbuilding strategy, has raised questions about whether the country has chosen the right approach in preserving its shipbuilding culture over working to develop the high-tech side of the business. “We protected the lower-tech end of the business and not the higher-tech [end]. All the missile systems, sensors, all that stuff is being imported and assembled at the Irving yard,” Mr Botting said. “It’s a different way of approaching it. The U.K. is slowly getting out of that business, but it’s painful when you close down a yard.” https://www.hilltimes.com/2018/09/24/feds-closing-winning-bidder-60-billion-warship-project/169844

  • Ukraine buys Canadian sniper rifles – delivery expected soon

    11 novembre 2019 | Local, Terrestre

    Ukraine buys Canadian sniper rifles – delivery expected soon

    DAVID PUGLIESE, OTTAWA CITIZEN  Sniper rifles from PGW Defence Technologies of Winnipeg will be arriving soon in Ukraine. The company, with support of Global Affairs Canada, sold  50 LRT-3 sniper rifles to Ukraine’s military, according to the Canadian Forces. Ukrainian government officials say the rifles are expected in the country very soon. Deputy Foreign Minister of Ukraine Vasyl Bodnar said in an interview with Ukrinform, the country’s national news agency, that he believes the sniper rifle deal “will open the door to expanding the range of cooperation” between Ukraine and Canada on military equipment. Ukraine is also seeking armoured vehicles and other equipment from Canada. Canadian Forces personnel are working with Ukrainian snipers predominantly through a basic sniper course. They are mainly developing the Ukrainian instructors, but do provide some mentorship to the students, noted Canadian Forces spokesperson Capt. Leah Campbell.  This is basically through watching and providing feedback to the students, she added. “Weapons that the students are using are provided or purchased by the Ukrainian Government,” explained Campbell in an email. “CAF personnel are not currently working with LRT-3 .50 caliber rifle.  However, we are always responsive to our Ukrainian partners training needs and can adjust as appropriate.” In December 2017, the House of Commons defence committee recommended the government provide weapons to Ukraine, provided it demonstrates it is working to eliminate corruption at all levels of government. Senior officials from Ukraine’s ministry of defence told the defence committee they would welcome arms from Canada, including anti-tank weapons. They told the committee that the Ukrainian military’s sniper equipment was obsolete. https://ottawacitizen.com/news/national/defence-watch/ukraine-buys-canadian-sniper-rifles-delivery-expected-soon

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