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  • Updated - Dassault makes it official – Rafale is out of Canadian fighter jet competition

    9 novembre 2018 | Local, Aérospatial

    Updated - Dassault makes it official – Rafale is out of Canadian fighter jet competition

    DAVID PUGLIESE, OTTAWA CITIZEN Dassault Aviation has officially confirmed to Agence France-Presse that the firm has pulled out of Canada's future fighter program. The company had planned to offer the Rafale but decided against competing the aircraft because of the extensive Canadian requirements for interoperability with U.S. forces, according to a number of news reports, citing sources. The Canadian government confirmed the withdrawal after the news report became public. “On November 8, the French government officially notified Canada of its withdrawal from the competitive process to replace Canada's fighter jet fleet,” said Public Services and Procurement Canada spokesperson Rania Haddad. “We will continue to work closely with the remaining eligible suppliers to ensure they are well positioned to participate in the ongoing competition.” https://ottawacitizen.com/news/national/defence-watch/dassault-makes-it-official-rafale-is-out-of-canadian-competition

  • How COVID-19 could remake Canada’s military

    7 avril 2020 | Local, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité

    How COVID-19 could remake Canada’s military

    By Elliot Hughes. Published on Apr 6, 2020 10:20am "It's safe to say that everyone involved in defence procurement should expect a significant shift to the right in timelines, and a retrenchment and re-focus towards projects that align with the government's recast military and geopolitical priorities." Since everyone is either overrun with work or inundated with COVID-19 news, here's the bottom line up front (or the BLUF in military jargon): the COVID-19 pandemic will have a material impact on all aspects of Strong, Secure, Engaged (SSE), Canada's defence policy. These changes will be felt acutely in defence funding, overseas operations, and defence procurement, though it's too early to predict the scale of the impact. There you have it. You can now go back to watching Tik Tok videos. For those choosing to forge ahead, it was only last week that Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan and Chief of the Defence Staff General Jonathan Vance laid out the domestic military response plan to the COVID-19 pandemic. Dubbed Op LASER, the plan will prioritize slowing the spread of COVID-19, support vulnerable communities, and assist provincial, territorial and municipal partners, if needed, by mobilizing up to 24,000 regular and reserve force members, all while maintaining the Canadian Armed Force's (CAF) ability to respond to natural disasters in Canada via Op LENTUS. This announcement was preceded by a letter to all CAF members from General Vance where he outlined the global pandemic's impact on Canada's military. In the letter, General Vance tells troops and their families in no uncertain terms that ‘normal activities have changed dramatically'. Too true. But the impacts of COVID-19 won't stop with the women and men in uniform. SSE was a historical investment in Canada's military, with new funding in the tens of billions of dollars ($48.9B on an accrual basis, $62.3B on a cash basis) from a party that some felt was not inherently defence friendly. The 20-year plan set aside hundreds of billions of dollars ($497B on an accrual basis, or $553B on a cash basis) to rebuild, retool, and refocus Canada's military after years of neglect during the Harper years. With unprecedented levels of new funding, DND finally had the plan, the funding, and the political commitment to move forward with confidence, poised to become the agile and adept military of the future. Then the world was hit with a global health crisis. In the face of the pandemic, the federal government has, to date, announced combined direct economic measures and tax deferrals of $190B. The numbers are eye-popping, and the implications of such spending are hard to fathom. The deficit this year and next could creep up towards $200B. Now, there's no question these fiscal measures are necessary and non-structural, meaning they could be unwound depending on how the Canadian economy looks post-COVID-19. The soaring deficits will place tremendous pressure on government to reduce its spending in non-COVID-19 areas in favour of healthcare and related priorities. DND/CAF had already been struggling to spend the money it had been allocated in SSE, and that was before their annual budgets increased significantly. People within and outside of government were beginning to question the department's ability to absorb the money they had been given. It is my view that COVID-19 will force Defence officials, with or without urging from Finance Canada, to use the upcoming five-year review period of SSE to re-assess and re-prioritize the entire strategy. In fact, that work is likely already underway. There are some who suggest that defence spending is a good way to get money flowing back into the domestic economy, particularly through the manufacturing supply chain. And there are areas that should remain off-limits to claw backs including big ticket procurements like the Canadian Surface Combatants (CSC) and Future Fighter Capability Project (FFCP), programs that directly support troops and their families, domestic operations and disaster relief, investments to support the development of defence and security capabilities such as the IDEaS program, IT investments (including in data analytics and updating key IT infrastructure), deferred maintenance, and perhaps most critically, cyber defence. Everything else will be fair game. Ring-fencing and reprioritizing essential programs won't be easy. But under the current circumstances, it's the right thing to do. Every department should be prepared to do the same. Overseas operations, including joint military exercises and training, is another area COVID-19 will have a direct and material impact. At this juncture, it's hard to know how big a role the CAF will be asked to play domestically. The situation in Canada is evolving by the hour. The dreaded peak of the pandemic has yet to hit. While we should remain optimistic, we also need to be realistic. This means the military should be poised to intervene if required. We know that close to a quarter of all active troops are on standby and depending on the severity of the crisis, this number could go up. On any given day, approximately 8,000 troops are involved in some form of deployment – preparing to ship out, actively engaged in theatre, or returning from mission. It's hard to see how this rotation rhythm escapes the reaches of COVID-19. Indeed, General Vance alluded to this in his letter stating, ‘mission postures would be reviewed', and that this year's ‘Annual Posting Season (APS) will be seriously disrupted'. It's likely the pull towards supporting domestic efforts will be strong. That doesn't mean the desire to re-engage internationally won't persist. However, the ability to do so will depend on how the situation unfolds here in Canada, the willingness of countries abroad to welcome back foreign troops, and the impact COVID-19 has on the geopolitical landscape. (This is by no means an endorsement of that view. Canada should do everything it can to remain engaged internationally wherever possible, particularly with respect to humanitarian missions). Cyber defence is one domain we should do everything we can to remain engaged in. But while Canada's expertise and influence on the world stage is undoubtedly a positive one, this global pandemic will inevitably lead to a further focusing of our most critical interests. Defence procurement, and the potential implications of COVID-19, is an area of acute interest to the defence community. This subject could be an entire article in and of itself (and if you're looking for the latest analysis on how DND/CAF was doing on procurement spending I'd encourage you to read David Perry's piece from December 2019). However, broadly speaking, it's worth noting that before this global health crisis hit, DND/CAF were progressing on procurement. Many projects, though not all, were moving ahead, even with the structural constraints and limitations of government processes holding them back. Large procurements, namely jets and ships, were plagued with delays that are expected for any large procurement. Now, given the magnitude of the COVID-19 pandemic, those typical speed bumps are bigger than before. The reality for defence procurement today is that the pace of work has come to a grinding halt. Nearly all personnel across government are working from home. Government IT challenges persist, with DND staff having to coordinate amongst themselves to schedule when they can log on to their system. And any work requiring access to a secured system is a non-starter as this would require being in the office. The Defence department is a bit like an aircraft carrier in that it takes time to get up to full speed and doesn't handle sharp corners very well. This crisis will expose that rigidity. But it isn't simply DND that needs to get back to work for defence procurement to start moving again – it will take a government-wide effort. For the process to run effectively officials from a range of government departments, including Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC), the Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS), Finance Canada, the Canadian Coast Guard and Global Affairs Canada, need to be fully engaged. Today, those Departments are focused almost exclusively on addressing the immediate challenges posed by COVID-19, with this to continue for the foreseeable future. Moreover, one also needs to consider the impact COVID-19 is having on companies bidding on projects. The entire supply chain has been hit and it will take months to get it humming again. How significant an impact this delay will have, and on which projects, is difficult to predict today. But it's safe to say that everyone involved in defence procurement should expect a significant shift to the right in timelines, and a retrenchment and re-focus towards projects that align with the government's recast military and geopolitical priorities. We are still in the early days of this crisis. Government is projecting a return to some sense of normalcy in July, at the earliest. The run-on impacts of that kind of pause are hard to comprehend, with a full understanding of the entirety of COVID-19 impacts likely to take even longer still This is a once-in-a-century event, with every person and institution expected to face indelible consequences. The very nature of the defence department, its size and scope, means we should expect a proportionate impact. https://ipolitics.ca/2020/04/06/how-covid-19-could-remake-canadas-military/

  • Longview delivers first production Viking CL-415EAF “Enhanced Aerial Firefighter”

    16 avril 2020 | Local, Aérospatial, Sécurité

    Longview delivers first production Viking CL-415EAF “Enhanced Aerial Firefighter”

    Longview Aviation Services (LAS) of Calgary, Alta., in co-operation with Viking Air Limited of Victoria, B.C., announced the first Viking CL-415EAF “Enhanced Aerial Firefighter” has been delivered to launch customer Bridger Aerospace Group of Bozeman, Mont., U.S.A. Bridger Aerospace became the launch customer for the Viking CL-415EAF “Enhanced Aerial Firefighter” program after signing a multiple aircraft purchase agreement in May of 2018. The contract with all options exercised is valued at $204 million and covers the sale of six CL-415EAF amphibious aerial firefighting aircraft. Manufacturer's serial number (MSN) 1081, the first Canadair CL-215 to undergo the major modification to the EAF “Enhanced Aerial Firefighter” configuration, took its inaugural flight on March 9, 2020 outside of program-collaborator Cascade Aerospace's facility in Abbotsford, B.C. After application of Bridger's livery at International Aerospace Coatings' facility in Spokane, Wash., MSN 1081 flew over the central Rocky Mountain range to Bozeman, Mont., for delivery to Bridger Aerospace in advance of the 2020 North American wildfire season. Tim Sheehy, founder and CEO of Bridger Aerospace Group, stated, “Aggressive initial attack and advanced technology in support of the wildland firefighter are the core of Bridger's ethos. The Viking CL-415EAF is the most capable initial attack asset on the planet and we are proud to be the launch customer for this incredible capability.” Robert Mauracher, executive vice-president of Sales and Marketing for Viking, commented, “We are very excited and proud to be delivering our first Viking CL-415EAF Enhanced Aerial Firefighter to Bridger Aerospace in time for the 2020 North American wildfire season. The delivery of our first Enhanced Aerial Firefighter is the culmination of a multi-faceted collaborative project originally launched in 2018 and represents the solid partnership that has developed between Viking, LAS, and Bridger over the past 24 months. We are now looking forward to adding a second aircraft to their fleet in the coming months.” The CL-415EAF “Enhanced Aerial Firefighter” modification program, announced in 2018 as a collaboration between the two subsidiaries of Longview Aviation Capital, provides an economic boost throughout Western Canada derived from job creation, aerospace manufacturing innovation, supply chain development, academic partnerships, and global export opportunities. The Viking CL-415EAF modification program forms part of a staged approach to utilize the advancements made with the LAS converted aircraft as the basis for the proposed next-generation Viking CL-515 new-production aerial firefighting and multi-purpose amphibious aircraft. The Viking CL-415EAF “Enhanced Aerial Firefighter” is a specially selected CL-215 airframe converted to turbine configuration using Viking-supplied conversion kits. It features a new Collins Pro Line Fusion integrated digital avionics suite, Pratt & Whitney PW123AF turbine engines, increased fire-retardant capacity, and improvements to numerous aircraft systems. The Viking CL-415EAF represents the evolution of the type, providing best-in-class water drop performance utilizing the higher delivery two-door water drop system combined with a zero-timed maintenance program and a “new aircraft” factory-supported warranty program. All obsolete components impacting the worldwide fleet of CL-215 & CL-415 aircraft are replaced in the CL- 415EAF, and the upgraded aircraft is designed to failsafe FAR 25 certification criteria with no preset life limit. The very short scooping distance of the CL-415EAF aircraft is expected to outperform competitors from initial attack to sustained major fire suppression, and the combination of safety and longevity represents exceptional value inherent in purpose-built aerial firefighting amphibious aircraft. The CL-415EAF aircraft is the only aerial firefighter with factory OEM support offered by Viking's Customer Service and Product Support division, including management of all Continuing Airworthiness, warranty items, in-service engineering, initial provisioning, as well as offering Viking's M+ all-inclusive maintenance support program. All improvements and obsolescence issues addressed in the CL-415EAF aircraft will become the new aircraft production standard in the manufacture of an all new, next generation CL-515 multi-purpose amphibious aircraft. https://www.skiesmag.com/press-releases/longview-delivers-first-production-viking-cl-415eaf-enhanced-aerial-firefighter

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