(Volume 25 Issue 8)
By David Pugliese
Rheinmetall will supply more Argus soldier systems to the Canadian Armed Forces with deliveries scheduled to begin next year.
The Canadian military have exercised options under the Integrated Soldier System Project (ISSP) to procure an additional 1,256 Rheinmetall Argus soldier systems, the company says. The order is worth $22 million.
The Canadian government initially contracted with Rheinmetall to start the qualification phase of the Canadian Army’s Integrated Soldier System (ISS) in 2015. That was successfully completed.
The final production phase of the Argus soldier system is now underway, with 1,632 units slated for delivery this year, according to Rheinmetall.
General Jon Vance, Chief of Canadian Defence Staff, described Rheinmetall’s Argus soldier system, which is already in service with the Canadian Armed Forces, as a tool “that will improve situational awareness for [the] dismounted troops, allowing better command and control and improving their performance and protection.” Vance noted that the Argus soldier system “puts on the soldier or anybody on the ground the ability to understand their environment.”
Besides Argus, examples of already fielded Rheinmetall systems include the German Bundeswehr’s Future Soldier – Expanded System. Also included is the advanced Argus New Generation and Gladius 2.0. All of these systems bring individual infantry soldiers, combat vehicles and unmanned systems in to what Rheinmetall calls the tactical sensor-to-shooter network.
L3 WESCAM announced at the end of July the successful delivery of its first MXTM-15 electro-optical and infrared (EO/IR) system to Airbus Defence and Space in support of the Royal Canadian Air Force’s Fixed-Wing Search and Rescue aircraft replacement program. L3 WESCAM noted that the on-time delivery of the MX-15, the first of 20 planned deliveries, is a significant milestone as the Canadian Department of National Defence begins to replace its legacy SAR aircraft, the CC-115 Buffalo and CC-130H Hercules. “L3 is proud to partner with Airbus on this much-anticipated Canadian program – as it really hits close to home for WESCAM and its large base of Canadian employees,” Matt Richi, President of L3 WESCAM, said. “The aircraft and the technologies that support this program have been referred to as ‘game-changers’ for Canada, and we couldn’t be happier to be a key system in the overall solution.”
Canada has a search area of 18 million square kilometers, making time-critical SAR operations challenging. The high-sensitivity sensors and advanced GEO and intuitive technologies within the MX-15 will provide SAR operators with exceptional day and night visual capabilities, despite atmospheric interference, and will operate with detection and identification ranges that will help to shorten search grid patterns and on-scene search times, the company pointed out.
Australia has selected Rheinmetall for the future delivery of new military trucks and modules to the Australian Defence Force under the LAND 121 Phase 5B program. Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles Australia will deliver more than 1000 high mobility logistics trucks and more than 800 modules to the ADF under the new program, which is an extension of the current LAND 121 Phase 3B Project. Deliveries will start in 2019 and will run to 2024.
MDA, a Maxar Technologies company said it has acquired Neptec Design Group Ltd., a firm that produces leading electro-optical and electro-mechanical systems and high-performance intelligent Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) for $42 million.
With Neptec, MDA says it will deliver end-to-end robotic systems and an expanded set of solutions, positioning the company to capture growth in U.S., Canadian and global space exploration markets and accelerate advancement into new and expanding space segments. Neptec’s approximately 100 employees in Ottawa, Canada, and Harwell, U.K., will join MDA’s workforce of approximately 1,900 across Canada. The new Sensor business will combine with the newly created MDA Commercial Division.
The CH-148 Cyclone – the RCAF’s new maritime helicopter – recently embarked on its first international deployment. The helicopter, made by Sikorsky, is on HMCS Ville de Quebec which is taking part in Operation Reassurance. The helicopter is operated by crew from 423 Maritime Helicopter Squadron based at 12 Wing Shearwater, Nova Scotia.
In addition, a RCAF Cyclone flew to 443 Maritime Helicopter Squadron in British Columbia and was also featured at the Abbotsford Airshow in BC. The CH-148 Cyclone will replace the CH-124 Sea King as Canada’s main ship-borne maritime helicopter.
The final bids have been submitted by the various consortiums for the Canadian Surface Combatant program. The bids involve the finalized portions of the bids on designs (the technical design bids were originally submitted in November but July 20 marked the deadline for responses that deal with any questions the federal government may have had) as well as proposals for the financial elements for the project.
There are three groups that have bid on the project. Lockheed Martin Canada, is the prime on the team that includes BAE Systems, CAE, L3 Technologies, MDA, and Ultra Electronics. The team is offering the BAE Type 26 warship for the Canadian program.
Alion Science and Technology, along with its subsidiary Alion Canada, submitted their proposal based on the Dutch De Zeven Provinciën Air Defence and Command frigate. The De Zeven Provinciën-class frigate is a proven NATO vessel, built by Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding.
Alion’s combat system solution is based on the systems produced by ATLAS-Elektronik and Hensoldt Sensors. Other key suppliers include L3 Technologies Canada, Raytheon Canada Limited, DRS Technologies Canada Limited and Rheinmetall Canada Inc.
Navantia of Spain also submitted its bid and is leading a team that includes Saab Australia and CEA Technologies. Its proposal is based on the F-105 frigate design, a ship in service with the Spanish navy. W