25 mai 2021 | Local, C4ISR, Sécurité

Protecting Canada and improving cyber defence: three challenges

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  • Canada to buy more than $1 billion of missiles, related equipment from U.S. for CF-18 fighters

    18 juin 2020 | Local, Aérospatial

    Canada to buy more than $1 billion of missiles, related equipment from U.S. for CF-18 fighters

    David Pugliese • Ottawa Citizen The U.S. government has cleared the way for Canada to buy more than $1 billion worth of new missiles and related equipment for the Royal Canadian Air Force's CF-18 fighter jet fleet. The U.S. State Department approved the proposed sale to Canada for the 50 Sidewinder AIM-9X Block II Tactical missiles, radars and other various equipment for an estimated cost of $862.3 million U.S. ($1.1 billion Canadian). U.S. Congress was informed of the deal on Monday. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency in the U.S. announced the news on Tuesday. The companies involved in the sale are U.S. firms, Raytheon, General Dynamics, Boeing and Collins Aerospace. “This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by helping to improve the military capability of Canada, a NATO ally that is an important force for ensuring political stability and economic progress and a contributor to military, peacekeeping and humanitarian operations around the world,” the Defense Security Cooperation Agency stated in its announcement. ”This sale will provide Canada a 2-squadron bridge of enhanced F/A-18A aircraft to continue meeting NORAD and NATO commitments while it gradually introduces new advanced aircraft via the Future Fighter Capability Program between 2025 and 2035.” Besides the 50 Sidewinder missiles, the deal will include training missiles, guidance systems, 38 specialized radar units, 20 Joint Standoff Weapons as well as support equipment. In an email the Department of National Defence stated that the U.S. approval for the missiles and related equipment is part of the “Hornet Extension Project” or HEP. That is part of the overall $1.3 billion project cost and fleet maintenance costs, it added. “HEP will also provide upgrades to sensors, weapons, and survivability, as well as security enhancements,” the DND noted. https://ottawacitizen.com/news/national/defence-watch/canada-to-buy-more-than-1-billion-of-missiles-related-equipment-from-u-s-for-cf-18-fighters

  • Canadian Forces to expand its presence in Yellowknife

    25 septembre 2018 | Local, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre

    Canadian Forces to expand its presence in Yellowknife

    DAVID PUGLIESE, OTTAWA CITIZEN The Canadian Forces is expanding its permanent footprint in northern Canada. A new building project in Yellowknife will see the construction of a 7,600-m2 building for some of the technical services elements of the Joint Task Force North Area Support Unit, and the 1st Canadian Rangers Patrol Group Headquarters. “The technical services are for supply and materiel management, vehicle maintenance, transport, and traffic (which is mostly responsible for the movement of materiel),” Department of National Defence spokesman Andrew McKelvey noted in an email to Defence Watch. The project is in the early planning stages, with the request for proposals for the building's design expected to be tendered by mid-2019. The overall project is estimated between $50 million and $99 million and will include offices, an assembly space, which will double as a drill hall, and warehouse and garage space. There are 52 military and civilian personnel from 1 Canadian Rangers Patrol Group headquarters and 314 military and civilian personnel from Joint Task Force North currently stationed in Yellowknife. Only the Area Support Unit (North), part of Joint Task Force North, will be moving into the new building with 1 CRPG. As this project still is in the early planning stages, it is too soon to know this building's exact location, McKelvey said. Construction is expected to start in the 2020-2021 timeframe, with opening anticipated by 2024. https://ottawacitizen.com/news/national/defence-watch/canadian-forces-expands-presence-in-yellowknife

  • A new Defence Procurement Agency – Would it solve anything?

    5 novembre 2019 | Local, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité

    A new Defence Procurement Agency – Would it solve anything?

    By Brian Mersereau Defence Watch Guest Writer During the recent federal election, the issue of considering a new Defence Procurement Agency or DPA surfaced again. The Liberals made such an organization part of their defence platform this time around as part of their plan to improve military procurement. While positive outcomes could result from a new organizational structure, simply installing one will not in and of itself create an efficient procurement model. It most certainly will not address in any substantive manner why taxpayers pay far too much to acquire the defence capabilities Canada needs to protect our sovereign interests in a world that has become increasingly unstable in recent years. It appears that, in many cases, Canada pays more per unit of capability to satisfy its defence needs than most of its allies. Unfortunately, though quite logically, this phenomenon has effectively shrunk the size of our armed forces as the number of platforms we can afford to acquire continues to dwindle due to high costs. While this approach can create short-term jobs, they are ultimately unsustainable since there is no international market for our higher-priced solutions. This is not the direction in which Canada should be headed. Before Canada decides to move ahead with a new procurement agency, it should assemble a “smart persons” panel or forum to thoroughly review the existing system and establish the mandate and objectives of whatever type of organization results from said review. Such a review group must be composed of people from the public and private sector with significant experience, not skewed with staff whose procurement experience primarily consists of exposure to the Canadian “way”. During this review, the panel must examine various issues which are currently perceived to be an impediment to the efficiency of Canada's procurement system. Based on my own years of experience on both the buy and sell sides of the procurement equation, the following areas merit some serious thought: Organizational Structure The fewer individuals, departments and oversight committees with their fingers in the “procurement pie”, the quicker and more coherently things will get done. Even at today's interest rates, time really is money for all involved in the process. Adding more time to a schedule for another management review quite often has a negative impact. While I understand governance and oversight committees have their place, their overinvolvement can produce negative outcomes if mandates are not absolutely clear and if individuals on these committees have limited experience with respect to the issue at hand. Risk Canada's ongoing method for defence procurement is that it will not assume any risk on their side of a contract. If Canada insists the private sector must accept all risk, the private sector will so oblige – but at a significant price and to the detriment of schedules and timelines. As contract prices necessarily increase, so do governments costs to manage the contract. In reality, the most efficient procurement solution for Canada would see some elements of risk managed by the buyer, rather than entirely borne by the seller. More consideration needs to go into balanced risk-sharing formulas. Process Canada has an extremely hands-on procurement process for major systems during the competitive phase, as well as during the implementation of the contract. Even in this digital age, Canada hamstrings its own progress with the sheer degree of detail and bureaucracy it requires; unbelievably, freight trucks are still required to deliver proposals. It seems as though, on occasion, the buyer thinks it knows more about designing and engineering the defence systems Canada needs than the actual designers and engineers for whom it is a primary occupation. Requirements of little or no consequence are painstakingly spelled out in the greatest of detail. Such an approach has a tremendous impact on the amount of time consumed by both the buyer and seller, again driving up costs and extending schedules. Less “hand holding” by the customer must be seriously considered. Sole Source In the procurement world, “sole source” is often viewed as a dirty phrase. Frequently, Canada attempts to run competitions in scenarios where the chances of achieving any meaningful savings or benefits related to competition are low at best. This takes years and drives costs higher at no measurable gain for the buyer. The parameters of when and under what circumstances Canada should move directly to a sole source should be thoroughly reviewed. Significant resources are being wasted managing nearly meaningless processes. Skills Canada's internal skill set for managing large, complex defence procurements does not appear to be adequate. As a result, it turns more and more often to the expertise of external third parties in order to keep up with large private sector firms at the negotiation table from a knowledge and experience standpoint. While there will always be a need for some third-party expertise, project managing many external suppliers in the negotiation phase – each of whom have their own agendas – only further complicates the already convoluted procurement process. Canada would be much better off with an enhanced internal core staff. If Canada takes the time to review the appropriateness of some form of DPA model, it must cast the net wider and review other critical aspects of the procurement process – or else any organizational changes will inevitably succumb to the systematic inertia of the overall process. A failure to do so means Canada will continue struggling mightily to stand-up the level of defence and security necessary to secure its citizens in an increasingly turbulent world. https://ottawacitizen.com/news/national/defence-watch/a-new-defence-procurement-agency-would-it-solve-anything

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