By David Pugliese
From Volume 23 Issue 4 (May 2016)
GeoSpectrum Technologies of Dartmouth, NS announced it has been awarded a contract to provide a Digital Preview Processor (DPP) to the Royal Canadian Navy’s Acoustic Data Analysis Centre (ADAC) for post-mission analysis.
GeoSpectrum’s DPP system will be based on its TruView sonar processing system, previously delivered to ADAC and currently in use, the company noted. TruView is a system built using a mix of Canadian government and GeoSpectrum intellectual property (IP). Government IP includes software libraries from Defence Research and Development Canada’s Software Tools for Analysis and Research (STAR) and System Test Bed (STB) software suites. Atlas Elektronik Canada and Pernix Technology will also help the team develop key data interfaces using their background knowledge and experience, according to GeoSpectrum Technologies.
The team’s efforts include ensuring that the new DPP TruView can interface with Atlas Elektronik Canada’s Osprey processor to provide a smooth analysis workflow. Osprey is a post-mission analysis solution currently in use with the RCN.
GeoSpectrum’s long-term vision for the DPP version of TruView is to provide processing for all Canadian sonar systems, company officials said. “This is a very exciting and strategic milestone for GeoSpectrum. This contract further proves our claim that we can provide leading-edge sonar systems quicker and for less cost using our collaborative approach,” Joe Hood, GeoSpectrum’s software product manager, said in a statement.
MBDA recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the supply of a coastal defence system for the Qatar Emiri Naval Force (QENF). The memorandum will pave the way in the short term for a contract that could be worth an estimated $950 million.
The supply of these coastal missile systems will allow the QENF to monitor maritime coastal traffic and prevent hostile ships from reaching and threatening their territorial waters. The coastal missile systems can deploy two different munitions, Exocet MM40 Block 3 and Marte ER (the Extended Range version of the Marte missile), reflecting the maturity and excellence of these munitions, MBDA officials said. The system can work in autonomous mode with its own radar, or alternatively by data-linking to a higher level within a wider coastal surveillance network.
IMP Aerospace has laid off 44 employees because of what the company is saying is a delay in renegotiating contracts for ongoing work on the RCAF’s Cormorant and CP-140 Aurora fleets.
Thirty-five airframe mechanics, five avionics staff and four support employees have been laid off in the Halifax area.
The Department of National Defence wants to redefine the type of work being performed under the support contract for the Cormorants. The existing contract allows for such changes.
The other contract involves work on the modifications on the Auroras. DND wants to examine the work so far before proceeding with more upgrades so that has delayed ongoing work. It is unclear when work on both fleets will recommence. Union officials told the CBC that junior employees are mainly affected by the layoffs.
Straightline Aviation (SLA) signed a letter of intent (LOI) to purchase up to 12 Lockheed Martin Hybrid Airships with a potential value of approximately $480 million. SLA is working with Hybrid Enterprises, Lockheed Martin’s Hybrid Airship reseller, to finalize the purchase agreement.
Based in the UK, the leadership team of SLA has long-term experience in airship operations and established the company specifically to act as an owner-operator of Hybrid Airships.
“Lockheed Martin’s Hybrid Airship represents a revolution in remote cargo delivery,” Rob Binns, chief executive officer of Hybrid Enterprises, said in a statement. “Having an experienced team such as SLA recognize the Hybrid Airship’s potential by signing the LOI solidifies the demand for this new mode of transportation. We are honored and excited to share this milestone with them.”
With its tri-lobe shape and air cushion landing system, the Hybrid Airship can affordably transport cargo and passengers to and from the most remote locations, according to the companies. They require little or no fixed ground infrastructure and burn significantly less fuel compared to conventional aircraft thereby making them an environmentally friendly solution to remote cargo delivery, the firms added.
Discovery Air Defence Services Inc. recently deployed aircraft from the Wittmundhafen Air Base in Germany to participate in the annual Dissimilar Air Combat Training (DACT) exercise hosted by the Spanish Air Force at Gando Air Base, Canary Islands.
Flying embedded with German air force Eurofighter squadrons, DA Defence A-4N Skyhawks joined units on exercise for air combat training with different fighter aircraft, including F-16, F-18 and Mirage 2000, DA Defence officials said. Unlike training with similar aircraft, DACT allows pilots to experience the flight profiles, characteristics and presentations of different combat aircraft, the company noted.
“We brought very positive training challenges for all participants at DACT 2016,” Rolf Brandt, senior program manager of German operations, said in a statement. “As dedicated Red Air aggressors, the deployment of our highly agile A-4N Skyhawks brought a new kind of threat for the participants to refine their combat skills and tactics.”
DA Defence began its contracted airborne training services for the German armed forces in January 2015 and is delivering air combat training and combat support for the German military at home and on deployment abroad.
Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan doesn’t think Canadian F-35 jobs are at risk. The issue of the Canadian government’s intentions on the F-35 program recently came up at the Standing Committee on National Defence. Sajjan repeated his previous line that the capabilities of whatever fighter jet Canada eventually purchases will be discussed in the defence review.
And what about the Canadian firms currently building parts for the F-35? How would they be affected if the government doesn’t buy the plane? Conservative MP James Bezan told Sajjan that those contracts will be cancelled and the jobs associated with supplying parts for the Lockheed Martin aircraft will be lost.
But Sajjan claimed that won’t be the case. “I don’t think those jobs are going to be cancelled,” he explained to MPs. “These Canadian companies have been selected for a particular reason because of their skills. This does mean these companies are going to be losing these benefits,” from the F-35, Sajjan said. “But as we move forward, regardless of what aircraft is decided upon, we need to make sure there is going to be 100 per cent industrial benefits for Canada. And that will always be part of any decision.”
In previous interviews, Lockheed Martin officials have said that if the Canadian government decides not to buy the F-35, the company would honour the contracts that exist with Canadian industry. But the firm’s approach on future work on the aircraft would be to focus on industries in countries that are acquiring the aircraft.
The Canadian government has a contract with Solar Ship Inc. to help expand Canada’s future capabilities in peacekeeping, disaster relief and humanitarian assistance.
Through the federal government’s Build in Canada Innovation Program (BCIP), the Department of National Defence (via the Royal Canadian Air Force) will work with Solar Ship to test and evaluate the capabilities of innovative aircraft designed to transport critical cargo during disaster relief missions, according to the company.
The aircraft will be tested for additional applications relevant to the RCAF’s support of humanitarian assistance missions, as determined by the Government of Canada.
Retired Lieutenant-Colonel Tim Shopa, former lead operational test and evaluation officer for the RCAF’s CF-18 fleet, said in a statement that “Solar Ship has proven some core capabilities in conducting difficult missions when it demonstrated the ability to take off and land from a soccer field with a mass of 1.8 tonnes using solar electric power. Now we must further demonstrate that a number of key performance parameters can be met to enable disaster relief missions in regions such as Africa where there is little or no infrastructural support."
OSI Maritime Systems of Burnaby, BC announced the signing of a contract to provide Warship Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems (WECDIS) to the Turkish navy for the MILGEM Corvette New Build Program.
Under the terms of this contract, OSI will deliver WECDIS systems, including its world-leading ECPINS warship software for hulls 3 and 4 of the MILGEM program. Previously, OSI was contracted to deliver and install systems on hulls 1 and 2. The Turkish navy has deployed OSI systems on a number of classes of warships.
And now something for the defence industry executive who has everything. Pelican Products Inc. has introduced its first range of waterproof smart phone cases — the Pelican Marine case, which is designed for Apple iPhone 6/6S and iPhone 6 Plus/6S Plus.
The Pelican Marine case can be submerged at a depth of two metres for up to 30 minutes and safeguards against dirt, snow, and dust, the company says. It also features five layers of military-grade shock protection to withstand slips and drops. To safeguard against scratched and shattered screens, the Marine case also features a scratch-resistant, coated screen protector, the firm noted.