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  • Project to buy new pistols for Canadian Forces is once again underway

    24 septembre 2020 | Local, Sécurité, Autre défense

    Project to buy new pistols for Canadian Forces is once again underway

    David Pugliese The project to purchase pistols to replace the Canadian military’s Second World War-era handguns is once again underway and National Defence hopes to have the new weapons by the summer of 2022. The project had been stalled for years after small arms firms rejected in 2011 the federal government requirement that the guns be built at Colt Canada in Kitchener, Ont. In addition, the companies balked at the stipulation they had to turn over their proprietary firearms information to Colt, a firm that some saw as a competitor. But with small arms companies reluctant to bid on the Canadian pistol project, the federal government has had no choice but to drop those requirements and have an open competition. A request for bids will now be issued in early 2021, DND spokeswoman Jessica Lamirande confirmed to this newspaper. She said a “minimum of 9,000” handguns will be purchased. “These are mainly intended for the Canadian Army, and will be issued as required,” she added. The department hopes to have a contract in place by the summer of 2021, with initial deliveries by the summer of 2022, she added. The DND declined to discuss the amount of money that taxpayers will spend on the project. The new handguns will replace the Second World War-era Browning Hi-Power pistols used by the Canadian Forces. The replacement program for the 9mm Browning Hi-Power pistols has been on the books for years. In the fall of 2011, the DND abruptly cancelled plans for the purchase of 10,000 new pistols. The decision to shut the process down came after international firearms companies balked at the stipulation the firms turn over their confidential technical data to Colt Canada so the guns could be manufactured in Canada. Colt is the country’s Small Arms Strategic Source and Centre of Excellence. The DND was told at the time by industry representatives that it didn’t make economic sense to have Colt manufacture the guns in Canada or to have parts shipped to Colt so the guns could be assembled in Canada. The handgun replacement project has been seen as an example of a highly dysfunctional military procurement system. At one point the DND tried to prevent small arms companies from talking to journalists about the bungled procurement but the department’s decree was largely ignored. Under the Munitions Supply Program sole source deals have been directed to Colt Canada to maintain a small arms expertise in the country. In late January Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan announced the purchase of more than 3,600 new C6AI FLEX General Purpose Machine Guns from the company. The $96-million order was a follow-on deal to the 2017 contract for 1,148 of the same machine guns. Some spare parts are included along with cleaning kits and carrying slings in the purchase. Critics pointed out that the cost of each gun worked out to around $27,000, at least twice the amount that other militaries are spending. In February and April two other contracts were directed to Colt to produce a semi-automatic rifle in 7.62 calibre to be used by Canadian Forces sniper teams as an auxiliary weapon. Lamirande said in 2018 changes were made to improve the Munitions Supply Program. Under those changes, new business was no longer automatically given to members of the supply program. Instead a thorough analysis is to be done to decide whether it is better to open a project up to competition or sole source the deal to firms in the Munitions Supply Program. “Factors that are considered include performance, value for money, flexibility, innovation potential, and socio-economic benefits,” Lamirande explained. “We also include considerations for current availability within timeframes and the long term sustainability of the solution.” https://ottawacitizen.com/news/national/defence-watch/project-to-buy-new-pistols-for-canadian-forces-is-once-again-underway

  • Deal to buy used Australian fighter jets finalized, with Canadian Forces set to be flying them by summer

    4 janvier 2019 | Local, Aérospatial

    Deal to buy used Australian fighter jets finalized, with Canadian Forces set to be flying them by summer

    David Pugliese, Ottawa Citizen Eighteen of the Australian F-18 aircraft will eventually be flying for the Canadian Forces, while another seven will be used for testing and spare parts Canada has finalized a deal to buy 25 used fighter jets from Australia, the first of which are expected to be operating by this summer, says the top procurement official at the Department of National Defence. “The first two aircraft will be here this spring,” Pat Finn, assistant deputy minister for materiel at DND, told Postmedia in an interview. “I would say it could be by the summer the first couple are on the flight line and painted with the maple leaf.” A second group of planes would arrive later this year. Eighteen of the Australian F-18 aircraft will eventually be flying for the Canadian Forces, while another seven will be used for testing and spare parts. Canada is paying Australia $90 million for the aircraft. The federal government originally estimated the purchase of the Australian jets would cost around $500 million, but Finn said that price reflected every aspect of the associated deal, not just the cost of purchasing the jets. Canada is also acquiring extra spare parts, the Australian jets will have to be outfitted with specific Canadian equipment and software and testing will be needed. The $500-million project estimate also included $50 million in contingency funds to cover any problems and another $35 million for the salaries of all civilian and military personnel involved over the life of the project. An additional $30 million will be spent on new infrastructure needed to accommodate the aircraft. Those costs add up to $360 million, Finn said. But DND also plans to upgrade its existing fleet of CF-18s with new communications gear and equipment required to meet regulations to operate in civilian airspace, improvements which the Australian jets will also eventually receive at a cost of around $110 million, an amount that brought the original estimate to nearly $500 million. The Liberal government had planned to buy 18 new Super Hornet fighter jets from U.S. aerospace giant Boeing to augment the Royal Canadian Air Force’s CF-18s until new aircraft can be purchased in the coming years. But in 2017 Boeing complained to the U.S. Commerce Department that Canadian subsidies for Quebec-based Bombardier allowed it to sell its C-series civilian passenger aircraft in the U.S. at cut-rate prices. As a result, the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump enacted a tariff of almost 300 per cent against the Bombardier aircraft sold in the U.S. In retaliation, Canada cancelled the deal to buy the 18 Super Hornets, which would have cost more than US$5 billion. Instead of buying the new Super Hornets, the Liberals decided to acquire the used Australian jets. Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan has said the extra jets are needed to deal with a “capability gap,” as Canada does not have enough fighters to handle its commitments to NATO as well as protecting North America. But Conservative MPs say the capability gap doesn’t exist and was concocted by the government to delay a larger project to buy new jets, a competition that might end up selecting the F-35 stealth fighter that during the 2015 election campaign the Liberals vowed never to purchase. In the fall of 2016, then-Royal Canadian Air Force commander Lt.-Gen. Mike Hood told senators that the Liberal government brought in a policy change which required the RCAF to be able to meet both its NATO and North American air defence commitments at the same time. That, in turn, created the capability gap, he said. Hood said he was not told about the reasons for the policy change. In November 2018 Auditor General Michael Ferguson issued a report noting that the purchase of the extra aircraft would not fix the fundamental weaknesses with the CF-18 fleet which is the aircraft’s declining combat capability and a shortage of pilots and maintenance personnel. “The Australian F/A-18s will need modifications and upgrades to allow them to fly until 2032,” the report said. “These modifications will bring the F/A-18s to the same level as the CF-18s but will not improve the CF-18’s combat capability.” “In our opinion, purchasing interim aircraft does not bring National Defence closer to consistently meeting the new operational requirement introduced in 2016,” Ferguson’s report added. The Canadian Forces says it is bringing in new initiatives to boost the numbers of pilots and maintenance staff. https://nationalpost.com/news/canada/deal-to-buy-used-australian-fighter-jets-finalized-with-canadian-forces-set-to-be-flying-them-by-summer

  • Canada awards Wing support services and facilities maintenance contract for 5 Wing Goose Bay

    16 mars 2021 | Local, Aérospatial

    Canada awards Wing support services and facilities maintenance contract for 5 Wing Goose Bay

    Well-maintained infrastructure and well-supported operations are essential to ensure Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) defence capability and capacity. To...

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