25 avril 2019 | Local, Aérospatial

MQ-9B SkyGuardian proposed as the right choice for RPAS in Canada

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI)–a leading designer and manufacturer of proven, reliable remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS), radars, and electro-optic and related mission systems–continues the on-time development of its latest RPAS, the MQ-9B SkyGuardian. GA-ASI is designing MQ-9B as the next generation of multi-mission Predator B fleet and has named its baseline MQ-9B aircraft SkyGuardian.

As Canada looks to fulfil its RPAS project requirements, the multi-mission SkyGuardian stands out as the perfect solution. GA-ASI is collaborating with its Team SkyGuardian Canada teammates–CAE, MDA, and L3 Wescam–to deliver the perfect RPAS to Canada. The team combines the best of Canadian industry with the world's most advanced medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) RPAS to fulfil Canada's RPAS project requirements.

The Royal Air Force (RAF) is acquiring SkyGuardian as part of its Protector RG Mk1 program and is scheduled for first delivery in the early 2020s. Belgium also selected SkyGuardian for its defence needs. The RPA is being considered as an option for the Australian Defence Force, which chose GA-ASI to supply the RPA system for Project Air 7003.

“MQ-9B is the world's only RPAS being developed to be certified to fly in non-segregated, controlled airspace,” said Linden Blue, CEO of GA-ASI. “The development is the result of a five-year, company funded program to deliver an unmanned aircraft to meet the stringent airworthiness type-certification requirements of NATO and various civil authorities.”

As part of the certification effort, MQ-9B is being provisioned with a GA-ASI-developed detect and avoid (DAA) system. The DAA system consists of a due regard radar (air-to-air radar), coupled with a traffic alert and collision avoidance system (TCAS) and automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B).

The first-ever transatlantic flight of a MALE RPAS was accomplished in July 2018 as part of the Royal Air Force's (RAF) centenary celebration (RAF100). SkyGuardian flew from Grand Forks, N.D., to RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire, U.K., covering 3,760 nautical miles in 24 hours. Other recent achievements include:

  • Demonstration of SATCOM launch and recovery for MQ-9B using expeditionary command and control (XC2)–December 2018
  • First flight of the second MQ-9B SkyGuardian–September 2018
  • Integration of MQ-9B with GPS and GALILEO satellite systems–June 2018
  • Successful lightning tests on MQ-9B–May 2018
  • Demonstration of auto takeoff and landing using SATCOM for MQ-9B–December 2017

The MQ-9B set an endurance record for GA-ASI aircraft when it flew for more than 48 consecutive hours in April 2017. This is an unprecedented level of endurance that enables the MQ-9B to provide persistent intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) around the clock with an operating cost well below most manned platforms. MQ-9B has a range of over 6,000 nautical miles and is equipped with nine hard-points for sensor or weapons carriage with over 4,000 pounds of available payload.

SkyGuardian is capable of all-weather day/night operations. The cold weather engine start capability allows ground operations down to -41 C. These RPAS also have an electro-expulsive de-icing system (EEDS) for wing leading edges, anti-ice heated engine inlet, heated pitot tube and static ports, and lightning protection.

Interoperable with the U.S., FVEY and NATO, SkyGuardian's multi-mission capability makes it a valued asset in a variety of scenarios–including environmental protection, humanitarian assistance/disaster relief, maritime domain awareness, search and rescue (SAR) and overland and overwater ISR.

To date, GA-ASI has delivered over 850 aircraft and more than 300 ground control stations. Every second of every day, close to 70 GA-ASI-delivered RPA are airborne worldwide.

https://www.skiesmag.com/press-releases/mq-9b-skyguardian-proposed-as-the-right-choice-for-rpas-in-canada/

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  • Royal Canadian Navy getting new miniature maritime drone this summer- Update on defence industry news and contracts

    26 avril 2018 | Local, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR

    Royal Canadian Navy getting new miniature maritime drone this summer- Update on defence industry news and contracts

    DAVID PUGLIESE, OTTAWA CITIZEN Here is defence industry news from my article in the latest issue of Esprit de Corps magazine: MDA, a Maxar Technologies company, signed a contract worth around $8 million to provide the Department of National Defence with what is being called a Maritime Miniature Unmanned Aircraft Systems (MMUAS). The contract also includes services to support training, resource and equipment development activities and development and validation of naval tactics and new capability development, according to the firm. MDA's solution is based on the Puma AE (All Environment) unmanned aircraft built by Aeroviroment.The photo above courtesy of the U.S. Navy shows the Puma AE. The Puma has the ability to carry additional payloads as required for specific missions. The MMUAS is the first UAS project that will see the RCN operate and maintain its own capability and provide a sustainable shipborne, near real-time, Beyond Visual Line Of Sight (BVLOS) ISR capability with an expected introduction to the fleet in the summer of 2018 onboard Kingston-class ships. The Puma AE is operated from the same control station as the Raven UAS which has been provided by MDA to the Canadian Army since 2013. In addition, MDA, also announced it has signed a contract with an unnamed international customer for the provision of turnkey, unmanned aircraft system surveillance services. The contract includes options for additional years. MDA's UAS service will use a fleet of Schiebel CAMCOPTER S-100 rotary-wing unmanned aircraft to provide surveillance information. MDA will be responsible for all aspects of the service including acquisition of all the systems and required infrastructure, training, airworthiness, logistics, supply chain, maintenance and all flight operations, the firm noted. The S-100 aircraft is a vertical takeoff and landing UAS, which does not require a prepared area or supporting launch or recovery equipment. It operates day and night and is a very capable platform for a wide range of different surveillance payloads to meet a broad set of mission requirements. MDA's UAS service will equip the S-100 fleet with L3 WESCAM MX-10 EO/IR payloads. The MX-10 is a high-performance, multi-sensor multi-spectral imaging system for tactical surveillance missions. It carries multiple sensors including both high-definition day modes and night infrared modes. The MX-10 is currently operational for twelve nations worldwide on the S-100. Pratt & Whitney Canada has signed a 12-year Fleet Management Program agreement with Specialist Aviation Services for 24 PW210A engines powering 12 Leonardo AW169 helicopters. The program has been specifically tailored to SAS's needs and helps reduce operating costs and simplifies fleet operations management, according to Pratt and Whitney. Operating primarily in the United Kingdom, SAS provides support to emergency services and other major organizations that rely on aircraft to support their operations. SAS is one of the fleet leaders on the AW169 program. Rheinmetall has won the first request for proposals for preliminary studies relating to European Union defence research financed by the EU's European Defence Union. Under a project known as “Generic Open Soldier Systems Reference Architecture”, or GOSSRA, the European Commission has put the Düsseldorf-based tech group in charge of a consortium consisting of partners from nine different EU member states. Under the GOSSRA project, studies will be conducted into developing an open reference architecture as the basis of EU-wide standardized soldier systems. This includes electronics, voice and data communication, software solutions, man-machine interfaces, sensors and effectors. Rheinmetall makes the German Bundeswehr's IdZ-ES soldier system as well as the Canadian military's Argus system. http://ottawacitizen.com/news/national/defence-watch/royal-canadian-navy-getting-new-miniature-maritime-drone-this-summer-update-on-defence-industry-news-and-contracts

  • Fighter RFP delayed again pending official review of industrial benefits policy

    31 mai 2019 | Local, Aérospatial

    Fighter RFP delayed again pending official review of industrial benefits policy

    by Ken Pole Shortly before Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan announced on May 29 that a formal request for proposals (RFP) to supply 88 new Canadian fighter jets would be delayed again — this time to mid-July — two potential contenders said that a proposal to scrap the customary industrial benefits element of the procurement is problematic. Jim Barnes, director of Business Development in Canada for Boeing Defense, Space & Security and Roger Schallom, the company's St. Louis-based vice-president of International Business Development, along with Patrick Palmer, vice-president and head of Sales at Saab Canada Inc., expressed their common concern during briefings at CANSEC, the annual Ottawa trade show organized by the Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries (CADSI). Boeing's contender to replace the RCAF's legacy fleet of CF-188 Hornets is the F/A-18 Super Hornet, while Saab's is the JAS 39 Gripen (the company had a full-scale replica parked front-and-centre outside CANSEC's main entrance). The other contenders are Lockheed Martin's F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) and Airbus Military's Eurofighter Typhoon. Barring any further hiccups in a program fraught with political indecision and already years behind the original schedule, the RFP process overseen by Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) is expected to lead to two finalists being chosen next year with a view to making a final selection in 2022. The government had been expected to issue its RFP by May 31 after years of indecision, but that latest deadline in the troubled procurement was postponed as officials at DND, PSPC and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada review the industrial benefits element. “This is proof that your feedback is heard and acted upon,” Sajjan told the CANSEC audience. The proposed industrial benefits change was disclosed earlier this month by Richard Shimooka, a senior fellow at the Macdonald-Laurier Institute (MLI), an Ottawa-based think tank. He said in a report published by the MLI (May 6) that the Canadian government was yielding to pressure from the United States by changing the long-established requirement that companies bidding for contracts agree to investing an equivalent amount in Canada. The fighter procurement, including in-service support, is expected to cost at least $18 billion. Shimooka cited letters from U.S. officials that indicate “resentment and distrust towards the government of Canada had grown, particularly within the U.S. Air Force.” The letters evidently focused on the “significant strategic and economic benefits that have already been accrued from being part of the JSF program.” However, he added, the letters also contained “an implicit (but clear) threat that Canada could be kicked out of the program if Ottawa continues with its current policy of trying to obtain guaranteed industrial benefits that, by their very nature, are not allowed under the JSF Program. . . . There was a complete lack of logic of Canada's policy, which seemed to ignore basic facts about membership in the JSF program, including clear advantages in cost and capability that the F-35 provided.” In his CANSEC briefing, Barnes admitted to having been “surprised by the recommended changes” in the shift in the long-standing requirement. “That policy's been in place for decades and it's been very successful for Canadian industry,” he replied, questioning what he called the government's decision to “accommodate a competitor.” Schallom added that adhering to the historic requirement for direct industrial offsets, rather than simply offering “non-binding” bidding opportunities on future contracts, would be better for Canada's economy over the expected 30 years or more of the new fighter program. “You're probably missing out on $30 billion-plus in guaranteed work.” Saab's Palmer echoed that position 30 minutes later, saying that he is concerned that the “non-binding requirement may not necessarily give Canadians the best value over the long term,” but, “until we see the final RFP (request for proposals), I'll reserve final judgment.” However, when asked how Saab had responded formally to the proposed change on industrial benefits, he said, “We've asked them for some more information as it relates to the specifics of how items are going to be measured,” but had “definitely indicated that it doesn't necessarily encourage the best solution for Canada at the end of the day.” https://www.skiesmag.com/news/fighter-rfp-delayed-again-pending-official-review-of-industrial-benefits-policy

  • ERRATUM : Appel à Idées face à la situation liée au COVID-19

    20 mars 2020 | Local, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité

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