INDUSTRY WATCH: Who's Who And What's What In The Defence Sector

(Volume 24-06)

By David Pugliese

Above, Kevin McCoy, president of Irving Shipbuilding, and hundreds of employees at the Halifax Shipyard marked the start of production of the first Arctic Offshore Patrol Ship in September 2015. Irving recently announced that delays on the Canadian Surface Combatant program’s bids will not delay the start of ship construction. (cnw group, j.d. irving limited)

Above, Kevin McCoy, president of Irving Shipbuilding, and hundreds of employees at the Halifax Shipyard marked the start of production of the first Arctic Offshore Patrol Ship in September 2015. Irving recently announced that delays on the Canadian Surface Combatant program’s bids will not delay the start of ship construction. (cnw group, j.d. irving limited)

The Canadian government and Irving Shipbuilding Inc. have informed defence firms about yet another delay on the Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC) program. The government and Irving have extended the submission deadline for the CSC request for proposals.

Bidders had previously complained they didn’t have enough time to recruit Canadian firms for the surface combatant program and warned Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) that their bids would reflect that problem if they were not provided with more time. The deadline was originally June 22. That has now been delayed to at least mid-August, noted a statement from the federal government.

“As per the RFP, bidders can submit draft bids for review until June 15, 2017,” the statement from PSPC pointed out. “These bids will not be scored, and financial information will not be submitted, but bidders will be informed if any part of their submission is non-compliant, so they can make adjustments before submitting a final bid,” the statement noted.

This is the second extension granted through this RFP process. The original deadline was set for April 27, 2017.

With this extension, targeted completion for the procurement process moves to 2018 from fall 2017, according to PSPC. The start of ship construction remains scheduled for the early 2020s, the department added.

Meanwhile, things are moving along on another procurement program. A Royal Canadian Air Force delegation recently conducted a preliminary “anthropometric” examination of the cockpit of the Airbus C295W aircraft, which has been selected for Canada’s Fixed-Wing Search and Rescue (FWSAR) program. The examination at Airbus’s Seville, Spain C295W final assembly line allowed the RCAF to gain more a detailed familiarity with the aircraft’s design and layout from a “human factors” perspective, Airbus officials said. The company demonstrated that RCAF equipment such as flight clothing, helmets and night-vision goggles will integrate with the C295 flight-deck.

Discovery Air Defence Services Inc. announced it had successfully completed its first-ever training with the Austrian Air Force over Wittmund, Germany. Seven Eurofighters from Austria’s 1st Squadron Überwachungsgeschwader (Surveillance Wing) in Zellweger trained against two DA Defence A-4N Skyhawks in air-to-air gunnery, and Eurofighters from the German Luftwaffe’s Tactical Air Force Wing (71 Richthofen) in supersonic intercepts, according to Discovery Air Defence Services. DA Defence’s training qualified the Austrian pilots in air-to-air weapons and tactics.

Leonardo Helicopters and IMP Aerospace & Defence say that they are re-establishing their “Team Cormorant” to pursue the proposed modernization of the Cormorant search and rescue helicopters. Team Cormorant comprises Leonardo Helicopters, the original equipment manufacturer of the EH101/AW101/Cormorant helicopters; IMP, the prime contractor for Cormorant in-service support; and other key Canadian companies who will supply and support critical aircraft components, technology, systems, simulation and training.

The Canadian government has awarded two maintenance contracts to KF Aerospace of British Columbia. The first contract, valued at $21.8-million, is for the maintenance of the Royal Canadian Air Force’s CC-115 Buffalo search and rescue aircraft for a period of three years. That contract includes the option to extend the contract for an additional year. Canada has six Buffalos based in Comox, BC.

Two Discovery Air Defence jet aircraft bank away from each other during a flight training exercise. Discovery Air Defence recently completed its first-ever training with the Austrian Air Force over Wittmund, Germany, which saw two of its A-4N Skyhawks train in air-to-air gunnery against seven Austrian Eurofighters. (stefan petersen)

Two Discovery Air Defence jet aircraft bank away from each other during a flight training exercise. Discovery Air Defence recently completed its first-ever training with the Austrian Air Force over Wittmund, Germany, which saw two of its A-4N Skyhawks train in air-to-air gunnery against seven Austrian Eurofighters. (stefan petersen)

The second contract, valued at $9.6-million, is for maintenance work on the RCAF’s CC-138 Twin Otter aircraft for a period of four years. It includes the possibility of four additional one-year extensions. Canada’s four Twin Otters are based in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. “The work for both contracts will include ongoing life-cycle management, inspection repair, painting and modifications as well as the supply of high-priority spare parts, for the duration of the contracts,” the federal government noted in a news release.

Rockwell Collins rolled out a variety of military communications systems to highlight at CANSEC 2017. It also announced that the Canadian Army had selected its joint fires solution for its Digitally-Assisted Close Air Support (DACAS) system. That would digitally link airborne platforms and ground-based Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (JTACs) via an Android smartphone. 
Under the contract, Rockwell Collins will produce and service 100 Android-based joint-fires systems with the potential for follow-on options. Rockwell Collins will qualify the initial systems by the summer of 2017 for the Canadian Army’s use on the multinational BOLD QUEST exercise in the fall, the company noted. The agreement also includes in-country service and support from Rockwell Collins in Canada for up to 10 years.
“Migrating away from hardware solutions to commercial off-the-shelf technology drives down cost and provides user-friendly and updatable platforms,” Lee Obst, managing director, Rockwell Collins for Canada, said in a statement. “The Android joint-fires solution is a great example of leveraging cutting-edge technology for military purposes.” 
Based upon the most widely used joint-fires system in the world, the wearable Android-based joint-fires solution delivers a lightweight and user-friendly solution while maintaining full digital interoperability with a wide range of coalition aircraft and artillery systems, Rockwell Collins added in a news release.
System development will be based in Richardson, Texas, while Rockwell Collins Canada will directly provide support to the Canadian Army. 

Lockheed Martin Canada will provide and install new combat management systems for three of the Chilean Navy’s frigates. The majority of the work will be done at Lockheed Martin Canada’s facilities in Ottawa, Montreal and Halifax. The combat management systems and other equipment will be installed on Chile’s Type 23 frigates.

Lockheed Martin Canada is not releasing details about the value of the contract.

Lockheed Martin’s Combat Management System 330 was chosen by Chile after a world-wide competition. A similar system is in use on the Royal Canadian Navy’s Halifax-class frigates.

“We are thrilled with this award and look forward to working with the Chilean Navy and ASMAR, the Chilean shipyard, as well as forging long-term relationships with Chilean partners to deliver new capability to the Armada de Chile,” Rosemary Chapdelaine, vice president for Lockheed Martin Canada Rotary and Mission Systems, said in a statement.

Work has already started in Canada on the systems. The work to be done eventually in Chile will focus on integrating the systems on the ships and testing them.  In 2014, Lockheed Martin Canada signed a contract to conduct similar modernization work on two of the Royal New Zealand Navy’s frigates. Installation of those systems is expected to take place sometime later this year or early next year in Victoria, BC.

The Kongsberg Maritime camera systems group from the UK will be supplying large network Internet Protocol closed-circuit television system for Project Resolve, the interim supply ship for the Royal Canadian Navy. The system has been delivered to Chantier Davie in Levis, Quebec.

L-3 MAS in Mirabel, Quebec has been awarded a contract to inspect and modify the structure of the U.S. Navy's F/A-18 Super Hornet fleet. (U.S. Navy)

L-3 MAS in Mirabel, Quebec has been awarded a contract to inspect and modify the structure of the U.S. Navy's F/A-18 Super Hornet fleet. (U.S. Navy)

L-3 Communications announced that it has been awarded a contract to provide depot-level maintenance (DLM) for the U.S. Navy’s F/A-18 A/B/C/D fleet.

The F/A-18 DLM contract provides the U.S. Navy with the additional capacity it needs to carry out F/A-18 A/B/C/D structural life-extension modifications and inspections that will significantly improve the availability of strike fighter assets to meet operational commitments, L-3 noted in a news release. L-3’s Platform Integration Division in Waco, Texas, will serve as the prime contractor, while L-3 MAS in Quebec will be responsible for inspection and modification of the aircraft structure, as well as associated engineering support.

“L-3 is honoured to be selected by the U.S. Navy to conduct F/A-18 A/B/C/D life-extension and depot maintenance support work to help increase the Navy’s number of Ready-For-Tasking aircraft,” Mark Von Schwarz, president of L-3’s Aerospace Systems business segment, which includes the MAS and Platform Integration divisions, said in a statement. “By combining Platform Integration’s naval aviation experience with MAS’s world-class F/A-18 life-extension and depot maintenance expertise, L-3 demonstrates its ability to differentiate itself through collaborative capabilities in applying experience, performance and innovation to help a longtime valued customer achieve its goals.”

L-3 Platform Integration has maintained a long-standing relationship with the U.S. Navy and is currently the Navy’s preferred provider of P-3 DLM, the company noted.

L-3 MAS, headquartered in Mirabel, is the in-service support (ISS) provider for a variety of fleets, including Canada’s CF-18 Hornet fighter, CC-150 Polaris transport, CH-148 Cyclone maritime helicopter and CT-114 Tutor demonstration aircraft.

C4i Training & Technology of Calgary has signed a large multi-year contract with a Middle Eastern country to outfit its armed forces with C4i’s MILSIM simulation training software.

The company is not naming the country that purchased the product. But the contract marks the third time a Middle Eastern nation has ordered C4i’s MILSIM products, according to the firm.

MILSIM is a multi-purpose computer simulation tool designed to train commanders and staff.

“The signing represents a substantial step forward for our customer; our MILSIM software will be used in their Command and General Staff College, to help future senior leaders,” Clive Morgan, C4i Vice President of Customer Solutions, noted in a statement. “This is complemented by multiple mobile training systems for deployment to front line units for tactical and operational planning and training purposes.”

MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates received the go ahead from Airbus Defence and Space to proceed with the development of multiple communication subsystems to be integrated into the Inmarsat-6 mobile communication satellites. The full contract is expected to be valued in excess of $20 million.

The University of British Columbia recently announced it will receive a $2 million investment from Seaspan Shipyards over the next seven years to support innovative teaching and research in the naval architecture and marine engineering programs at the UBC faculty of applied science. As a result, two new UBC chair positions will be created, one in naval architecture and one in marine systems engineering, according to a news release.

The investment is a result of Seaspan’s “value proposition” obligations under the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy (NSPS). As part of this agreement, Seaspan is committed to spending 0.5 per cent of each resulting NSPS contract to contribute to the development of a sustainable marine industry in Canada.

Team Spartan members General Dynamics Mission Systems–Canada and Finmeccanica have announced the creation of a new joint venture to provide long-term in-service support (ISS) for the C-27J aircraft in Canada.

Managed by General Dynamics Mission Systems–Canada, Spartan Aviation Services will be the Canadian ISS integrator if the C-27J is selected as the Royal Canadian Air Force’s next fixed-wing search and rescue (FWSAR) aircraft, the companies say.

Spartan Aviation Services will be responsible for the delivery of the entire ISS program and will be supported by a partner network in Canada including: KF Aerospace, DRS Canada, TRU Sim, Rolls Royce Canada, Standard Aero, CAE, CMC Esterline, L3 Wescam and ATCO.

“It is very important to keep this venture Canadian – controlled by a strong Canadian firm coupled with the original equipment manufacturer as an integral partner in supporting the fleet for the long term,” David Ibbetson, General Manager, General Dynamics Mission Systems–Canada, said in a statement. “Together we’re confident that we can deliver a highly capable and cost-effective solution to the Royal Canadian Air Force.”

On behalf of Swedish defence contractor Saab AB, Rheinmetall will be equipping a total of 88 Gripen NG (next generation) fighter aircraft armed with the BK27 automatic cannon with a newly developed linkless ammunition feeding system.

A C-27J sits on the tarmac of the Gatineau Airport, just a short 20-minute drive from downtown Ottawa. A contender in the restarted fixed-wing search and rescue (FWSAR) procurement project, the Team Spartan aircraft made a pit-stop in the nation`s capital on December 11, 2015 to showcase the plane`s capabilities to interested parties. (Richard Lawrence)

A C-27J sits on the tarmac of the Gatineau Airport, just a short 20-minute drive from downtown Ottawa. A contender in the restarted fixed-wing search and rescue (FWSAR) procurement project, the Team Spartan aircraft made a pit-stop in the nation`s capital on December 11, 2015 to showcase the plane`s capabilities to interested parties. (Richard Lawrence)

Brazil and Sweden — one new customer and one longstanding one — will soon have at their disposal Gripen NGs armed with the Mauser 27mm revolver cannon from Rheinmetall Oberndorf, according to the firm. Delivery will take place during the 2017–2025 timeframe, and includes service support and spare parts, Rheinmetall noted. It will also offer the ammunition for the weapon system.

The linked ammunition-feeding version of the gas-operated revolver cannon serves as the standard weapon in the multi-role Tornado, while the Eurofighter features the linkless version, according to Rheinmetall.

Discovery Air Defence has been busy. The company, which has a contract with the Department of National Defence to assist in the training of CF-18 pilots, will transfer its operations to a hangar located at the Saguenay-Bagotville Airport in Quebec.

That solution was proposed in order to allow the company to continue to provide its services while giving more operational flexibility in regards to base infrastructure. Colonel Darcy Molstad, Commander of CFB Bagotville, said in a statement that, “the move by Discovery Air Defence into the incubation hangar at the civilian airport will allow us to free up floor space to support the different units at the Base and to answer their needs. Such proximity to Discovery Air Defence is a major asset for the training services they are responsible for. We are very happy that they are in a new location, very close to their current location.”

“We are very excited about this important investment in the Saguenay region and to offer the next-generation of combat support services for the Canadian Armed Forces,” added Didier Toussaint, Group President of Government Services, Discovery Air. “Working with our partners at Promotion Saguenay and 3 Wing Bagotville, this new, state-of-the-art hangar represents the next phase of expanding our aircraft maintenance Centre of Excellence in Bagotville and the continued growth of the aerospace industry in Saguenay.”

Discovery Air Defence also recently deployed with RCAF CF-18s to Exercise Combat Archer at Tyndall Air Force Base in the U.S. DA Defence’s Alpha Jets executed numerous Red Air missions providing dissimilar air combat training for CF-18, F-22, F-35, and F-15 aircrew during a three-week deployment in Florida, which ended on February 5, the firm noted.

“They [DA Defence pilots] are Canadian-trained and are some of our most qualified pilots — utmost professionals,” LCol Dave Turenne, Commander of 425 Squadron, said. “Those guys are going to do exactly what we need them to do, by providing the presentations and understanding the exact things we’re looking for in training.”

The federal government announced in July that Mack Defense, LLC, of Allentown, Pennsylvania, had been awarded two contracts to provide standard military pattern trucks and related equipment for the Canadian Forces.

Assembly will take place in a Sainte-Claire, Quebec, plant operated by Prevost, one of the firms partnered with Mack.

The overall contract for the project, known by its military acronym as MSVS SMP, is worth $834 million.

In January 2016 Discovery Air Defence deployed its Alpha Jets and pilots to Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, on a three-week deployment with Royal Canadian Air Force CF-18s. The Alpha Jets executed numerous Red Air missions, providing dissimilar air combat training for CF-18, F-22, F-35, and F-15 aircrews as part of Exercise COMBAT ARCHER. (DA DEFENCE)

In January 2016 Discovery Air Defence deployed its Alpha Jets and pilots to Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, on a three-week deployment with Royal Canadian Air Force CF-18s. The Alpha Jets executed numerous Red Air missions, providing dissimilar air combat training for CF-18, F-22, F-35, and F-15 aircrews as part of Exercise COMBAT ARCHER. (DA DEFENCE)

The new Mack trucks destined for the Canadian Armed Forces were put through cold temperature testing at the end of January. The tests at the “cold chamber” at the National Research Council’s facility in Ottawa were successful, said Department of National Defence officials.

The first delivery of the trucks and equipment is planned for summer 2017, and deliveries are expected to be completed by fall 2018. With the ability to carry 9.5 tonnes, the Standard Military Pattern trucks are the backbone of the Canadian Forces truck fleet, the federal government noted.

The Marine Environmental Observation Prediction and Response (MEOPAR) network and Irving Shipbuilding Inc. recently announced the recipients of $1.8 million to support nine new ocean research projects that align with MEOPAR’s aim to strengthen Canada’s ability to anticipate and respond to marine risk. Irving Shipbuilding Inc. partnered with MEOPAR to contribute $1 million toward the proposal.

Irving Shipbuilding’s funding is pursuant to its Value Proposition obligation under the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy; the firm is committed to spending 0.5% of contract revenues with the aim of creating a sustainable marine industry across Canada. 

“Ensuring Canada has a sustainable and vibrant marine industry is a priority for Irving Shipbuilding under the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy,” said Kevin McCoy, president of Irving Shipbuilding. “We are proud to work with MEOPAR to support leading edge research across the country that can help achieve this goal.”

Created in 2012 by the federal government, the MEOPAR network aims to build Canada’s capacity to anticipate and respond to marine risk by financing research and supporting skilled personnel with the needed expertise. Among the projects selected for funding include the monitoring of marine plastics in Canada’s north and the use of synthetic aperture radar-based systems for monitoring and predicting sea ice conditions.

 

 

Email dpugliese@shaw.ca with your industry news. You can also follow him at Twitter.com/davidpugliese and at http://ottawacitizen.com/category/news/national/defence-watch