Esprit de Corps: Tell us about how L-3 hopes to provide value to Short-Listed Respondents (SLRs) for the upcoming CSC contracts awarded by Irving Shipbuilding.
Wendy Allerton: L-3 in Canada has over 1,800 employees and five divisions with a wide range of advanced naval and marine capabilities, some of which will provide commonality for the RCN. L-3 has additional naval and marine capabilities that we will “pull-through” our Canadian divisions into Canada. In support of CSC, we are focused on [the Government of Canada’s] Value Proposition and Industrial and Technological Benefits Policy (ITBs) to maximize economic benefits to Canada.
EdeC: Which specific marine systems or products are you hoping to deliver?
Allerton: L-3’s key capabilities for CSC include: Integrated Platform Management Systems (IPMS) including the Battle Damage Control System (BDCS); surveillance and health and usage monitoring systems; integrated maritime secure communications; cyber security; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) and sensor systems; marine handling and lighting solutions; power conversion and distribution systems; degaussing and other underwater warfare solutions; and in-service support (ISS), integrated logistics support (ILS) and training systems.
EdeC: Tell us about L-3’s Value Proposition for this work. What makes your offerings unique?
Allerton: Given the broad base of L-3 companies in Canada, we have a great deal of expertise, as we are already working on large naval and Coast Guard programs, such as AOPS (Arctic/Offshore Patrol Ship), JSS (Joint Support Ship), OFSV (Offshore Fisheries Science Vessel) and Halifax-class frigates. Also, as a global firm, L-3 becomes an attractive company regarding “eligible parties.” Recently, L-3 opened a new division in Ottawa, L-3 Communication Systems-Canada, to better support existing RCN work and future maritime secure communications in Canada and internationally.
EdeC: How does your identity as a Canadian company make you well placed to win work under the National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS)?
Allerton: L-3 has invested well over $1 billion in Canada toward acquisitions and expanding our in-country operations. We offer proven products and services as well as engineering skills, and we understand the needs of our customers, whether shipyards, integrators or government agencies.
EdeC: Tell us a bit about L-3’s divisions in Canada?
Allerton: L-3 MAS/ESS is a premier supplier of in-service support capability across all military aircraft platforms, both in Canada and globally. L-3 MAPPS is a global leader in IPMS and BDCS. L-3 WESCAM is a large exporter of electro-optical sighting systems and is the Canadian Commercial Corporation’s number one exporter. L-3 Communication Systems-Canada is a design, engineering and support facility that was recently opened in Ottawa, primarily for integrated maritime secure communications. Each one of our divisions works with a Canadian supply chain and extends that supply chain to our divisions outside of Canada.
EdeC: Can you tell us about any export successes?
Allerton: Absolutely. L-3’s Canadian units have many export successes. For example, the WESCAM MX series of electro-optical sighting systems are sold around the world, with 98 per cent of sales in 2015 coming from exports. MAS recently won a contract to upgrade the U.S. Navy’s fleet of F-18s; this is a big step for a Canadian company as it is the first time U.S. fighter jets have been maintained in Canada. Our MAPPS business is a global supplier of IPMS/BDCS. Overall, 70 per cent of 2015 sales from L-3 divisions in Canada were through exports.
EdeC: What are some areas of innovation, or new opportunities, in your sector?
Allerton: The RCN is a visionary navy that has helped drive innovation in many ways. Managing the extended lifespan and long-term cost of these warships is significant, therefore crew reduction is always a key target for cost savings. Additional integration between the IPMS, integrated bridge system (IBS) and the communication management system (CMS), where it makes sense, is one way to achieve crew efficiencies. Health and usage monitoring is another area where savings over the life of the ship (equipment) can be made. Also, one additional powerful innovation called the Power Node Control Centre (PNCC), an integrated electrical system that can be configured to simultaneously perform multiple functions. The PNCC was recently selected for use on the U.S. Navy DDG-51 destroyers.
L-3 recognizes that marine cyber security is a huge concern for all navies, and we offer advanced services and products that help to ensure certified platforms and secure subsystems. Current communications solutions will be brought into the cloud computing environment which will reduce SWAP (size, weight and power) requirements on platforms and simplify the security processes needed.
EdeC: What about areas in which L-3 is leading innovation? What are you excited about for the future of the company and sector?
Allerton: We are focused on the expansion of the integrated maritime secure communications sector and especially marine cyber security, where L-3 is already a leader, as well as further expansion of platform integration and continuing to build on the long and successful relationship with the RCN.
EdeC: What makes maritime systems interesting? What was your introduction to this world?
Allerton: Following university, my first job was with CAE Electronics. Enjoying working with customers, I joined the marketing and sales department for Marine Control Systems. I was fortunate to be a part of the launch of a new product line and paradigm shift in marine controls technology. For the last 32 years, working alongside dedicated L-3 MAPPS colleagues, we have taken this key Canadian technology and grown it globally to where it is today — over 220 ships in 22 international navies and seven Canadian ship classes.