By David Pugliese 

From the November 2015 (Volume 22 Issue 10)

 

Chantier Davie Canada Inc. and Project Resolve Inc. announced Oct. 8 that the MV Astérix had been delivered in Lévis, Quebec, and that the vessel’s acquisition from its former owners is now complete. Federal election candidates visited the ship on Oct. 13 to get briefed on what is being called Project Resolve.

The arrival of the containership marks another step in Project Resolve’s program to convert the vessel in order to provide interim at-sea support services to meet the Royal Canadian Navy’s operational requirement for at-sea replenishment, the companies noted.

 Design of Project Resolve's  MV Astérix.  (projectresolve.ca)

Design of Project Resolve's MV Astérix. (projectresolve.ca)

The vessel conversion will take place at Davie Shipbuilding in Lévis and features a Canadian team of suppliers. Pending a signed agreement with the Canadian government, the converted vessel will be delivered for service in the summer of 2017, the companies say.

There have also been more contracts awarded by Chantier Davie Canada Inc. for Project Resolve, the provision of leased refuelling/supply ship services to the RCN.

RaceRocks of Victoria, B.C., signed an agreement with Chantier Davie Canada Inc. and Project Resolve Inc. to deliver a full complement of modern technology-enabled learning systems for the Resolve-class auxiliary oiler replenishment (AOR) ship.

This training will fully integrate with the Royal Canadian Navy’s newly announced Naval Training System (NTS) and will be inherently compatible with the Defence Learning Network (DLN) and Canadian Virtual Naval Fleet (CVNF), according to RaceRocks. “RaceRocks has extensive experience integrating its world-class training tools into the NTS,” Spencer Fraser, CEO of Project Resolve said in a statement.

In addition, OSI Maritime Systems of Burnaby, B.C., announced that Chantier Davie/Project Resolve Inc. have selected its Integrated Navigation and Tactical System (INTS) for the interim AOR, the Astérix. “OSI is known globally for its expertise in providing military integrated bridge systems for new build and retrofit projects,” Ken Kirkpatrick, OSI president and CEO, said in a statement.  “We are proud to be working with Davie and Project Resolve and to be part of this truly Canadian experience from East to West. This event marks another major RCN project in which we are involved, and with OSI comes 100 per cent Canadian content and expertise.”

OSI’s Integrated Navigation and Tactical System (INTS) is a fully scalable, IMO and NATO STANAG 4564 WECDIS compliant integrated bridge system that offers a flexible design able to meet the requirements of demanding military environments, the firm noted.

Kirkpatrick said this is the same technology that is being used on the AOPS program.

Heroux-Devtek Inc. of Longueuil, Que., was awarded a long-term contract by Finmeccanica-AgustaWestland to supply the landing gear for the AW609 TiltRotor aircraft.

Under the terms of the agreement, Heroux-Devtek will design, develop, fabricate, assemble, test and deliver complete landing gear systems for the AW609 aircraft. This life cycle mandate also includes the provision of spare parts, according to Heroux-Devtek.

Design work is expected to begin very shortly and will be mainly carried out at the St-Hubert, Que., and Runcorn (United Kingdom) facilities, marking the first partnership between Heroux-Devtek’s North American operations and AgustaWestland, the firm added.

Heroux-Devtek’s European operations had previously developed the landing gear for AgustaWestland’s AW101 aircraft.

As of April 2015, almost 60 AW609 aircraft have been ordered by international customers for a variety of roles and missions, including offshore transportation, emergency medical services and patient transfer, search and rescue, as well as government duties.

Thales has recently been contracted by Lockheed Martin Canada to supplying IFF (Identification Friend or Foe) interrogators and transponders for the Royal Canadian Navy’s Arctic Offshore Patrol Ships (AOPS).

The Long Range IFF interrogator will enable AOPS to identify friendly aircraft and to ensure 360-degree cooperative civilian and military aircraft surveillance, Thales noted.

The contract won by Thales is based on the latest version of the BlueGate Long Range IFF interrogator products and new miniaturized transponder. It is fully compliant with the latest version of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) civilian standards and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) / U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) military standards. By fulfilling the latest standards, the AOPS will be able to make surveillance without any restriction, in particular to on shore Civilian Secondary Surveillance Radars.

Thales says it has supplied over 19,000 IFF units for more than 100 types of aircraft, vehicles and naval vessels worldwide.

CAE won defence contracts valued at more than $100 million.

Some of the key contracts include: the United States Air Force exercising another option year for CAE USA to continue providing comprehensive training services as part of the KC-135 Aircrew Training System (ATS) program; the United States Navy exercising another option year for CAE USA to continue providing T-44C aircrew training services; and a five-year contract to provide a range of maintenance and in-service support on the German air force’s Eurofighter training devices as part of an industry team in Germany.

CAE will also have specific responsibility for maintaining the Eurofighter visual systems, including CAE Medallion-6000 image generators as well as projector and display systems, according to the company. The maintenance and in-service support services will be performed on-site at Laage, Neuburg, Noervenich and Wittmund, which are the four Eurofighter main operating bases in Germany.

Textron Systems, which is providing the Canadian Armed Forces with the Tactical Armoured Patrol Vehicle (TAPV), received an award to provide another 55 Commando Select vehicles to the Afghan military. The deal is for a $56.2 million firm-fixed-price contract from the U.S. Army Contracting Command.

The four-wheeled Commando Select vehicles are being delivered to the Afghan National Army. Deliveries will be completed by February 2016.

Called Mobile Strike Force Vehicles by the Afghan National Army (ANA), these vehicles will be deployed in support of security operations throughout the country. More than 630 of these vehicles have been delivered to the ANA since 2012.

On the Fixed-Wing Search and Rescue (FWSAR) project front, the deadline for bids has been moved. Proposals were supposed to be in Sept. 28 for FWSAR, but the process has now been extended and bids for the new aircraft for the RCAF will now be required by Jan. 11, 2016.

Public Works official Pierre-Alain Bujold tells Industry Watch that the extension was requested by companies.

Public Works did not provide any further details such as which companies asked for the extension in bidding or why.

Public Works estimates that once bids are in, it may take another six months to evaluate the proposals. It has no idea when the winning bidder would be announced or when aircraft might arrive.

“It is only once this evaluation has been duly completed and the selection of the successful bidder has been approved that further information will be released,” Public Works noted in a statement. “A delivery schedule of the new fleet will only be finalized once proposals have been received and the successful bid presented to government.”

The Department of National Defence says it expects a contract award in 2016 and final delivery of the planes in 2023. No details have been provided on when the first deliveries of planes would take place.

It’s unclear what impact the latest delay would have on the 2016 award date.