23 juin 2022 | Local, Aérospatial

Le Canada aura-t-il les F-35 à temps ?

Le Canada sera-t-il en mesure de remplacer sa flotte vieillissante de CF-18 avant qu’ils ne doivent être envoyés à la casse à compter de 2032 en misant sur le modèle F-35 de Lockheed Martin, comme prévoit le faire le gouvernement Trudeau ?


Sur le même sujet

  • Lack of expert procurement staff could hinder Canadian Forces drone purchase

    25 avril 2019 | Local, Aérospatial

    Lack of expert procurement staff could hinder Canadian Forces drone purchase

    DAVID PUGLIESE, OTTAWA CITIZEN The Department of National Defence has updated details about its key ongoing defence procurements. I have written an article on that update which can be viewed at the National Post website: https://nationalpost.com/news/government-expects-to-award-contract-for-new-fighter-jet-fleet-in-2022-but-admits-it-could-face-delays The article notes the DND warning about issues that could affect the proposed purchase of a fleet of uninhabited aerial vehicles, commonly referred to as drones. The DND update warned 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 update pointed out. The lack of staff has been an ongoing issue for the UAV program but in other ways. In May 2010 I reported The Canadian Force’s plan to buy pilotless aircraft to conduct surveillance off the country’s coasts, in the Arctic and on overseas missions had fallen behind schedule because the military doesn’t have enough people to fly the drones. While the UAVs don’t carry pilots, they still require an operator on the ground to fly the craft. Staff are also needed to maintain the equipment and to prepare them for flight. But at the time the air force was having difficulty finding enough people for a new unit that would be needed to operate the UAVs. Then called the Joint UAV Surveillance and Target Acquisition System or JUSTAS, there had been a number of plans for the acquisition. One of the earlier ones involved a request for proposals from industry to be issued by the end of 2009 and a contract signed in 2010. The first of the UAVs would have arrived by February 2012. That obviously didn’t happen. A reworked plan called for the delivery of the UAVs in 2014, with full operating capability in 2017. That didn’t happen. The project is now named, RPAS, for Remotely Piloted Aircraft System. The latest plan calls for a contract to be awarded in 2022-2023 with full capability – an armed drone fleet – in place by 2029-2030. https://ottawacitizen.com/news/national/defence-watch/lack-of-expert-procurement-staff-could-hinder-canadian-forces-drone-purchase

  • Canada and the U.S. reach 11th-hour trade deal

    1 octobre 2018 | Local, Naval

    Canada and the U.S. reach 11th-hour trade deal

    By Kelsey Johnson After almost 14 months of tough bargaining, Canada and the United States have settled their trade differences and reached an agreement on a new North American free trade agreement. This one won’t be called NAFTA, however. The trilateral deal will now be known as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). The new name seems to be a nod to U.S. President Donald Trump, who has said he didn’t like the name NAFTA. The federal cabinet met at 10 p.m. Sunday for about an hour to discuss the agreement and, after it ended, the prime minister said it was “a good day for Canada” as he left the building. He said he’d have more to say on Monday. Officials from the Prime Minister’s Office said there will be another cabinet meeting in the morning and likely a news conference, too. A joint statement was released by Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. “Today, Canada and the United States reached an agreement, alongside Mexico, on a new, modernized trade agreement for the 21st Century: the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA),” it stated. “USMCA will give our workers, farmers, ranchers, and businesses a high-standard trade agreement that will result in freer markets, fairer trade and robust economic growth in our region. It will strengthen the middle class, and create good, well-paying jobs and new opportunities for the nearly half billion people who call North America home.” The two lead negotiators added: “We look forward to further deepening our close economic ties when this new agreement enters into force.” They thanked their Mexican counterpart, Economy Secretary Ildefonso Guajardo, for his work on the deal. On Twitter, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said “a good NAFTA deal is critical to Canada’s economy.” “Millions of Canadian jobs rely on having free trade with the U.S. and Mexico. We will take a close look at the agreement’s provisions as soon as they’re available to evaluate the deal Justin Trudeau and the Liberals have signed.” Perrin Beatty, the president and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, said that with a deal like this, it’s important to see all the elements, but details are still scarce. “However, if the broad lines are as reported, @cafreeland and the Canadian negotiating team have managed to preserve the most important elements of #NAFTA under very challenging circumstances,” he said on Twitter. Canada and the United States have been working hard to resolve their NAFTA differences since the end of August, after American and Mexican officials reached a bilateral agreement of their own. However, the prime minister has said throughout the process that his government would not sign a modernized NAFTA just to get a deal. Issues at the table have included the automotive industry, dairy, dispute resolution, cultural industries and intellectual property. Canada’s dairy industry, in particular, has been in American crosshairs for months, with the United States demanding more access to this country’s market, as well as changes to parts of Canada’s domestic milk-pricing system. The U.S. has wanted access to about 3.5 per cent of Canada’s dairy market, which is similar to what Canada granted under the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans Pacific Partnership. There were strong indications this was also part of the deal reached Sunday night. Media reports say farmers will be compensated. The Americans have also asked for changes to several dairy classes. iPolitics has learned that the contentious Class 7 has been eliminated in this deal. Class 7 is a domestic pricing class that governs milk ingredients such as skim milk powder and milk proteins. The difficult politics of the trade deal were immediately on view with Parti Québécois Leader Jean-François Lisée saying on social media that Quebec dairy farms had been sacrificed by Trudeau. Quebec voters will elect a new government on Monday, with all parties saying the new trade deal could not touch Canada’s dairy market. The Toronto Star is reporting that Canada has been able to preserve the dispute-resolution mechanism known as Chapter 19. The federal government had wanted to hold onto that to avoid having disputes settled in U.S. courts. Other reports say Canada has been able to maintain its exemption for culture. Ministers had arrived for the cabinet meeting Sunday amid strong indications the end was in sight for a renewed NAFTA. Freeland and Ambassador to the United States David MacNaughton had spent the day in Ottawa, taking part in an aggressive, long-distance, last-minute push to get Canada into a free trade deal. Trudeau arrived at his downtown office, located directly across from Parliament Hill, around 7:30 p.m. He did not comment as he headed into the building, but media reports from the U.S. capital were indicating a deal was near. While most ministers also stayed mum, Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay said he’s “always concerned about the agriculture industry.” He was joined in the meeting room by his deputy minister Chris Forbes. With files from the Canadian Press https://ipolitics.ca/2018/09/30/canada-and-the-us-reach-11th-hour-trade-deal/

  • It's the mileage, not the years: Military says it plans to keep subs afloat past retirement dates

    28 juillet 2020 | Local, Naval

    It's the mileage, not the years: Military says it plans to keep subs afloat past retirement dates

    Conservative critic says maintenance plan ignores fact that not everything on a submarine can be replaced   Murray Brewster  The Canadian navy has found a very creative way to keep its second-hand submarines afloat until the late 2030s and early 2040s — a plan that emphasizes maintenance over age in predicting how long the vessels can remain seaworthy. The plan — according to a newly-released briefing note prepared in the run-up to the release of the Liberal government's marquee defence policy — would not see HMCS Victoria decommissioned until the end of 2042, giving the warship over 45 years service in Canada. That estimate does not include the time the boat served with Britain's Royal Navy, which would add at least a decade to its working life. The retirements of the other submarines — HMCS Chicoutimi, HMCS Windsor and HMCS Corner Brook — would be staggered throughout the 2030s, with Windsor being the first to go in 2033. "The [Victoria Class Submarines] are a well-designed and solidly constructed class of modern conventional submarines that have had an unusual life since entering service with the [Royal Navy] in the early 1990s," said the August 2016 briefing analysis, recently obtained by Conservative Party researchers. "'While chronologically 20 years older, they have not been operated extensively during that time." The boats were first constructed for the Royal Navy in the 1980s, but Britain decided to sell them when the government of the day made the policy decision to operate only nuclear-powered submarines. One aspect of the Liberal defence policy, released in June 2017, that has puzzled military experts and opposition critics alike was its assumption that the submarines — which have had a tortured technical history that includes one fatal fire — will remain in service until at least the 2040s. The briefing note spells out in detail — and for the first time publicly — how the navy intends to squeeze more life out of boats it was supposed to start retiring in four years. It was originally envisioned, the briefing said, that the Victoria-Class submarines would retire one at a time, beginning in 2024. he report argues it is possible to operate the submarines beyond their expected working lives if the military assesses the "material state" of each boat rather than following "a simplistic calendar driven" evaluation of their operational condition. In others words, the report argues that what matters most is not how old the submarines are, but rather how hard have they been driven and how well have they been maintained. The submarines operate on what's called a "6-2 schedule" — six years of service at sea followed by two years of deep maintenance before returning to duty. The briefing note proposes that the boats do nine years of service and then go into a longer refurbishment of up to three years. The submarines would need a full life-extension overhaul in addition to the extended maintenance plan. As evidence to support the plan, the briefing note to senior defence officials pointed to a 2013 study of the Victoria-Class submarines — which said that "although there are numerous technical and supportability challenges, there was no single obstacle precluding a life extension of up to 12 years." 'Lower expectations' The briefing offers one note of caution, however: "It is reasonable to assume that operational availability will decrease as the submarine ages." The briefing note predicted higher maintenance and sustainment costs as the boats get older. To save money, it said, the navy might have to lower expectations of what the boats can do. The existing plan "assumed that there would be no relaxation of operational performance requirements, although in fact some discretion by the Operational Requirements Authority in this regard may be feasible as a cost saving measure," said the note. Conservative defence critic James Bezan said he was astounded by the plan to stretch out the operational life of the subs. He said he doesn't blame the naval planners who drew up the document — but he does hold the Liberal government accountable, arguing it must have ordered the Department of National Defence to give it some justification for putting off the purchase of new submarines. "It is ridiculous," Bezan said. "There was potential for some political direction on how this was written." Canada's submarine fleet spent 'zero days' at sea last year: government documents Canada's front-line frigates have suffered 10 fire and smoke incidents since 2018 In an interview with CBC News at the end of last year, the commander of the navy, Vice-Admiral Art McDonald, defended the plan to extend the life of the boats, saying he had full confidence in the "pretty resourceful and capable" submarine engineering community. The defence policy, he said, "directed us to operate and modernize" the submarine fleet and he's confident it can be done safely. "We know there is still excellent life in the Victoria-class submarine," McDonald told CBC News. "I've seen that personally as an outsider who has come into the program and taken a look at it." The focus of the subs' modernization project — which was in the early stages of being developed when the pandemic hit back in late winter — will be on survivability and making the submarines more livable for crew members. "We're going to be able to operate those boats into the 2030s, but to do that we have to continue with the routine investments we've made and modernize, as was directed" by the defence policy, McDonald said. Not everything can be replaced A series of assessments was conducted between 2008 and 2014. The defence department's naval board, which is charged with planning the future shape of the fleet, met in November 2014 to study the life expectancy of the second-hand boats.  "While it is considered unrealistic to predict the material state of 40-year-old platforms, 20 years into the future, certain items such as the pressure hull and main motor will require additional monitoring and maintenance above the current regime, since unpredicted degradation in such areas may not be cost effective to repair and mitigate," said the 2016 briefing note. And that's the problem with the life-extension plan, said Bezan: some key parts of a submarine — such as the pressure hull and the engines — can't be upgraded. He also pointed to how the submarine fleet had "zero days at sea" in 2019 because all of the vessels were tied up for maintenance. The analysis, Bezan said, shows that the Liberal government should immediately begin looking for a replacement for the submarines — something the previous Conservative government was in the process of doing when it was defeated in 2015. The options that were discussed before the election, he said, included partnering with the Australians — who were in the process of acquiring their own submarine replacements — or buying an off-the-shelf design for inclusion in the federal shipbuilding strategy. None of those ideas got very far before the election, he added. https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canadian-forces-navy-submarine-1.5665020

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