3 mai 2021 | Local, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité

Opinion | The Saturday Debate: Should Canada leave NATO?

Opinion | The Saturday Debate: Should Canada leave NATO?

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization was created to contain the Soviet Union, which no longer exists, but now it seems designed to supply the milita...

https://www.thestar.com/opinion/contributors/the-saturday-debate/2021/05/01/the-saturday-debate-should-canada-leave-nato.html

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  • CAF inks deal with Bombardier to replace two 30-year-old Challenger aircraft

    8 juin 2020 | Local, Aérospatial

    CAF inks deal with Bombardier to replace two 30-year-old Challenger aircraft

    The Government of Canada recently announced it is replacing two Bombarder Challenger 601 utility aircraft with two Challenger 650s for the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) to allow for continuation of mission critical roles. The retiring aircraft that entered service in the 1980s fall short of operational requirements and are nearly obsolete due to new rules in the United States and Europe that will restrict their ability to fly internationally before the end of this year. The replacement ensures CAF can continue to operate a modern and flexible utility flight service fleet that serves a variety of roles — including reconnaissance and liaison missions with international partners, and the speedy deployment of specialized capabilities and expertise, including the Disaster Assistance Response Team. Without this needed replacement, the Royal Canadian Air Force’s operational effectiveness for missions would be limited. The aircraft are used for the medical evacuation of military personnel serving overseas and the safe transport of CAF medical personnel and specialized equipment in the critical first few hours and days of someone being wounded. They are also used for the safe extraction and repatriation of personnel and citizens. The fleet further provides the ability to transport specialized teams from Canada to operational theatres around the world. Earlier this month, a Challenger quickly brought Royal Canadian Navy search experts to Naples, Italy, to support the search for the Cyclone helicopter lost in the Ionian Sea. This fleet provides critical abilities here at home. It has been used in the whole-of-government effort to support Northern, Indigenous and remote communities during COVID-19. In May 2020, it supported the delivery of COVID-19 testing supplies to Nunavut. The aircraft have been at the ready to help provincial and territorial partners with medical evacuations, if required. This fleet is also critical in facilitating the travel of senior government officials, as well as Parliamentarians from all parties due to security and safety considerations. The CAF’s existing Challenger fleet consists of four aircraft, two purchased in the early 1980s and two purchased in the early 2000s. With the implementation of new international regulatory and interoperability requirements in 2020, only half of the fleet is fully compliant with international standards. That is why the Department of National Defence has been working on this consolidation initiative since 2018, and why the government entered into a contract with Bombardier this week, after negotiating the most cost-effective option for these capabilities, which were accounted and paid with existing funds in SSE’s fiscal framework. The Challenger 650 aircraft is the current production version of the model that the CAF currently operates. This commonality will result in significant benefits in efficiency, cost, and interoperability, both in terms of training and support to operations. “This purchase is another example of our government’s commitment to provide the Canadian Armed Forces with the modern equipment they need to carry out the critical work we ask of them. This fleet is a crucial operational capability and ensuring its continuity is another important investment in our women and men in uniform,” said Harjit S. Sajjan, minister of National Defence. “While helping to fulfill the Royal Canadian Air Force’s (RCAF) operational requirements, this purchase also demonstrates our commitment to Canada’s world-class aerospace industry. Having this ready, off-the-shelf option also offers long-term value to the RCAF and to Canada,” said Anita Anand, minister of Public Services and Procurement Canada. https://www.skiesmag.com/news/caf-inks-deal-with-bombardier-to-replace-two-30-year-old-challenger-aircraft

  • New air defences needed in wake of Iran attack, Canadian Army says

    9 janvier 2020 | Local, Aérospatial

    New air defences needed in wake of Iran attack, Canadian Army says

    BY LEE BERTHIAUME THE CANADIAN PRESS The launching of Iranian missiles against a base housing Canadian soldiers in Iraq has highlighted a long-standing deficiency for the Canadian Army: the inability to defend against air attacks such as aircraft, rockets and drones. Iran on Tuesday fired missiles at two military bases in Iraq, including one near the northern city of Irbil that has housed Canadian troops for more than five years as part of the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. No one was injured in the missile attack, which was in retaliation for the killing of Iranian Maj.-Gen. Qassem Soleimani by a U.S. drone last week. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed Wednesday that Canadian soldiers were at the base at the time of the Iranian attack. Canadian troops in Iraq and elsewhere are routinely deployed with allies who have what are called “ground-based air defences,” or GBADs in military parlance, which can include everything from missile interceptors and anti-aircraft guns to electronic jamming devices and lasers. But Canadian Army spokesperson Karla Gimby said the Iranian missile attack nonetheless demonstrated why a new air-defence system is one of the army’s top procurement priorities. “Iran launching missiles underscores the need for militaries — and the Canadian military — to have GBADs,” Gimby said Wednesday, though she added: “It is too early to tell if recent events will impact the GBAD procurement timeline.” Successive Canadian Army commanders have raised the lack of air defences for front-line troops since the military retired the last of its anti-air weapons in 2012. However, efforts to acquire a new system have been stuck in neutral for years. The Department of National Defence is not expecting delivery of a new system until at least 2026, which is projected to cost between $250 million and $500 million. Officials have previously suggested that part of the problem is trying to figure out exactly what threats the system will be designed to counter, particularly given rapid advances in technology. In a recent interview with The Canadian Press, Canadian Army commander Lt.-Gen. Wayne Eyre referenced Iran’s use of drones to attack Saudi Arabia’s largest oil facility in September as one new airborne threat on the battlefield. “No army in history has gone to war with all of the resources that it wanted, all the capabilities that it wanted,” Eyre said. “That being said, GBAD is one of the ones that I am most concerned about because it is not just a capability shortfall, it’s a capability gap. We don’t have it.” When the Canadian military put away the last of its anti-air weapons in 2012, it was on the assumption that Canada and its allies would have air superiority in any battle and not have to worry about airborne attacks, said defence analyst David Perry of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute. “The Taliban never had any of that kind of stuff. (ISIL) really didn’t have any of that kind of stuff,” Perry said. “So we’ve been deploying in places where it hasn’t been a problem.” The Iranian attack demonstrates the importance of Canadian troops on the ground being able to protect against airborne threats, he said. https://globalnews.ca/news/6382675/iran-attack-canadian-army/    

  • COVID-19 further delaying some overdue military procurements

    29 septembre 2020 | Local, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité, Autre défense

    COVID-19 further delaying some overdue military procurements

    Lee Berthiaume OTTAWA — While the federal government is pressing ahead with plans to buy billions of dollars worth of much-needed equipment for the Canadian Armed Forces, the Department of National Defence's top procurement official says COVID-19 is further slowing down some already delayed purchases. The past six months have seen a number of major milestones for Canada's beleaguered military procurement system, including last week's unveiling of the first of 16 new military search-and-rescue planes after 16 years of delays and controversy. Procurement officials are also now reviewing three bids that were received from fighter-jet makers at the end of July as Canada inches closer to selecting a replacement for the aging CF-18s following more than a decade of political mismanagement. The list of recent successes also includes Halifax-based Irving Shipbuilding having delivered the first of six new Arctic offshore patrol vessels in late July, while progress has been made on a number of other files, such as the long-overdue purchase of new engineering vehicles for the Army. Yet some of those milestones would have been achieved earlier had it not been for COVID-19. And Troy Crosby, the Defence Department's assistant deputy minister of materiel, acknowledges many other projects are being affected as well. That includes the more than 100 military procurements — roughly half of them dealing with new equipment and the rest focused on building new infrastructure on Canadian Forces bases across the country — that were listed as already delayed before the pandemic hit. "COVID didn't speed anything up," Crosby said in an interview with The Canadian Press. "I think everybody would understand that that's going to have some impact. And exactly what that impact is difficult to tell right now." Delays in military procurements can have several impacts. In some cases such the CF-18s, the Canadian Armed Forces is being forced to keep using equipment that was supposed to have been retired years ago. In others, delays drive up the cost of the new purchases due to inflation. The projects most likely to be delayed due to COVID-19 are those in production, Crosby said. Examples include the construction of new naval ships by Irving and Seaspan ULC in Vancouver, which have had to adopt physical distancing and other COVID-19 measures at their shipyards. "For the projects that are at a stage where the work is office-based ... once we got over that initial hump as everybody had to as we moved toward a remote-work posture, the work continued," said Crosby. "If you're in a shipyard and you're trying to advance the production of a ship given all of the physical distancing requirements and the health and safety considerations, that's challenging." Crosby has previously argued much of the frustration around military procurement is the result of unrealistic expectations born of a lack of understanding and appreciation for how the system — which is dealing with more projects than at any time in recent history — actually works. COVID-19 has also prompted speculation the Liberal government could start cutting back on its promise, unveiled in 2017, to spend $553 billion on the military over the next 20 years. Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan told The Canadian Press earlier this month that the funding is "secure." Asked about the spending plan — which is contained in the Liberals' defence policy and known as Strong, Secure, Engaged — Crosby said: "Strong Secure Engaged continues to be our focus and it laid out a program of work and we're trying to get that program of work delivered. "It's been that way right through this whole COVID situation. That hasn't changed anything. ... The people in the materiel group, the people we're working with across government, we're all seized with the program forward." This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 28, 2020. https://www.kamloopsthisweek.com/news/covid-19-further-delaying-some-overdue-military-procurements-1.24211049

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