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  • Bold move backfires as Canada declines Naval Group-Fincantieri frigate offering

    8 décembre 2017 | Local, Naval

    Bold move backfires as Canada declines Naval Group-Fincantieri frigate offering

    PARIS, ROME, and VICTORIA, British Columbia — Naval Group and Fincantieri are out of the running to compete in Canada’s program to acquire a fleet of new surface combatants after they failed to submit a bid through the formal process and instead sent a proposal directly to the Canadian government. The companies had offered Canada a proposal to construct 15 ships at Irving Shipbuilding in Nova Scotia for a fixed cost. But the proposal circumvented the government’s procurement procedure, which required formal bids to be submitted to Irving by Nov. 30. Naval Group and Fincantieri did not follow that requirement. The Canadian government announced Tuesday it had rejected the proposal from the two firms. “The submission of an unsolicited proposal at the final hour undermines the fair and competitive nature of this procurement suggesting a sole source contracting arrangement,” Public Services and Procurement Canada, or PSPC, which is overseeing the procurement, said in a statement. “Acceptance of such a proposal would break faith with the bidders who invested time and effort to participate in the competitive process, put at risk the Government’s ability to properly equip the Royal Canadian Navy and would establish a harmful precedent for future competitive procurements.” Canada’s decision effectively removes Naval Group and Fincantieri from taking part in the program since the companies never submitted a formal bid, government officials noted. Public Services and Procurement Canada declined to say how many bids were received for the Canadian Surface Combatant project. Besides a bid from the BAE-Lockheed Martin Canada consortium for the Type 26 frigate, only two other companies have acknowledged bidding. A team led by Alion Canada is offering the Dutch De Zeven Provinciën-class air-defense and command frigate. The Spanish shipyard, Navantia, has submitted a bid based on its F-105 frigate design. Canada expects to make a decision on the winning bid sometime in 2018. The program to build 15 new warships is estimated to be worth CAN$62 billion (U.S. $49 billion). The program was originally estimated to cost CAN$26 billion, but that figure has been revised a number of times and has been climbing steadily over the last several years. Fincantieri and Naval Group had hoped the proposal of a fixed price tag of about CAN$30 billion for a new fleet might sway the Liberal government, as it would eliminate much of the risk and would offer a proven warship design. The proposal had the backing of the French and Italian governments and was made directly to Canadian Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan. Naval Group and Fincantieri took note Canada had rejected their joint bid that filed outside the competition for a frigate fleet, but they were still ready to offer the design of their warship for local assembly, the companies said Wednesday. “We acknowledge the position expressed by the Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) not to take into consideration the offers submitted outside the process of the Canadian Surface Combatant program (CSC) Request For Proposal (RFP),” Naval Group and Fincantieri said. “Nevertheless, Naval Group and Fincantieri remain at the disposal of Canada to contribute to the modernization of Canadian forces with a sea-proven warship, currently in service with the French and Italian Navies, that would minimize the scheduling gaps for design and construction of all the ships in Canada and maximize value for money,” the companies said. Asked on Wednesday how Fincantieri and Naval Group will react to Canada’s rejection, Fincantieri CEO Giuseppe Bono declined to give a direct response but did suggest there might be room for compromise. “We don’t want to take risks,” he said, adding: “we need to see what makes sense” and “the customer is always right.” In addition, he said the design of the ship offered to Canada would be more similar to the Italian version than the French. “We have made a joint offer of a FREMM, which is close to the Italian version if only because Italy has an anti-submarine warfare version,” he said. The terms of the Canadian competition posed a problem as the tender required bidders to hand over intellectual property and there was danger it might end up in the wrong hands, an analyst said. “The problem from the outset is how the Liberals have set the competition,” said Robbin Laird, of consultancy International Communications and Strategic Assessments, based in Paris and the Washington, D.C., area. “One would think that with … the U.S. and Australia launching new frigates as well as the French and Italians working on a new frigate program, the approach would be to leverage the allied global recapitalization effort,” he added. “Yet what the Canadian government has focused upon is simply forcing competitors to provide intellectual property to their own Canadian shipyard without any real protection against leakage of that technology to China or to other competitors.” In their direct bid to the Canadian government, the European partners offered a speedy start of shipbuilding in 2019, which they said would help sustain local jobs. A frigate generally takes about four years to build. The Franco-Italian frigate was offered with the Thales Sea Fire radar, a multifunction digital system, an industry executive said. Naval Group offered its Senit combat management system, with Fincantieri delivering the ship design. Thales developed the flat-paneled Sea Fire for the FTI, an intermediate frigate ordered for the French Navy and aimed mainly for export markets. Anti-submarine systems included Thales Captas hull-mounted and towed array sonars, specialist website Mer et Marine reported. The weapons could include a 127mm gun and two vertical launchers for surface-to-air missiles, which would likely be Aster but would also be available for American weapons. https://www.defensenews.com/industry/2017/12/06/bold-move-backfires-as-canada-declines-naval-group-fincantieri-frigate-offering/

  • French and Italian governments endorse long-shot bid for 15 new ships for Canada's navy

    8 décembre 2017 | Local, Naval

    French and Italian governments endorse long-shot bid for 15 new ships for Canada's navy

    DANIEL LEBLANC OTTAWA PUBLISHED DECEMBER 8, 2017UPDATED 3 DAYS AGO The French and Italian governments are officially backing an unsolicited proposal to supply 15 military vessels to the Royal Canadian Navy outside of the ongoing competition for the $60-billion contract, documents show. The French and Italian ministers of defence submitted a letter last month to their Canadian counterpart, Harjit Sajjan, stating that they "fully support" the joint bid by Naval Group and Fincantieri to replace the RCN's existing frigates and retired destroyers. The support from the French and Italian governments could give additional weight to the long-shot proposal, which aims to bypass the official procurement process for new Canadian Surface Combatants. "Under the umbrella of an intergovernmental agreement, we will provide project management support so that the Royal Canadian Navy can operate the purchased warships, sustain their operational capabilities and manage their evolving capabilities throughout their entire lifecycle," said the letter from French Defence Minister Florence Parly and Italian Defence Minister Roberta Pinotti. The submission from Naval and Fincantieri has shaken up the process put in place by the federal government to acquire 15 new vessels. Halifax-based Irving Shipbuilding Inc. is the government's prime contractor, with a competition under way to select a warship design. Defence-industry sources said the leading contender in the process is a joint bid by U.S.-based Lockheed Martin and British-based BAE Systems. The same sources said only three of the 12 prequalified bidders submitted a formal proposal by the Nov. 30 deadline, a number the federal government will not confirm. Under Canada's defence policy unveiled earlier this year, the federal government is planning to get its first Canadian Surface Combatant in 2026, with the entire project costing between $56-billion and $60-billion. Under the Franco-Italian proposal, the 15 vessels would also be built at the Irving shipyard. Based on production costs in Europe, the two companies said they could provide the vessels to the Canadian government for $20.9-billion (€13.8-billion), with construction starting in late 2019. The bid from Naval and Fincantieri was unsolicited, essentially relying on the possibility that none of the bidders under the existing process will be deemed compliant. The defence-industry sources described the offer as a "Hail Mary" that could succeed if the ongoing process unravels, like many previous military procurements. "Everything depends with what happens with the process that is under way right now," said David Perry, senior analyst at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute. "If they can get two compliant bids or ideally all three … I wouldn't see a need to go back and do a comparison with the [Naval/Fincantieri] bid." The federal government said this week that it will not even analyze the unsolicited bid. "To be clear, any proposals submitted outside of the established competitive process will not be considered," Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) said in a statement. "The submission of an unsolicited proposal at the final hour undermines the fair and competitive nature of this procurement suggesting a sole-source contracting arrangement. Acceptance of such a proposal would break faith with the bidders who invested time and effort to participate in the competitive process, put at risk the government's ability to properly equip the Royal Canadian Navy and would establish a harmful precedent for future competitive procurements," the statement said. In addition, the government rejected the notion that the Franco-Italian bid could generate significant savings, stating that the acquisition of the ships accounts for only about half of the price tag. "It is important to note that a warship project budget must cover more than just delivering the ships. It must also include the costs associated with design and definition work, infrastructure, spare parts, training, ammunition, contingencies and project management," PSPC said. The Naval/Fincantieri proposal is based on the European multimission frigate program, under which the two firms are supplying 18 ships to the French and Italian navies. The two companies said their "off-the-shelf solution" is less risky than other projects still in development. https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/french-and-italian-governments-endorse-long-shot-bid-for-15-new-military-ships/article37275099/ CSC

  • Contrat octroyé à une entreprise de Longueuil - De nouveaux camions d’incendie pour les Forces armées canadiennes

    7 décembre 2017 | Local, Terrestre, Sécurité

    Contrat octroyé à une entreprise de Longueuil - De nouveaux camions d’incendie pour les Forces armées canadiennes

    Le 6 décembre 2017 – 8e Escadre Trenton (Ontario) – Défense nationale/Forces armées canadiennes La nouvelle politique de défense du Canada, Protection, Sécurité, Engagement, réaffirme l’engagement du gouvernement à fournir aux femmes et hommes des Forces armées canadiennes l’appui et le matériel dont ils ont besoin pour effectuer leur travail. Aujourd’hui, à l’appui de cet engagement, le député Neil Ellis, au nom du ministre de la Défense Harjit Sajjan, a annoncé que la 8e Escadre Trenton est le premier emplacement à prendre possession des nouveaux véhicules d’incendie. Appelé véhicule aérien d’extinction des incendies, ce camion moderne fournit des capacités anti-incendie et est capable de procéder à des sauvetages et à l’évacuation de blessés à une hauteur de 35 mètres. Il est muni d’une plateforme de récupération des blessés, contrairement aux précédents véhicules. Ces véhicules ont été acquis dans le but de combattre les incendies sur des infrastructures modernes qui se trouvent dans les bases et les escadres, y compris des incendies dans les zones de confinement de carburant et de munitions. Ces nouveaux camions remplaceront certains des véhicules actuellement utilisés, qui sont en service depuis le milieu des années 1990, et qui ont excédé leur durée de vie utile. De plus, les véhicules s’ajouteront aux flottes de lutte contre l’incendie qui ne possèdent pas les capacités que présenteront les AFFV. Au mois de juin 2016, un contrat a été octroyé à la société Aréo-Feu, basée à Longueuil (Québec), pour fournir les véhicules. En tout, neuf nouveaux véhicules seront livrés aux bases et aux escadres partout au Canada. Le dernier AFFV devrait être livré au mois d’avril 2018, avec l’option d’en acheter trois autres.   Citations « La modernisation du matériel auquel les Forces armées canadiennes se fient pour réaliser leur travail est une priorité clé pour le gouvernement du Canada. Je suis heureux de voir que les nouveaux véhicules aériens d’extinction d’incendie sont livrés aux bases et aux escadres partout au pays. » – le ministre de la Défense Harjit S. Sajjan « Ce sont d’excellentes nouvelles que la première livraison des véhicules aériens d’extinction d’incendie a lieu ici à la 8e Escadre Trenton. Surtout, ce sont d’excellentes nouvelles pour les pompiers et les travailleurs des services d’urgence qui se serviront de ce véhicule moderne au service de la communauté de la 8e Escadre Trenton. » - Neil Ellis, député de la baie de Quinte Faits en bref Ce contrat d’une valeur de 18,7 millions de dollars a été octroyé à la société Aréo-Feu, basée à Longueuil (Québec), à la suite d’un processus concurrentiel équitable, ouvert et transparent.  Au total, neuf véhicules seront livrés sur les bases et dans les escadres partout au Canada, et le contrat comprend une option visant l’achat de trois véhicules de plus. La première livraison a débuté en novembre 2017 et la dernière est prévue pour avril 2018. Les bases et les escadres suivantes obtiendront chacun un nouveau véhicule aérien d’extinction d’incendie : 4e Escadre Cold Lake; 3e Escadre Bagotville; 8e Escadre Trenton; 19e Escadre Comox; 14e Escadre Greenwood; BFC Suffield; BFC Shilo; BFC Gagetown et BFC Esquimalt. Personnes-ressources Byrne Furlong  Attaché de presse Cabinet du ministre de la Défense nationale 613-996-3100 Relations avec les médias Ministère de la Défense nationale Tél. : 613-996-2353 Sans-frais : 1-866-377-0811 https://www.canada.ca/fr/ministere-defense-nationale/nouvelles/2017/12/de_nouveaux_camionsdincendiepourlesforcesarmeescanadiennes.html

  • Mobilisation pour le chantier Davie

    4 décembre 2017 | Local, Naval

    Mobilisation pour le chantier Davie

    Il y a eu une grande mobilisation citoyenne et politique en fin de semaine pour le chantier de la Davie. Quelque 800 travailleurs pourraient être mis à pied d’ici la fin de l’année. Patrice Roy s’entretient avec Steve MacKinnon, député de Gatineau et secrétaire parlementaire de la ministre des Services publics et de l’Approvisionnement. http://ici.radio-canada.ca/info/videos/media-7822031/mobilisation-pour-chantier-davie

  • Chantier Davie won’t take ‘no’ for an answer

    1 décembre 2017 | Local, Naval

    Chantier Davie won’t take ‘no’ for an answer

    By Kevin Dougherty. Published on Dec 1, 2017 10:46am QUEBEC – Chantier Davie in Lévis, across the St. Lawrence from Quebec City, will be forced to lay off 800 shipyard workers before Christmas without a new contract to build a second supply vessel for the Canadian navy. “We’re not taking no for an answer on that,” Davie CEO Alex Vicefield said in a telephone interview on Thursday, after Defence Minister Harjit Singh Sajjan told Le Journal de Québec last week through his press attaché that the government does not plan to buy a second supply ship. In an email response Thursday, Sajjan’s press attaché Bryne Furlong reiterated that, “Navy and Coast Guard supply requirements have been extensively studied and are subject to long-term planning, which does not include a second supply vessel‎.” The layoffs have begun, now that the Davie workforce has completed — on time and on budget — conversion of the German-built container ship Asterix into a supply ship to deliver fuel, water, food and supplies to the ships of the Royal Canadian Navy. Davie’s plan now is the $600 million conversion of the Obelix, a sister ship to the Asterix, into the navy’s second supply ship. Vicefield said Ottawa’s plan calls for paying $2 billion each for two new supply vessels, the first of which will only be available 10 years from now. “Why do we need to build these ships for $2 billion each?” Vicefield asked, noting the Asterix and Obelix cost $600 million each and are superior vessels. “I’m not a political activist but we believe in the project and we delivered,” Vicefield said. In 2011, the Harper government unveiled its National Shipbuilding Procurement Program, awarding $38-billion in contracts to build ships for the Navy and Coast Guard to Irving Shipbuilding Inc. of Halifax and Seaspan Shipbuilding of Vancouver. Davie, emerging from bankruptcy at the time, is Canada’s largest shipyard and was excluded. Cost estimates have risen since then, Vicefield noted, with the cost ballooning to over $100 billion. And in the six years since the plan was announced, the two winning shipyards have delivered no ships. Officially, Seaspan is to launch its first replacement supply ship in 2021. But Vicefield noted that Andy Smith, the official responsible for shipbuilding in the federal department of fisheries and oceans, told a Commons committee Nov. 7 that Seaspan has a backlog of three ships to build before work on the first supply ship can begin in 2023, for delivery in 2027. Vicefield said that in spite of granting the lion’s share of shipbuilding contracts to Halifax, the Conservatives where shut out in Atlantic Canada in the 2015 election, and Steven Blaney, the Conservative MP representing Lévis, was re-elected even though Davie was excluded from the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy. “The key point here is that shipbuilding contracts do not win votes,” Vicefield said. “But major procurement scandals bring down governments. “If I was in government, I would be worried about a major procurement scandal, where you are spending five, six times the cost to buy a ship than any other country in the world pays and nothing is being delivered.” The Asterix is also a hospital ship and can deliver humanitarian aid in the event of major natural disasters, such as a tsunami or a devastating hurricane. Davie stepped into the breach in 2014, when the navy’s two existing supply ships were scrapped and plans by Seaspan to build two replacement supply ships were a distant prospect. The Harper government granted Davie a contract to convert the Asterix into a supply ship for about $600 million as a private-public partnership, with Davie managing the project from stem to stern, its financing, as well as providing its civilian crew and leasing the ship to the federal government for five years. When Justin Trudeau led his Liberals to power in 2015, Irving Shipbuilding leaned on Liberal ministers from the Maritimes to have the contract cancelled. But the work was underway and Ottawa did not block the Asterix project. The Halifax-based and crewed Asterix will supply Canadian navy ships off the east coast, while off the west coast Canadian naval vessels will be supplied by Chilean and Spanish navy supply ships. “Why would you do that when you can put the money back into Canada and ensure the jobs of 800 people here for another two years?” Vicefield said. “It makes no sense.” Vicefield regards the Harper government’s plans, renamed by the Liberal government as the National Shipbuilding Strategy, as “mind-boggling” and “a bit of a joke.” And he believes Canada can have three shipyards, including Davie, to build and maintain naval and Coast Guard vessels. “There are about 50 large ships that need replacing,” he said, noting the average age of the Coast Guard fleet is 40 years. “So there is enough work for sure for three shipyards for the next 30 years.” “We haven’t been pushing against the National Shipbuilding Strategy,” Vicefield said. “I think it is going to fall on its own.” Irving, which is now building ships in Romania, and Seaspan, which has ordered two ferries to be built in Turkey, are defending the plan, and so far have political support. “They see the writing on the wall,” Vicefield said. “They want to destroy the competition. They see that now they have the upper hand. “But we’re not going to let that happen,” he insists. “We’re convinced the new government, the Liberals, will actually see sense. “But it is taking time for them to get their feet under the desk.” https://ipolitics.ca/article/chantier-davie-wont-take-no-answer/

  • Lockheed Martin, BAE submit warship bid

    28 novembre 2017 | Local, Naval

    Lockheed Martin, BAE submit warship bid

    ANDREA GUNN OTTAWA BUREAU Days before the bid submission deadline for the Canadian Surface Combatant request for proposals, Lockheed Martin Canada has announced it has teamed up with the UK-based BAE Systems to submit a proposal for Canada’s new fleet of warships. The combined request for proposals is for an off-the-shelf ship design and combat systems integrator, and experts say the Lockheed Canada and BAE duo will be a powerhouse contender. For the ship design, BAE Systems is offering its Type 26 Global Combat Ship — long rumoured to be a favourite of Royal Canadian Navy officials and arguably the newest and most advanced vessel of its kind in the world — and the only possible contender that has yet to actually be built. The Royal Navy is building eight of their own Type 26 vessels. For the combat systems, which is best described as the brain and nervous systems of the ship’s intelligence and combat operations, Lockheed Canada is offering its Canadian-designed CMS 330. This is a newer version of the combat management system Lockheed designed for the Royal Canadian Navy’s original Halifax-class ships and is present on Canada’s modernized frigates. Both firms were identified among bidders prequalified to participate in the process, alongside other international industry giants like ThyssenKrupp, Navantia and DCNS. Also part of the consortium participating in the Lockheed/BAE bid are CAE, L3 Technologies, MDA and Dartmouth-based marine tech firm Ultra Electronics. Speaking with The Chronicle Herald on Monday, Gary Fudge, VP of Canadian naval systems programs with Lockheed, said an independent study completed by Lockheed Canada revealed the Type 26 as the best design in the running, and prompted their interest in teaming with BAE for preliminary work several years before Canada announced that it would be combining the ship design and combat systems integrator into a single bid. He said BAE’s modern design and modern toolsets — for example their use of advanced digital blueprints that will make it easier to modify and modernize the design in the future — made the Type 26 the key contender for them. “Given that Irving has just built the most modern shipyard, we wanted the designer to have toolsets and data that can migrate easily into Irving’s toolsets,” said Fudge. Irving is the prime contractor for the combat portion of the government’s National Shipbuilding Strategy and will build a fleet of 15 Canadian Surface Combatants (CSCs) at its Halifax shipyard, with a budget of $56billion to $60 billion, starting in the 2020s. It will also have a say, alongside the federal government, in selecting the winning bidder. Rosemary Chapdelaine, vice president and general manager with Lockheed Martin Canada Rotary and Mission Systems, on Monday touted job creation in Canada, including Nova Scotia, as a key component to their bid. For example, Lockheed Canada’s combat systems and integration technology is built at a facility in Ottawa and tested at the the company’s Maritime Advanced Testing and Training Site in Dartmouth. Chapdelaine said Lockheed Canada’s approach to the bid is to be seen as the Canadian team, even if it takes points from other parts of their bid. “We want to provide the Canadian content, do the direct work in Canada using Canadian industry,” she said. David Perry, a senior analyst with Canadian Global Affairs Institute, said Lockheed Canada’s long history with the Royal Canadian Navy via the Halifax-class frigates and the advantages of the Type 26 over other potential designs puts the consortium in a good spot in the competition. “An advantage of the Type 26 would be that where the requirements for it overlap with CSC, the technology would be very new, without modifying the design at all. The other ships in the competition would be older technology, so they'd need to modify it to introduce more current technology,” he said. But that doesn’t make it a shoo-in — in an RFP with thousands of different parts, Perry said the winning design will have to tick a lot of boxes. Speed and accommodations for example, while adequate in the Type 26, Perry said are not necessarily the cream of the crop compared to other options out there. Retired navy commander and defence analyst Ken Hansen agreed that Lockheed Canada’s extensive experience working with the Canadian Navy, as well as their edge on Canadian content, gives them an advantage over some parts of the competition. But, he said, while extremely advanced technology, the Type 26 might not be the ship Canada needs due to its high price and extreme complexity. “The (Type 26) is inordinately complex and it had a lot of teething pains — the ship has been described in the U.K. press as overpriced and a technical nightmare,” he said. “I have not gotten that warm feeling where the reassurances from the British design authorities say ‘Oh it’s solved and we’re back on track.’” It is not known how many groups will submit bids for the CSC competition. At least one other has gone public — Alion Canada announced its bid with Dutch De Zeven Provinciën Air Defence and Command frigate as its design last week. The federal government says it expects to be able to select a winning bidder at the earliest in the spring of 2018, dependent on the number and quality of bids it receives. http://thechronicleherald.ca/novascotia/1524306-lockheed-martin-bae-submit-warship-bid

  • Presagis Teams with j2 Aircraft Dynamics for Flight Modeling Solution

    28 novembre 2017 | Local, Aérospatial

    Presagis Teams with j2 Aircraft Dynamics for Flight Modeling Solution

    November 28, 2017 – Montreal, Canada – Presagis™, a recognized leader in simulation software and solutions, is proud to announce that it has teamed up with j2 Aircraft Dynamics to offer a new turnkey aircraft simulation model development service. Responding to an increased demand from customers developing aircraft simulation systems based on Presagis’ FlightSIM, HeliSIM or CRAFT simulators, Presagis is pleased to join forces with the UK-based company known for its proprietary j2 Universal Tool-Kit. The combination of Presagis’ powerful aircraft systems and aerodynamic modeling tools along with j2 Aircraft Dynamics’ expertise and technology will allow customers to greatly accelerate their time to market while increasing the fidelity of their simulation models. “Whether customers start off from an original equipment manufacturer data package, or an instrumented flight test data, or from scratch, one of the most challenging aspects of building a high-fidelity simulation model is tuning hundreds of parameters — each with its own slight but definitive effect on the final result,” explains Stéphane Blondin, Presagis’ Vice President of Product Management and Marketing. Through its application of core mathematical and aeronautical principles, and by allowing multiple test points to be analyzed at once, j2 brings fully automated flight test data matching capability and can help reduce the effort needed to match flight test data by more than 50 percent. “Customers often come to us looking to independently develop data packages. Sometimes they do so because of budgetary reasons, or sometimes it’s because the data is not available for an older aircraft or for an aircraft still in development,” said Stephane Roy, Simulation Product Manager at Presagis. “What they often underestimate,” adds Roy “is the complexity of the aerodynamic envelope of an aircraft and how to best converge towards a flight model that meets their requirements. The expertise and technology that j2 Aircraft Dynamics bring to the equation will definitely avoid many headaches for customers who do not necessarily have experience tuning flight models. Even those with past experience will appreciate the productivity boost brought by the combined approach.” Through this collaboration, Presagis continues to innovate in order to help customers with the challenges they face on a daily basis. By streamlining workflow, reducing time to market, and increasing the fidelity and realism of their simulation models, Presagis remains steadfastly committed to building the solutions and tools their customers need. About Presagis Presagis is a global leader providing commercial modeling, simulation and embedded software solutions to the aerospace, defense and security, and critical infrastructure markets. Presagis combines an open simulation development framework with expert professional services to help customers streamline development workflows, reduce project risks, and deliver game-quality immersive simulations. Presagis is also at the forefront of avionics software design for certifiable cockpit displays. The company serves hundreds of customers worldwide, including many of the world's most respected organizations such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Airbus, BAE Systems, and CAE. For more information, visit www.presagis.com. For further information: Stéphane Blondin, Vice President of Product Management and Marketing, Tel: +1 514 999.5481, E-Mail: Stephane.Blondin@presagis.com About j2 J2 Aircraft Dynamics Ltd is a UK based company that is sells its own proprietary software, the j2 Universal Tool-Kit, as a whole aircraft aerodynamic modelling, analysis, flight test planning and flight matching, simulation, aircraft accident investigation and analysis software tools that is built on a single, sustainable non-legacy framework. Engineers/designers are finding that using j2 Software can unlock value in existing legacy code blocks as well as accelerate the aircraft design life-cycle. The state of the art aircraft modelling capability embedded in j2 software allows engineers to ‘fly’ their designs and put a pilot in the loop at a much earlier stage in an aircraft design process. Learn more at www.j2aircraft.com . https://www.presagis.com/en/press-center/detail/presagis-teams-with-j2-aircraft-dynamics-for-flight-modeling-solution/

  • Presagis Unveils Three New Products at I/ITSEC

    27 novembre 2017 | Local, Aérospatial, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité

    Presagis Unveils Three New Products at I/ITSEC

    Orlando, USA – November 27, 2017 – Presagis is introducing three new products to the training and simulation market at the Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference (I/ITSEC) taking place November 27 to December 1 in Orlando, Florida. A leader in modeling and simulation software, Presagis is bolstering its line of sensor simulators with the introduction of ONDULUS NVG, Panorama -- an image generation platform, and VELOCITY, a next-generation solution for the production of large synthetic training environments. “By supplying simulation software to most of the top 100 defense and aerospace companies in the world, Presagis is extremely well positioned to capture the needs of our customers by innovating and developing solutions that respond directly to their needs,” explains Jean-Michel Brière, Presagis’ President. “These three products – Ondulus NVG, Panorama, and VELOCITY -- not only provide our customers with more accuracy, realism, and cost-savings, but mark significant technological achievements in the evolution of our company.” Panorama is a competitively-priced image generation system that gives organizations the ability to add high-fidelity, scalable imaging to their simulation solutions. Leveraging Vega Prime, Ondulus and other Presagis software solutions, Panorama is capable of providing Out-of-the-Window (OTW), Electro-Optical (EO), night-vision goggles (NVG) and infrared (IR) views for ground, air, and marine domains. VELOCITY is a new, revolutionary way of building synthetic environments that will permit agencies and organizations to analyze and use the unmanageable amounts of data they have to automate the creation of rich, immersive 3D virtual environments. Building on the success of the Ondulus family of sensor products, Ondulus NVG gives users the ability to add realistic physics-based night-vision sensor simulation to their research, training or mission planning environments. Ondulus NVG supports both passive and active illumination. In addition to these new products, Presagis is also launching the newest version of its M&S Suite – version 17. Comprising industry-standard software such as STAGE, Creator, Terra Vista, and Vega Prime, M&S Suite 17 is set to release in early 2018 with an arsenal of new features. “The M&S Suite is a pillar in the Presagis portfolio. We continue to respond to our customers’ needs by providing new features and tools for content creators, as well as wider access and more scripting functionality for developers. Every product in the suite has been improved – from Creator and Terra Vista, to the simulators and Vega Prime. The Ondulus family in particular received many improvements in the form of new detectors for Ondulus IR, and several new radar modes for Ondulus Radar,” said Stéphane Blondin, Presagis’ Vice President of Product Management and Marketing. Presagis will also be showcasing its series of customizable simulators, HELI CRAFT and UAV CRAFT. In response to the increasing demand for open architecture simulators and training devices, Presagis offers virtual unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) station and a helicopter simulator. These reference platforms integrate nearly all Presagis commercial off-the-shelf simulation products and technology, and can be used as advanced start points for customers interested in building their own simulators. Presagis will be demonstrating its full range of simulation software and solutions at the upcoming Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference (I/ITSEC) from November 27 to December 1 in Orlando, FL. (Presagis booth: #1762). About Presagis Presagis is a global leader providing commercial modeling, simulation and embedded software solutions to the aerospace, defense and security, and critical infrastructure markets. Presagis combines an open simulation development framework with expert professional services to help customers streamline development workflows, reduce project risks, and deliver game-quality immersive simulations. Presagis is also at the forefront of avionics software design for certifiable cockpit displays. The company serves hundreds of customers worldwide, including many of the world's most respected organizations such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Airbus, BAE Systems, and CAE. For more information, visit www.presagis.com. For further information: Stéphane Blondin, Vice President of Product Management and Marketing, Tel: +1 514 341.3874, E-Mail: Stephane.Blondin@presagis.com https://www.presagis.com/fr/press-center/detail/presagis-unveils-three-new-products-at-i-itsec/

  • Emphasizing Innovation

    23 novembre 2017 | Local, Aérospatial

    Emphasizing Innovation

    On the opening day of CANSEC 2017, Canada’s largest defence and security tradeshow, standing before a collage of innovative technologies that had shaped the sector over the past century, Navdeep Bains, minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, applauded Lockheed Martin for completing its $1.4 billion industrial and technological benefit (ITB) commitments for the CC-130J Hercules. “To remain competitive, Canada must be committed to innovation,” said Bains as he described Lockheed’s final investments in four small companies developing novel applications in artificial intelligence (AI), sensing equipment, multi-functional materials for solar panels and wireless power transfer. “That means continuously finding new ways of doing things better.” Unexpected as the public acknowledgement was, the words rang true for Charles Bouchard. Looking for better ways of doing business is almost a mantra for the chief executive of Lockheed Martin Canada. But perhaps not in places you might expect. “Innovation–that is the future of this company,” he told Skies in a recent interview. Lockheed Martin is best known as a defence company, the largest weapons contractor in the United States, with military-related revenues of around US$50 billion. And Bouchard makes no bones about that. But when he describes Lockheed’s future areas of innovation, it’s in space and deep-sea exploration; in energy management and conservation, perhaps in Canada’s northern communities; in quantum computing, cybersecurity, AI, robotics and other ground-breaking technologies like automation, directed energy and synthetic biology. “This is what excites me about this company. This is what the future looks like and we in Lockheed Martin get to see it,” said the retired Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) lieutenant-general, who, over the course of a 37-year career, held senior positions in NORAD and NATO. “For us it’s always, what’s the next bound?” That corporate thinking has shaped Lockheed’s approach to the companies in which it chooses to invest. ITBs, making investments in Canadian companies and academic research equal to the value of a major defence contract, might be an obligation, a crucial box to be checked in any proposal–and the more regional representation, the better. But, they also present an opportunity to explore the cutting edge of technology, capture new ideas and capabilities, and secure long-term partnerships. All of which can be game-changing. “A successful ITB is when we have met our commitment, and, even better, when we can do that on time or ahead of time like we did with CC-130J,” explained Bouchard. “But it’s also when we leave [a company] bigger and better than when we came in. If you look at our investments in quantum computing–D-Wave Systems and QRA–we not only met our commitments, we left them stronger. This is not a transactional deal, it’s a transformational deal.” Gabe Batstone understands the value of that deal well. A former CEO of NGrain, an early supplier to Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, he said establishing a relationship with the defence and security giant was one of his first priorities after co-founding Ottawa-based Contextere. “It is a significant benefit to a small company,” he said of Lockheed’s $1.1 million investment in his AI software. “The money is certainly part of it. But as much as anything, it’s being able to say that Lockheed Martin has invested and will be a user of your technology. That’s significant when you go to talk to other large manufacturers, whether in aerospace or other sectors. “And the association with a company that is transformational, that’s also big,” he added. “It gives you credibility that would be very hard to attain in other ways.” As part of an ITB investment for the CC-130J, Contextere is developing an AI-powered solution to deliver real-time notification to Lockheed maintenance workers on their phones. The technology is premised on the fact that, “close to 25 per cent of the time when people go to put warm hands on cold steel, they are unable to finish the procedure,” said Batstone. “Sometimes there’s an error, sometimes they don’t have the right tool. Other times the problem they originally identified isn’t the one they have now come to encounter. There’s some natural inefficiency as it relates to the maintenance of complex assets.” In addition to increasing worker productivity, reducing errors and improving safety, the software offers a way to capture the knowledge and skills of an aging workforce and utilize wearable technology like Microsoft HoloLens or Samsung GearHub to share those insights with a new generation. “We’ve got this huge blue collar workforce, not just in aerospace but in everything from elevator mechanics to power and utility workers, and they are retiring with all this tribal and enterprise knowledge,” said Batstone. “How do we capture that and disseminate it to Millennials, who learn and operate in a completely different way? Lockheed obviously has a huge skilled workforce and they are not immune from the realities of demographics.” The initial investment is intended for Lockheed’s workforce, but the capability could be extended to third-party service providers like Cascade Aerospace of Abbotsford, B.C., one of only two approved C-130 Hercules service and heavy maintenance centres, or frontline military maintainers. “It will go down in the history of Contextere as one of the early highlights and seminal moments in our growth,” said Batstone about Lockheed’s ITB investment. SEEING STABILITY The value of the Lockheed brand can’t be understated, said Jim Andrews, general manager of Lockheed Martin Commercial Engine Solutions (LMCES). Andrews was part of Air Canada Technical Services in Montreal, the forerunner to Aveos Fleet Performance, whose assets and tools were acquired by Lockheed Martin Canada in 2013. From a start of just seven employees when the engine maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility re-opened in September 2013, LMCES Montreal has grown to over 250 people and doubled revenue year over year. It has a mandate to reach around 500 employees. “The previous facility had a very good name around the world for quality and service,” said Andrews, “and we’ve hired back many of the same people, but the name Lockheed Martin does bring comfort to the airlines that we deal with. Everyone thinks military, but even the commercial airlines see stability; they see financial strength.” LMCES provides MRO services to international air forces and recently closed a deal with the U.S. Air Force for work on the KC-10 aerial refuelling tanker. But in the past 18 months, the company has signed exclusive agreements with Frontier Airlines and Air Wisconsin for work on CFM56-5 and CFM34-3 engines, respectively, adding to a customer base that includes major North American and European airlines. Andrews said LMCES deliberately rebranded itself as a commercial entity to attract a global market and assure prospective customers the facility had a commercial focus. The brand has helped attract talent in Montreal’s large aerospace cluster, where engine manufacturers like Pratt & Whitney Canada and GE Aviation are also seeking young technicians and engineers from the region’s numerous colleges, universities and business schools. “We’re still in our infancy…[but] the world is open to us,” said Andrews. “We have the Lockheed name, the Montreal location, an extremely skilled workforce and a very good reputation for doing what is right, committing to our customers and executing on what we say.” CDL’s John Molberg would agree about the value of the Lockheed name. In 2012, Lockheed acquired CDL Systems, a Calgary-based firm of 60 employees founded in 1992 from technology developed by Defence Research and Development Canada-Suffield. Its software for unmanned aerial systems ground control stations was already well established–it had amassed over 1.5 million flight hours on more than 30 different platforms, and had as its primary customer the U.S. Army with the MQ-1C Gray Eagle, RQ-7 Shadow, and RQ-5 Hunter, among others. Now, as part of Lockheed’s Rotary and Mission Systems business, CDL Systems is seeing opportunities beyond the military, said Molberg, its business development manager. The company recently released Hydra Fusion Tools, a suite of tools that allows users to fuse and create a 3D world from captured terrain data. More impressive, the software can generate real-time, precise 3D models from multiple 2D images through what is known as simultaneous localization and mapping. “Right now, as far as I’m aware, no one else has the capability to do a live 3D model,” said Molberg. While military and police are logical customers for a tactical terrain picture that can be manipulated and measured and provide change analysis in real time, “You’d be surprised how many businesses are interested in this–pipelines, building roads, pouring concrete. It’s a new way of looking at the terrain [and] making the most of big data.” OFFERING SOLUTIONS The acquisition of Sikorsky Aircraft in November 2015 also provides Lockheed with another entry into the civil side of Canadian aviation. Sikorsky, of course, has had a firm footprint in Canada for years with corporate clients and offshore providers like Cougar Helicopters and HNZ. Chief executive Bouchard said the immediate priority remains on the military side with the introduction of the CH-148 Cyclone into service with the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) and Royal Canadian Navy (RCN). It may then shift to an eventual replacement for the CH-146 Griffon–Lockheed believes the Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk might fit the likely requirements. But there is no question “Canada is helicopter country,” said Bouchard, and Lockheed will be looking beyond the oil and gas sector that tends to drive helicopter sales to other areas in natural resources management, support to Arctic operations, medevac, and augmenting search and rescue capability. “We are looking not only at the more conventional helicopters, but also at the use of unmanned helicopters, whether it’s pipeline monitoring, fighting forest fires or resupply,” he said, noting the partnership with Kaman Aerospace that has transformed the K-Max helicopter into an unmanned platform capable of autonomous or remote-controlled operations. “Anything that is boring, dangerous or repetitive can be done without a pilot on board.” He added, “Take it one step bigger and we are talking about airships.” Lockheed is expecting to launch its first commercial airship next year with Quest Rare Minerals, which plans to eventually operate a fleet of seven helium-filled aircraft from its Strange Lake rare earth mining facility along the Quebec-Labrador border. “I’m not limited by what we have today,” said Bouchard. “I can envision what we’ll have tomorrow. I don’t approach [problems] with the idea that, this is what we make, therefore this is where I want to go. It’s more, what are the challenges of the customer and how can we be the solution? That’s why we are always looking for new ideas.” SERVICE AND SUPPORT Among those new ideas is a change in approach to in-service support (ISS). One of the ongoing challenges for military aircraft is keeping pace with technology. In 2016, Cascade Aerospace, an operating unit of IMP Aerospace & Defence, completed a block upgrade on the RCAF’s 17 CC-130J Hercules aircraft, a fleet acquired in 2007 and introduced into service beginning in 2010. Though the transport aircraft were barely five years old, changes across the global fleet and new Canadian requirements necessitated a sizeable upgrade package. Previously, with legacy CC-130 fleets, the RCAF would have likely managed an incremental program. With the J-model, however, Lockheed Martin has retained all intellectual property and data. Together with its global customers and suppliers, it develops and tests each upgrade package before providing maintenance centres like Cascade with a single kit for each aircraft. In this case, the upgrade from Block 6.0 to 7.0 involved three large modifications: a multinational block involving changes developed and available to all C-130J operators; a U.S. Air Force developed block; and a series of design requirements unique to Canada. To confirm new systems could be installed and integrated, the first RCAF aircraft was modified and tested by Lockheed Martin in Marietta, Ga., before complete kits for the remaining 16 were sent to Cascade. “That is how most of our fleets will continue to be postured,” LGen Mike Hood, RCAF commander, said of the new ISS approach. “We will continue to upgrade them in blocks along with our allies that are flying those aircraft. It is certainly a change in our operating concept since I started flying in the late ’80s.” For Cascade, the block approach was a significant change from how it had long maintained legacy CC-130 fleets. But it represents “an easier way of conducting several modifications together,” Pierre Carignan, Cascade’s director of C-130 programs, said at the time. “It is more efficient because you only open up things in the airplane once. …[H]istorically, Canada would perhaps ask the contractor to do a few modifications together, but not necessarily this many all at once.” That early success has encouraged Lockheed to consider a similar approach to the long-term maintenance for the CH-148 Cyclone. The company maintains a dedicated CC-130J team in Ottawa to respond to Canadian ISS needs, but the office remains connected to the global program. “I think it is a good balance between keeping our own proprietary information protected while at the same time providing the customer with service and teaming up with Canadian companies to make sure we share information,” said Bouchard, acknowledging that access to intellectual property can be a sticky and even contentious issue for ISS. “I’ve never worried about Canada receiving the information it requires to protect its sovereignty.” Whether that approach is extended to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) is, of course, contingent on the next-generation jet being selected to replace Canada’s CF-188 Hornets. But already the F-35 is prompting a new model for engaging with Canadian industry. Rather than ITBs, the JSF program is constructed around “best value,” a process by which companies from participating nations compete and are selected to provide components not just for their country’s aircraft, but for the entire F-35 fleet, which could exceed 3,500 airplanes. But the ITB principle of helping small- and medium-sized companies reach global markets remains the same. Because of the exacting manufacturing techniques and requirements for the F-35, Lockheed and its partners, BAE Systems and Northrop Grumman, put a premium on finding innovative companies “that could learn.” One example often cited is Ottawa-based Gastops, a recipient of CC-130J ITB-related investments that also supports the F-35, based in part on its earlier relationship with the F-22 Raptor. Building components for the F-35 says a lot about your capabilities elsewhere, suggested Bouchard. “If you get the Lockheed seal of approval, that tells future customers that you have advanced manufacturing capability,” he said, pointing to companies like Mississauga-based Magellan Aerospace that provides the horizontal tail assemblies. “If you can meet F-35 standards, you can meet automotive or even satellite requirements.” With or without the F-35, the Lockheed Martin footprint in Canada is large and growing. Whether in military, or, increasingly, in commercial aerospace, the company has found innovative ways to do business differently. And it is drawing on a lot of Canadian ingenuity to achieve it. https://www.skiesmag.com/features/emphasizing-innovation/

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