23 mars 2022 | Information, Autre défense

Why government funding is critical for Canadian businesses and how to plan for funding success - Trade Ready

Canadian government grant and loan programs are common for strategic projects in Canada, helping businesses thrive both domestically and...

https://www.tradeready.ca/2021/topics/market-entry-strategies/why-government-funding-is-critical-for-canadian-businesses-and-how-to-plan-for-funding-success/

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  • Canada’s Combat Ship Procurement Process

    22 août 2018 | Information, Naval

    Canada’s Combat Ship Procurement Process

    A FrontLine Report © 2018 FrontLine Defence (Vol 15, No 4) Activity on the Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC) procurement project, the “Crown Jewel” of the Government's National Shipbuilding Strategy, is starting to heat up as contenders submit their bids. Since FrontLine last articles detailing the CSC project, Canada's prime contractor, Irving Shipbuilding Industries (ISI) and their U.S. subcontractors have been busy reviewing the final bids submitted by the three industry teams who emerged over the past two years as serious enough in the pursuit to invest the significant amount of capital required to generate a bid. Stressing that the following list is in no particular order, the 3 bidders are: Team Alion – composed of Alion Canada (a subsidiary of American Alion Science and Technology), Atlas Elektronik (now being merged under thyssenkrupp Marine Systems), and Hensoldt Sensor, (a spin-off from Airbus Group), this group is bidding the Dutch Damen Scheld Naval Shipbuilding De Zeven Provinciën Air Defence and Command (LCF) frigate, which has 10+ years in service under its belt. Team BAE – or CSC Home Team as they like to be called, includes Lockheed Martin Canada, BAE Systems Canada, L3 Technologies Canada, MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates (now a component of U.S. MAXAR Technologies), Ultra Marine Systems Canada, and CAE. Their proposed design is the BAE UK-designed Type 26 Global Combat Ship (GCS). Team Navantia – consisting of Navantia SA of Spain, Saab Australia, and CEA Technologies, this team is bidding the F105 frigate design. Currently in service with the Spanish Navy, the design has also been chosen by Norway and Australia. Other team members include US Lockheed Martin (Moorestown, NJ), General Dynamic Mission Systems – Canada, DRS Technologies Limited Canada (now a Leonardo company), OSI Maritime Systems, and Rheinmetall Canada. Meanwhile, in a decision that may impact Canada's thinking, Australia has announced that it chose the T26 Global Combat Ship (GCS) as the winning design in its Sea5000 program. This announcement occurred just before Canada Day and local pundits were quick to comment on the potential impact on the CSC down-select process. Most agreed that this was good news for the CSC Home Team bidders despite its “paper ship” classification of not being a proven design. With the T26 design being developed concurrently in Canada, timelines are such that there is a possibility that in fact Canada may have a GCS completed before the UK. We now find the CSC program in the final stage of bid evaluation, which includes the ‘Cured' Technical component as well as the financials. There is speculation that the Crown will adopt a similar approach for the financial component as they did for the technical component, which is a financial “cure” opportunity. The expectation is that there will be a period of several months to accommodate the cure process and arrive at final bids from the three teams, and then a 4-week turn around for the final (amended) financial information to be submitted. Looking back, readers will recall that in 2016 we witnessed the Trudeau promise to kill the F-35 purchase and put more money into shipbuilding, and in particular the CSC Project. This was assessed as posturing as we all knew that most of the F-35 budget is money that would be spent on operations and maintenance, not capital expenditure. However, after the election, the Trudeau Government did make good (sort of) on the promise to “take a look under the hood” in terms of adjusting the CSC procurement process. Although they did not change the engine, they did more than just tinkering with the carb. In 2017 the Trudeau Government realized the dual stream selection method for a warship designer and a combat system integrator, known as the RFRE qualifier process, was a mis-step and changed the procurement process to allow teams to form and submit a combined Design and Combat systems bid. Around this time-frame, they also awarded a “shipbuilding” contract that fell outside of the NSS. An unsolicited proposal was accepted from Chantier Davie to convert a container ship into an urgently needed temporary replacement for the auxiliary oiler replenishment (AOR) capability. Given that neither Irving nor Seaspan had the capacity to execute this AOR contract in a timely manner, and notwithstanding that Irving made an intervention to try to kill the award to Chantier Davie, which caused the new Liberal Government to put the award on hold, the “pause” on the “At Sea Support” project (aka Project Resolve) was short-lived. The deal was upheld and MV Asterix was successfully delivered to DND on time and on budget. This is a true success story in these times of amazing ineptitude in defence contracting. Regrettably, neither the RCN nor DND have had much to say about the success of Asterix – we can only surmise this is a result of the most unfortunate “Norman-Gate”. Back to CSC, the reader will undoubtedly remember the 2017 surprise of finding out that Irving would be sharing bidders' sensitive intellectual property with its subcontractors, most of them American. The most astounding of those in Irving's information pipeline for sensitive proprietary information, was Gibbs & Cox – a naval engineering firm and a competitor to many, if not all, of the potential designers. Others include AT Kearney Public Service and Defense Services (a U.S. consulting firm); Fleetway Inc. (part of the Irving Group); and Systems Planning and Analysis Inc. (another U.S. consulting firm). It was reported by David Pugliese in March that the Government approved an additional $54 million (for a total of $83 million) for project bid evaluation, and then in April, he reported that all three bidders had failed to meet some requirements. 2016 RFRE qualifiers As announced by the Government in November 2016, the RFRE qualifiers for Warship Design were (in alphabetical order): Alion-JJMA Corp. BAE Systems Surface Ships Limited DCNS SA (now Naval Group) Fincantieri Naval Vessels Navantia SA Odense Maritime Technology ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems The RFRE qualifiers for Combat Systems Integrator included: Atlas Elektronik DCNS SA (Naval Group) Lockheed Martin Canada Saab Australia Pty Ltd. Selex ES (now Leonardo) Thales Nederland B.V. ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems After the RFRE process was abandoned... Regarding the 2016 RFRE process and quest for the holy grail (officially known as the Total Ship Reference Point or TSRP), only three of those original qualifiers are now left in the race. The others dropped out (or teamed up) for one reason or another over the past 24 months – some by simply vacating the premises so to speak, while others went out with somewhat of a bang. Of the 2016 qualifiers, Naval Group (formerly DCNS), Fincantieri, and Odense Maritime Technology have walked away. Interestingly, two of the qualifiers (DCNS/Naval Group and TKMS) had been pre-qualified in both streams and had been assessed as having the upper hand, however, neither submitted a bid after examining the Irving/Government's bid conditions and recognizing the risk of sharing IP without contracted legal protection in place. We shall look at them first. DCNS – Naval Group The French FREMM (multi-mission frigate) project by Naval Group (formerly DCNS) was touted as combining the latest technologies developed by Naval Group and a design adapted to Canadian requirements. It was to be the cornerstone of French efforts to share its expertise with Canadian partners. In 2015-16, DCNS was reportedly taking the CSC Project very seriously. However, their gravitas was all for naught as it saw the sharing IP without a contract as jeopardizing its future. Possibly because of this, Naval Group failed to seriously engage Canadian Suppliers which would allow it to develop a winning strategy. Rather, what evolved into a French (Naval Group) – Italian (Fincantieri S.p.A. Naval Vessels Business Unit) FREMM lash-up, and chose to not submit a bid in accordance with the Government/Irving RFP, but instead proposed an off-the-shelf purchase for a very reasonable $30 Billion. Their rationale, as reported in the press, was they did not want to hand over sensitive proprietary data to Irving and its subcontractors. This proposal was not well received by PSPC, which publicly stated the proposal would not be considered. thyssenkrupp Marine Systems thyssenkrupp Marine Systems (tkMS) of Germany was also very forthcoming in providing information on its potential RFRE submission. Its project references were based primarily on its role as prime contractor for the F124 frigates, where it was responsible for the development of the Combat Management System software and the integration of entirely new and highly-complex sensor and weapon system technologies. tkMS saw itself as fully capable of providing complete logistics support with training facilities, operator and technician training, discrete logistics support elements, as well as the supply of spare parts for both the platform and combat systems. In early 2017, and despite having qualified as CSI and WD, tkMS had assessed the potential for winning, and particularly the requirement to submit proprietary technical data to a non-government agency (read ISI), as unpalatable and all but withdrew from the race. The local Ottawa office did not submit a bid for the final 30 November deadline for the technical and Canadian Content Value aspects of the bid. In hindsight, the modular approach to the tkMS MEKO design concept featured in the design of Germany's F124 and F125 warship-size frigates, is still a very appealing design and may have carried the day. Their decision to withdraw was reportedly based on factors that included an intense distrust of sharing intellectual property other than Government to Government. Danish Iver Huitfeldt Frigate by Odense Maritime Technologies (OMT) – Maersk In 2015, the Danish Iver Huitfeldt-class frigate was considered one of the four serious contender designs. At 6600 GRT and 138 metres in length, the vessel appeared to be a good fit for the CSC high-level requirements as briefed by the Royal Canadian Navy in August 2014. The team that produced the ship design – Maersk Shipping, Odense and the Danish Navy – established itself as Odense Maritime Technology (OMT) to market its expertise in producing spacious, logical, efficient designs that can be procured for much less than a warship of similar tonnage built elsewhere. The Iver Huitfeldt Frigate design is powered by four diesel main engines driving two shafts in separate engine rooms, max speed 29 knots. The weapons are in modular units for ease of change-out or upgrade, and there is space for four TEU shipping containers for additional mission fits. The Danish Navy operates the ship with a crew of 105, although there are additional 60 bunks for mission fit, training staff and other requirements. The cost to build was quoted as $325M, which was considerably cheaper than expected and was certainly appealing to the bean counters in the early days of the program. Below the main deck, the ship's design is largely commercial, having been designed by Maersk, one of the world's largest shipping companies. In hindsight, perhaps the commercial below decks design was just that – too commercial. Notwithstanding, the FrontLine assessment is that OMT's lack of commitment to the program and the need to pre-commit on Canadian content was their downfall. Despite the efforts of OMT's Vice President Business Development, Mr. Kevin Pitt, from the Toronto office, and qualification through the RFRE process, the bid was destined to fail from the outset. OMT was unable to line up a dance partner in the form of a CSI in time to adapt to the new procurement strategy and the bid collapsed. FrontLine's view was, and still is, good design notwithstanding, to be competitive OMT should have invested in a larger engineering and design footprint in Canada with all the necessary security bells and whistles to support their marketing process. Selex ES – Leonardo DRS As an RFRE qualifier, Selex ES never emerged from the shadows as a contender. The Leonardo bid of an Italian FREMM seemed to wither as time went on. Eventually, as mentioned above, the French Naval Group and the Italians combined forces but never got out of the starting block after they received the results of the pre-qualifier bid review process. Thales Nederland Another multi-national, Thales Group, was also successful with their submission in response to the CSI RFRE, relying primarily on their international credentials for project references from Thales Nederland BV. Thales has significant bona fides, having integrated Combat Systems across 27 shipyards on nearly 200 naval platforms, making it one of the leading Naval Combat Systems Integration companies in the world, and Thales Canada has been the largest supplier of naval sensors to the RCN for the past 40 years. Thales is proud of its track record in integrating Above Water and Underwater Warfare suites and its extensive experience integrating communications suites. Thales Canada was seen as having good potential to emerge on a team as a strong player. However, there were not enough dance partners to go around among the designers and Thales dropped down to the category of potential Tier 2 supplier. Like many of the other potential CSI bidders, Thales is maintaining close contact with all of the potential CSIs and would likely be a supplier to the eventual CSI winner in their strong suit – Naval Combat System products in the areas of Naval Radars and Electro-optical solutions, Naval Underwater systems, Electronic Warfare systems, and Naval Communications system. Thales will continue as a Tier 1 partner with Seaspan for the delivery of all of Mission Systems solutions for the Joint Support Ships (JSS) and Coast Guard vessels. The 2017 award of the in-service support contract known as AJISS – for the Arctic Offshore Patrol Ships (AOPS) and JSS – will keep Thales in Canada for years to come. Full article: https://defence.frontline.online/article/2018/4/10242-Canada's-Combat-Ship-Procurement-Process

  • Quatrième appel de propositions pour Projets compétitifs est maintenant lancé!
  • Avoiding past mistakes: Are the Army’s modernization plans on the right course?

    27 août 2019 | Information, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité

    Avoiding past mistakes: Are the Army’s modernization plans on the right course?

    By: Jen Judson WASHINGTON — To avoid past mistakes that have all but crippled the Army's ability to procure new equipment, the service should ensure its top modernization priorities are aligned with its emerging warfighting doctrine, which could mean rearranging some of its top efforts, conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation is arguing in a new report. The assessment comes at a time when the Army is preparing to release a new modernization strategy in short order. “From 2002 to 2014, for a variety of reasons, nearly every major modernization program was terminated,” the report's author Thomas Spoehr writes. Spoehr is the director of the Center of National Defense at Heritage. His former Army career was partly spent helping to develop the service's future year financial plans. Spoehr acknowledges that with the advent of a new four-star command — Army Futures Command — the programs envisioned to modernize the Army “are well-conceived,” but urges the services to look through a lens of how its priorities measure up in Multi-Domain Operations — a concept under development that will grow into its key warfighting doctrine. Spoehr also warns the Army's leaders that there needs to be a balance “of the lure of technology with the necessity" to buy new equipment. The service is steadfastly marching down a path to modernize and develop its capability in Long-Range Precision Fires, Next-Generation Combat Vehicle, Future Vertical Lift, the network, air-and-missile defense and soldier lethality, in order of importance. But Spoehr is proposing to drop NGCV and FVL to the bottom of the list because they would serve less effective roles when carrying out operations in an environment where territory is well defended against enemies like Russia and China. “The need for long-range precision fires and a precision-strike missile with a range of 310 km, for example, is grounded in the need to strip away Russian surface-to-air missile batteries and gain access,” Spoehr writes. “The linkages of other programs and initiatives are not as obvious and would benefit from an Army effort to make the connections either more explicit or reconsider requirements.” Spoehr points out that it's not clear, for example, how a Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft and a Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft “might survive against near-peer sophisticated integrated air defense capabilities like the Russian's capable Pantsir-S1 SA-22 system. “Even if the aircraft's speed is doubled or tripled, it will not outrun the Pantsir's 9M335 missile,” he writes. “Nowhere in the MDO concept is a compelling case made for the use of Army aviation, combined with a relative youth of Army aviation fleets,” he adds. Instead, Spoehr said, the priorities “should be based on an evaluation of current versus required capabilities, assessed against the capability's overall criticality to success, and all tied to a future aim point-2030, by a force employing MDO doctrine.” This means, he argues, that the Army's network should be prioritized just below LRPF, followed by AMD and soldier lethality. Ranked at number five and six would be NGCV and FVL, respectively. According to Spoehr, “nothing has come forward to suggest that there is a technological advancement that will make a next generation of combat vehicles significantly better.” Additionally, the Army should not try to force the key requirement of making its Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle replacement — the Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle — robotically operated or autonomous until the network matures to support the capability, the report notes. The Army needs a network “that is simple, reliable and less fragile than its current systems,” Spoehr says. “These capabilities may need to come at the expense of capacity,” which the Army appears to be doing, he notes. Spoehr also suggests that the Army invest less in hypersonic offensive capability and more in defensive capability. But ensuring effective modernization of the force and avoiding past failures is just as much a management challenge as it is overcoming technological and cost hurdles. One of the phenomena Spoehr observed during his time serving in the military, particularly at the Pentagon, is what he calls “groupthink,” where those who spend time together begin to think alike and make decisions without those around them questioning actions. Additionally, subordinates tend to avoid disagreeing with those in charge. Groupthink has been the culprit when it comes to major failure in development and acquisition programs in the past, so the Army should “zealously promote critical thinking and avoid groupthink,” Spoehr writes. The service should “promote a free and open dialogue in journals and forums” and “exercise caution when senior leaders endorse specific system attributes or requirements to avoid closing down discussion.” The report acknowledges that the Army “is making a concerted effort to change to meet the future,” such as standing up AFC and aligning its future doctrine with materiel solutions more closely. It's important the Army keep sight of what it's actually trying to do with its future capability, the report warns. “Rather than seeking to match and exceed each of our adversary's investments, the Army must focus on enabling its own operational concepts and seeking answers to tough operational and tactical problems,” it states. Elsewhere in the overarching analysis, Spoehr recommends growing the force, as well ensuring its effective modernization to include roughly 50 Brigade Combat Teams and an end-strength of at least 540,000 active soldiers. He suggests reducing investment in infantry brigade combat teams in favor of armored BCTs, but also to keep capability to fight in a counter-insurgency environment as well, such as keeping the Security Force Assistance Brigades. The third such formation is preparing to deploy to Afghanistan. The Army also needs to grow faster and must find ways to resolve recent problems with recruiting, Spoehr said, recommending that the service grow at a rate faster than 2,000 regular Army soldiers per year. And force allocation should also be reconsidered, Spoehr argues, recommending that the Army should create a new field headquarters in Europe and, when appropriate, do so in the Indo-Pacific. Overall, “the task for the Army is no less than to develop a force capable of deterring and defeating aggression by China and Russia, while also remaining prepared to deal with other regional adversaries (Iraq and North Korea), violent extremist organizations, and other unforeseen challenges,” Spoehr said. What's hard for the Army is that it lacks “the certainty of a single principal competitor” — the Soviet Union in 1980s, during the last buildup, for example, he noted. Because of the complicated global environment, Spoehr advocates for the Army to shift from thinking about a 20-year lead time for new, transformative capabilities and instead take a constant iterative and evolutionary approach to building the force. Under AFC, the Army is attempting to do just that. The Army can't wait “until the future is clear before acting,” he adds. “When dealing with a 1-million-person organization, equipping, training, and leader development typically takes at least a decade to make any substantive change,” Spoehr said. “The Army must therefore make bets now to remain a preeminent land power.” https://www.defensenews.com/land/2019/08/22/avoiding-past-mistakes-are-the-armys-modernization-plans-on-the-right-course/

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