By David Pugliese
IMP Aerospace has delivered the final re-winged P-3 Orion aircraft to the Royal Norwegian Air Force (RNoAF), marking the successful completion of the multi-year program, company officials announced. The aircraft are very similar to the Canadian CP-140 Auroras, which are also receiving new wings, as well as mission system upgrades as part of a mid-life upgrade being undertaken at IMP Aerospace under a separate contract.
The wing replacement is part of the Aircraft Service Life Extension Program (ASLEP), which also includes the replacement of the center wing lower surface and horizontal stabilizer, IMP noted. Under this program, all life-limiting components are replaced with new materials incorporating advanced alloys, yielding a five-fold increase in corrosion resistance and resulting in a significant reduction in future maintenance and operating costs, the firm pointed out.
The ASLEP(N) contract was awarded to IMP in February 2008, to refit the entire RNoAF fleet of six P-3 Orion aircraft.
David Gossen, IMP Aerospace & Defence President, stated the firm is “very pleased to successfully complete this complex modification program on the RNoAF P-3 Orion fleet. During the course of this multi-year program, we have continued to strengthen our long-standing relationship with the RNoAF as their provider of in-depth maintenance and engineering services.”
Lockheed Martin assembled the replacement wings and other components — some of which were fabricated in Canada — for the Norwegian P-3s at its facility in Marietta, Georgia. The completed assemblies were then shipped to IMP for installation on the aircraft.
L-3 MAS announced that it has been awarded a contract to provide avionics upgrade kits for the U.S. Navy’s F/A-18 early Lot C aircraft. The F/A-18 C+ upgrade kit will provide the USN with parts required to modernize a portion of its legacy fleet to ensure it maintains its operational viability to meet ongoing strike fighter commitments. The contract calls for 28 kits, L-3 MAS officials said.
L-3 MAS is seen as a global leader in providing F/A-18 A-D depot maintenance, system upgrade and life extension solutions and has provided such support to Canada, Australia, Finland, Spain, Switzerland and the U.S. Navy.
Discovery Air Defence Services Inc. (DA Defence) has had its standing offers to provide interim Contracted Airborne Training Services (“ICATS”) to the Canadian government extended until December 2017, with two additional six-month option periods.
DA Defence has been the exclusive supplier of “fast jet” (Type 1) and “business jet” (Type 2) airborne training services to the Canadian Armed Forces through these standing offers since 2005, the company pointed out. The ICATS program supports live-fly adversary, joint terminal attack controller training, electronic warfare and electronic attack training as well as live fire target practice.
In February 2016, in its bid for the Contracted Airborne Training Services (CATS) program, DA Defence submitted a highly competitive, “true Canadian” solution that it says creates high quality jobs and investment across Canada.
Bluedrop Performance Learning Inc. and Boeing announced they completed a major milestone in the development of the next-generation CH-47 Chinook helicopter Rear Crew Trainer with the integration of its Canadian-built fuselage with Boeing’s cockpit training simulator system.
The fuselage is part of a 42 foot-long mock-up of the Chinook helicopter that was manufactured by Bluedrop and installed in its Bluedrop Training and Simulation Centre facility in Halifax. The team has also tested, and is on track to achieve a 100 per cent untethered, or wireless, virtual reality training experience to maximize the flexibility and safety of the trainer.
The initial development phase of the trainer began one year ago following a more than US$2 million cash commitment from Boeing as well as an intellectual property license associated with the specific technical characteristics of the Chinook platform, engineering support from the Boeing training and simulation group during the development phase, and a five-year commitment to support the on-going sales and marketing of the new product within Boeing’s global supply chain.
“This major milestone would not have been reached without the full commitment of Boeing’s engineering group,” said Jean-Claude Siew, Bluedrop’s Vice President of Technology and Simulation. “The combined efforts and expertise led to the design of the most innovative solution integrating virtual reality and real time simulation.”
The integration and testing process will continue through the fall, with a full demonstration of the stand-alone trainer ready by year end. Final delivery of the trainer to Boeing is anticipated in early 2017. The Chinook is used by the U.S. Army, U.S. Army Reserve, National Guard and more than 19 countries including Canada, the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Japan, Italy, Greece, Spain, South Korea, Australia, and the United Arab Emirates.
Meanwhile, Bluedrop Training & Simulation Inc., a subsidiary of Bluedrop Performance Learning Inc., received a US$13 million contract from Sikorsky to provide instructors and training courseware for pilots and maintainers learning to operate Canada’s new fleet of 28 CH-148 Cyclone maritime helicopters. The agreement extends by three years the training that Bluedrop has provided to the Canadian Maritime Helicopter Project since 2010.
Bluedrop will provide over 30 technician and aircrew instructors, simulator operators and training program support personnel for the 406 Operational and Training Squadron located at 12 Wing Shearwater in Nova Scotia. The Cyclone training suite includes two flight simulators, two operational mission simulators, six mission procedures trainers and two aircraft maintenance trainers, supplemented by several maintenance part task trainers.
C4i Training & Technology of Calgary supported a series of emergency response exercises, running along the West Coast of the United States and Canada, in an effort to prepare local leaders for a large-scale earthquake and resulting tsunami.
Exercises included: CASCADIA RISING (USA - WA, OR, FEMA Region 10), Coastal Response (Canada - EMBC) and Staunch Maple (Canada DND).
C4i’s Emergency and Disaster Management Simulation was selected as the simulation driver for the Washington State National Guard and Oregon National Guard events on CASCADIA RISING.
Also, in partnership with Calian, C4i provided EDMSIM to EMBC, providing the scenario, visualization and social media stimulus to the Provincial Emergency Management organization’s preparation exercise.
Clive Morgan, C4i’s Vice President of Customer Solutions, said the exercises were the largest ever concurrent emergency preparedness event on the West Coast. “We are delighted that our product is independently supporting these events and helping the emergency management decision makers to create robust plans to ensure that lives will be protected and property damage will be mitigated in the event of the Big One,” he said.
Viking Air Limited has purchased Bombardier’s amphibious aircraft operation.
The deal includes the Bombardier CL-415 waterbomber and its variants, as well as the earlier CL-215 and CL-215T Versions, Viking officials said.
The transaction will see Viking acquire the manufacturing rights for all variants of Bombardier’s amphibious aircraft, and assume responsibility for product support, parts and service for the fleet of some 170 waterbombers in service with 21 operators in 11 countries around the world, Viking noted.
Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
GE’s Marine Solutions business in Peterborough, Ontario, is completing one of the first milestones of the company’s 7-year contract with Irving Shipbuilding Inc., to provide electrical power, propulsion systems, installation and commissioning services for six ice-capable Arctic Offshore Patrol Ships (AOPS) for the Royal Canadian Navy.
GE’s power and propulsion systems will position the new vessels amongst the highest performance in their class worldwide. Four diesel generators and engines have been shipped to Irving Shipbuilding’s Halifax Shipyard, and GE has begun acceptance testing on the first AOPS propulsion motor.
General Dynamics Mission Systems–Canada successfully completed at-sea testing for its MATADOR Torpedo Detection System under the Build in Canada Innovation Program (BCIP). The testing, conducted on board a Royal Canadian Navy ship, confirmed the detection and tracking capabilities of the MATADOR system against heavyweight anti-ship torpedoes.
MATADOR is an acoustic processing system optimized for torpedo detection and designed to be used with a wide range of passive underwater sensors. The system’s open architecture and flexible interface allow it to be configured to work seamlessly with almost any sensor. Sensor systems fitted with the specialized MATADOR acoustic analysis capability can provide additional levels of warning that reduce mission risk, allowing ships to operate more safely and effectively in the far oceans of the world.
Under the BCIP, innovative Canadian products are matched with a government department for testing in a relevant operational environment. The MATADOR system was installed onboard HMCS Calgary using the existing towed sonar array as the underwater sensor.
The Royal Canadian Navy recently tested an integrated submarine combat system developed by Lockheed Martin. The test marked Canada’s first use of the combat system with the MK 48 heavyweight torpedo, variant 7AT.
The exercise took place at the Canadian Forces Maritime Experimental and Test Ranges (CFMETR) on the U.S. Navy Yard Torpedo Tender Battle Point, a surface ship that can launch torpedoes from submarine tubes, Lockheed Martin said.
The next step is to install the submarine combat system on the Victoria-class submarine for further test firings, according to Lockheed. The plan is to upgrade all Victoria-class submarines to the CCS 876 Combat System over the next few years.
Along with the CCS 876 Combat System, the RCN is also deploying the AN/BQQ-10(v)7 sonar system developed by Lockheed Martin, the company pointed out.