26 juillet 2019 | Local, Aérospatial

Viking to put special missions aircraft on tour - updates on defence industry developments

By DAVID PUGLIESE

Viking Air Limited of Victoria, BC has announced its plans to hold a world demonstration tour for its Guardian 400 aircraft, the special missions variant of the Viking Series 400 Twin Otter. The world tour will include detailed briefings and demonstration flights in Europe, Africa, Middle East, India, South East Asia, Oceania, and North America, according to Esprit de Corps magazine.

The company unveiled the special mission variant last month at the 2019 Paris International Airshow.

Here are more details of what I wrote for Esprit de Corps:

For the past six months, a production Series 400 Twin Otter has been undergoing modifications to transform into Viking's Guardian 400 demonstrator aircraft for the proposed world tour, the firm noted. It will feature a left-hand SCAR pod with Hensoldt Argos EO/IR imaging turret, multi-spectral HDTV camera, mega- pixel HD Thermal imager, laser range finder, multi-mode auto tracker, and Remote Image Bus (RIB) video feed for display on the cockpit MFD or crew workstation. The demonstrator will also feature a right-hand SCAR pod with Leonardo Osprey Radar System and Sentient Vidar Camera system.

In addition to its mission sensor package, the Guardian 400 prototype will be equipped with an Airborne Technologies' tactical workstation with high-definition touchscreen monitors, data/voice/video recorder, Mission Management Unit (MMU), mission radio communications, intuitive hand controller for MCU & SLR camera targeting, CarteNav AIMS mission system software, Kestrel MTI targeting software, and IKHANA ergonomic mission seat for optimized crew comfort. The prototype will also be equipped with Viking conformal bubble windows, left and right wing-mounted hard points by IKHANA, Thunder Bay Aviation stretcher racks, and an aft lavatory for crew comfort.

The tour is expected to start in September. It will end in May 2020 at CANSEC 2020 to be held in Ottawa.

Nexter has been selected by the Canadian government to supply the Canadian Army with 88 multi-purpose robots. The deal includes the delivery of 79 NERVA-LG and nine NERVA-XX robots. It is worth $6 million. The medium-sized robot can be controlled from any standard PC, tablet or smartphone, according to the company. Nexter Systems is the prime contractor and will work with Nexter Robotics and ECA Robotics. Deltic Group of Oakville, Ontario will handle in-service support.

Leonardo announced that it has signed a contract with QinetiQ to provide a number of PicoSAR Active Electronically Scanned Array radars for the Canadian military's new drones. The firm noted that the PicoSAR radar is ideally suited for installation aboard the Canadian Forces new system, which is based on the lightweight UMS Skeldar V-200 Unmanned Aerial System. The radar will provide all-weather ground mapping and surveillance capability for missions.

Seaspan Shipyards has awarded BCS Automation Ltd. a contract for work on the Canadian government's new Offshore Oceanographic Science Vessel (OOSV). BCS is the most recent supplier to partner with Seaspan in its work on the OOSV program.

BCS is a family owned Canadian small business located in Belleville, Ontario, Seaspan pointed out. The firm is supplying a state of the art ship control and monitoring system for the OOSV. The system is designed to provide ship personnel with all the basic alarms and status information they require in order to maintain the safe and efficient operation of the machinery, auxiliary systems and other relevant equipment.

The system features built-in self-diagnostics, an intuitive, user-friendly interface and a fail-safe redundant network to enhance safety and reliability. BCS has previous experience working on NSS projects having been subcontracted by Hawboldt Industries to design and build the winch drive system for the Offshore Fisheries Science Vessels (OFSV).

Two NATO member nations have opted to purchase Rheinmetall's ROSY rapid smoke/obscurant system for protecting their vehicle families. This versatile modular system thus continues to expand its presence in the global force protection market. The two orders are worth several million euros. Delivery of 126 systems to Spanish defence contractor URO Vehículos Especiales S.A. (UROVESA) has already begun. UROVESA will be installing these systems in 126 out of 139 VAMTAC protected patrol vehicles purchased by the Portuguese armed forces in July 2018, according to Rheinmetall. Delivery of the systems will be complete in March 2020. Pre-series delivery in response to another order begins in May 2019, this time from Belgium. Here, Rheinmetall is acting as subcontractor for the British company Jankel, which is supplying the Belgian Army with the Light Troop Transport Vehicle, or LTTV. All 199 of the vehicles are being prepared for integration of the system, in addition to the supply of control units and launchers for 167 vehicles. Series production commences in February 2020 and will be complete the same year.

These two orders mean that ROSY will soon be in service in no fewer than eleven countries. ROSY provides protection from surprise attacks by creating a wall of smoke/obscurant that renders vehicles invisible to the enemy. Unlike conventional smoke/obscurant systems, it not only produces an instantaneous, extensive, multispectral interruption in the line of sight, but also generates a dynamic smoke screen that provides moving assets with long-lasting protection.

Ocean Industries Inc. will build four tugs for the Royal Canadian Navy. The firm from Isle‑aux-Coudres, Quebec, was awarded the contract for $102 million under the National Shipbuilding Strategy. The new tugs will provide towing, firefighting and other critical support services to the Royal Canadian Navy. They will replace the navy's five civilian-crewed Glen-class large tugs and two Fire-class rescue boats.

Two of the tugs will go to Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt in British Columbia. The other two will be delivered to CFB Halifax in Nova Scotia. The first two tugs are scheduled to be delivered in 2021. The last two tugs will be delivered in 2023.

https://ottawacitizen.com/news/national/defence-watch/viking-to-put-special-missions-aircraft-on-tour-updates-on-defence-industry-developments

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