27 octobre 2022 | Local, Terrestre
Plus, the Bloc will argue in the House that Canada should ditch the monarchy.
In May 2018, CAE and KF Aerospace joined together to form SkyAlyne Canada – a 50/50 joint venture to focus on developing and delivering military pilot and aircraft training in Canada. These two companies currently deliver all phases of pilot training to the Royal Canadian Air Force through the NATO Flying Training in Canada (NFTC) program and the Contracted Flying Training and Support (CFTS) program. These programs will come to an end in the next few years and Canada is looking to award a new contract to renew its existing aircrew training services through the Future Aircrew Training program (FAcT). Vanguard recently had the opportunity to speak with Peter Fedak, Program Solutions, SkyAlyne Canada.
Can you tell us a little more about this joint venture between CAE and KF Aerospace?
Peter Fedak: CAE and KF Aerospace are the current providers of all phases of military pilot training and air combat system operator training in Canada. Since we have the knowledge, experience, and credibility with the RCAF in providing these training services to them, we thought that by joining together we can provide the best solution for Canada. The best way to do that was to create an entirely new entity – a 50/50 joint venture – with two leading air training Canadian companies. That led to the birth of SkyAlyne, a true collaboration to bring the best solution for the future, provided by a truly Canadian organization. The expertise that we possess – right here in Canada – is a real benefit to Canadians and the RCAF.
What are some of the top training challenges with the current programs?
PF: With any government program, the most important thing to taxpayers is cost. In Canada, we have some unique environmental challenges that drive the cost up, like the weather, flying below 40 degrees Celsius or above 40. This requires infrastructure, aircraft requirements, and personnel to operate in these extreme temperatures. Another challenge is timing. The NFTC program will expire in 2023, with an option year to 2024. The timeline to engineer the transition, planning, and infrastructure is a challenge that we and the government recognize, but we are ready to face it. With our ongoing programs, we are well situated to seamlessly make the transition for Canada.
If SkyAlyne is selected for the FAcT program, what are some of the capabilities that this joint venture will bring to the table?
PF: A key part in the lead up to FAcT will be to maintain the existing training programs while transitioning to the new program. We have the employees, technical and infrastructure base with the current programs and the ability to seamlessly move between the two. The most valuable resource is people and under NFTC and CFTS, we have a true core human resources capability of trained, qualified and professional people that work under these programs every day and are committed to the success of the pilot training program for the RCAF. Having these personnel is a real core capability for us to maintain the production of pilots while moving forward.
Can you share with us some of the lessons or takeaways from the CFTS program that you think would be important to incorporate into the FAcT program?
PF: The key lesson is the relationship. We didn't create this program and then offer it to the RCAF. We are here because of the RCAF and the Government of Canada. We are here to support them by understanding the culture and people and building on that by working closely with them to keep the program moving forward. This is truly a long-term relationship, like a marriage. We are here for 22 years under this contract and looking for another 25 years. So, it's a matter of establishing and maintaining that trust going forward. That's the only way you can get through these long-term complex contracts – building a good relationship.
Thanks for taking the time to speak with us.
PF: Thank you very much for the opportunity. It's always a pleasure to speak about not only our current programs here in Southport, Manitoba and Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan but also the future opportunities to continue supporting the Government of Canada with our exciting new joint venture of SkyAlyne.
To hear more about this topic listen to the podcast with Peter Fedak.
27 octobre 2022 | Local, Terrestre
Plus, the Bloc will argue in the House that Canada should ditch the monarchy.
14 avril 2020 | Local, Terrestre
Canada's $14-billion deal to sell armoured vehicles to Saudi Arabia is going ahead and will keep a London defence giant rolling, but some say questions remain about future business between General Dynamics Land Systems Canada (GDLS) and the desert kingdom. NORMAN DE BONO Canada's $14-billion deal to sell armoured vehicles to Saudi Arabia is going ahead and will keep a London defence giant rolling, but some say questions remain about future business between General Dynamics Land Systems Canada (GDLS) and the desert kingdom. The federal government said it's lifting a moratorium on new permits for military exports to Saudi Arabia, a critical step for London since GDLS, with about 2,000 employees in London, has a nearly 40-year relationship supplying armoured vehicles to the Saudis. But Ottawa also said it's appointing an advisory panel of experts to review Canada's arms export process and to push for an international inspection for arms sales. That could threaten future business, warned analyst David Perry, vice-president of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute. The Canadian-Saudi deal, with GDLS at the centre, negotiated by the former Conservative government and inherited by the Liberal successor, had come under sharp attack, with some critics calling for it to be scrapped, amid concerns about Saudi Arabia's poor human rights record. “If I was a worker I would be tremendously relieved and happy they made the decision,” Perry said of the federal government. He stressed reviews of the contract determined there was no indication GDLS vehicles were involved in human rights violations. “This went back and forth for a few years, and the government reviewed and threatened to cancel this contract outright. I think there has been irreparable harm. If you're another country open to exports, they may be thinking twice about doing business with Canada,” said Perry. “They (Saudi Arabians) have options when it comes to sourcing. I think they may be thinking in the future about where they source (their military equipment).” Lifting the cloud from the Saudi deal comes at a critical time on the London business landscape, with the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic and the lockdowns that have brought new uncertainty for many employers. In clearing the air on the deal, the federal government also revealed it would have been on the hook for up to $14 billion if it had cancelled the contract to sell light armoured vehicles to the Saudis, a deal that dates to 2014. The review panel, however, poses a level of uncertainty in future business dealings, Perry noted. “A new export panel will offer another layer of review. I don't know how to interpret that. It depends on who is appointed to that panel,” he said. In 2018, after news broke that the Saudi government had ordered the murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the Trudeau Liberals announced a review of all Canada's existing arms sales to Saudi Arabia. Ottawa also slapped a moratorium on new export permits for shipments of military goods to Riyadh. Existing military contracts, such as the GDLS deal, were not affected by the moratorium. But in 2018 Prime Minister Justin Trudeau publicly talked about trying to find a way to end shipments of armoured vehicles to Saudi Arabia. Thursday, Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne and Finance Minister Bill Morneau said the suspension of approval of new Saudi permits is now lifted. They cited a government review last September that found no credible evidence linking Canadian exports of military or other controlled goods to Saudi human rights violations. But the moratorium on trade with the Saudis has already affected the Canadian defence sector to the tune of about $2 billion, according to a memo sent to the foreign affairs minister from two top foreign affairs and international trade officials. “(Twenty) companies that have a history of exporting to KSA (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) suggest that approximately $2 billion in trade has been affected since August 2018. A number of Canadian exporters to KSA have suspended their business development operations . . . The open-ended nature of Canada's moratorium on new export permits, and the lack of identified conditions that would allow a resumption of permit issuance, present a high commercial risk for Canadian companies,” the memo says. Perry, who shared the memo with The Free Press, said he has heard similar concerns from the Canadian defence sector. “I have spoken to businesses that have lost business opportunities” from the moratorium on arms trade with Saudis. “This is welcome news,” he added of the lifting of restrictions, “but the government has introduced uncertainty into Canadian defence industry and exports.” Political scientist Erika Simpson at Western University also questioned the role of the panel, saying there are few details about its authority and adding that only Global Affairs has the authority to impact trade agreements. She also questioned why the contract appears to have been reduced by $1 billion in value. When the Conservatives announced it in 2014, it was worth $15 billion. Ottawa now says it is a $14-billion contract. “I think $1 billion is a lot of money. What happened to $1 billion?” asked Simpson, an associate professor of international politics. “This is good news, but I want to know where the $1 billion went.” GDLS Canada declined comment Friday. Perry also questioned the timing of the announcement. With more than three million Canadians expected to be left unemployed due to the COVID-19 crisis, Ottawa could not jeopardize thousands of jobs across Canada, he said. “As important as this is in Southwestern Ontario, it is not just Southwestern Ontario,” he said. London Liberal MP Peter Fragiskatos downplayed down the idea the review panel could dampen further GDLS business. “I don't think so. This government is behind this contract, this workforce, 100 per cent. On the contrary, I would say a review is a good thing. It will bring greater transparency to the arms program. I welcome it,” the London North Centre MP said. He also stressed the Saudi deal is only about half complete, meaning about six more years of work may remain before there needs to be a discussion about future contracts. “I am pleased to say the least. It was in the making for some time, but it is a very good result not just for the company and its workers, but for the city,” said Fragiskatos. It's too soon to draw conclusions about the future of work by GDLS for the Saudis, since that depends largely on who is at the table negotiating future deals, said Bill Pettipas, former president of GM Defence, which General Dynamics bought and renamed. Pettipas bargained several arms contracts with foreign powers, including a multi-billion dollar deal with the U.S. army to supply it with Stryker armoured vehicles. “It depends on individuals, on relationships. It will get resolved. It will normalize eventually. That relationship has been going on since the early 1980s,” said Pettipas. “Time takes care of things.” Officials with Unifor Local 27, the union for many GDLS workers in London, couldn't be reached for comment Friday. Unifor's national office declined comment. https://lfpress.com/news/local-news/analysis-cloud-lifted-from-gdls-saudi-deal-but-future-business-uncertain-analyst
7 mai 2020 | Local, Aérospatial
Posted on May 7, 2020 by Chris Thatcher Public Services and Procurement Canada has extended the deadline for proposals to replace the CF-188 Hornets until July 31, 2020. The 30-day extension is a response to the coronavirus pandemic that has disrupted business operations globally, especially in the aerospace sector. “The COVID-19 pandemic is presenting numerous challenges for businesses and their workforce, including the eligible suppliers for the Future Fighter Capability Project,” said a spokesperson for the department in a statement on May 6. “The unprecedented situation has impacted proposal finalization. To support our commitment to conducting an open, fair, and transparent competition, the extension will ensure all suppliers are able to submit their most competitive offer to Canada.” Three qualified contenders remain in the competition to replace the Royal Canadian Air Force fighter jet fleet: Sweden's Saab Aeronautics with the Gripen E and the United States-backed Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet and Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II. Dassualt Aviation and Airbus Defense and Space withdrew their entrants, the Rafale and Eurofighter Typhoon, in 2018 and 2019, respectively. The project, valued at up to $19 billion, is seeking proposals for 88 advanced aircraft to replace an aging fleet of 76 A and B model Hornets that began entering service in the mid-1980s. The bids will be evaluated on technical capability, worth 60 per cent of the evaluation; acquisition and operating costs (20 per cent); and economic benefit to Canadian industry, also 20 per cent and the highest weighting for economic return on any defence procurement to date. It's the second time this year the federal government has prolonged the deadline for the request for proposals (RFP). In February, at the request of one of the suppliers, it granted a three-month extension from March 30 to June 30. Release of the formal RFP was also pushed back several times before being issued in July 2019, to accommodate changes during the draft RFP process. The project is the largest acquisition in recent Air Force history and has faced numerous schedule changes over the past decade. This latest change comes a week after Canada submitted an annual payment of US$70.1 million to remain in the F-35 development program, which is being supported by nine partner countries. To date, the government has invested US$541.3 million since 1997 into the multi-variant, next-generation fighter program. However, Canadian companies have captured US$1.8 billion in work on the fighter. “This participation provides Canadian industry with contract opportunities that are only available to program participants,” a spokesperson for National Defence told Canadian Press. “Our membership will also allow us preferential pricing and sequencing in the build schedule should the F-35 aircraft be successful in the current future fighter capability program.” Despite the recent delay because of COVID-19, PSPC still anticipates to award a contract in 2022. The first new aircraft would be delivered in early 2025. In the interim, the government is acquiring and upgrading 18 operational Australian F/A-18A Hornets to augment the current fleet of 76 Hornets. The RCAF is also finalizing an upgrade package for the 76 fighters that will likely include enhancements to their combat capability. https://www.skiesmag.com/news/government-extends-fighter-proposal-deadline/