By David Pugliese
MDA, a Maxar Technologies company, signed a contract worth around $8 million to provide the Department of National Defence with what is being called a Maritime Miniature Unmanned Aircraft Systems (MMUAS). The contract also includes services to support training, resource and equipment development activities and development and validation of naval tactics and new capability development, according to the firm.
MDA’s solution is based on the Puma AE (All Environment) unmanned aircraft built by Aeroviroment. The Puma has the ability to carry additional payloads as required for specific missions. The MMUAS is the first UAS project that will see the RCN operate and maintain its own capability and provide a sustainable shipborne, near real-time, Beyond Visual Line Of Sight (BVLOS) ISR capability with an expected introduction to the fleet in the summer of 2018 onboard Kingston-class ships.
The Puma AE is operated from the same control station as the Raven UAS which has been provided by MDA to the Canadian Army since 2013.
“We are very proud to once again, expand our unmanned aircraft systems and services to support Canada’s Department of National Defence needs,” Mike Greenley, group president for MDA, said in a statement. “MDA’s comprehensive solutions provide the high-assurance, critical surveillance and intelligence capabilities in support of Canada’s front-line sailors and soldiers that allows decisions made with confidence.”
In addition, MDA, also announced it has signed a contract with an unnamed international customer for the provision of turnkey, unmanned aircraft system surveillance services. The contract includes options for additional years. MDA’s UAS service will use a fleet of Schiebel CAMCOPTER S-100 rotary-wing unmanned aircraft to provide surveillance information. MDA will be responsible for all aspects of the service including acquisition of all the systems and required infrastructure, training, airworthiness, logistics, supply chain, maintenance and all flight operations, the firm noted.
The S-100 aircraft is a vertical takeoff and landing UAS, which does not require a prepared area or supporting launch or recovery equipment. It operates day and night and is a very capable platform for a wide range of different surveillance payloads to meet a broad set of mission requirements.
MDA’s UAS service will equip the S-100 fleet with L3 WESCAM MX-10 EO/IR payloads. The MX-10 is a high-performance, multi-sensor multi-spectral imaging system for tactical surveillance missions. It carries multiple sensors including both high-definition day modes and night infrared modes. The MX-10 is currently operational for twelve nations worldwide on the S-100.
Pratt & Whitney Canada has signed a 12-year Fleet Management Program agreement with Specialist Aviation Services for 24 PW210A engines powering 12 Leonardo AW169 helicopters.
The program has been specifically tailored to SAS’s needs and helps reduce operating costs and simplifies fleet operations management, according to Pratt and Whitney.
Operating primarily in the United Kingdom, SAS provides support to emergency services and other major organizations that rely on aircraft to support their operations. SAS is one of the fleet leaders on the AW169 program.
Colt Canada of Kitchener, Ont. is marketing its small arms products to Ukraine’s government which is expected to eventually re-equip its military with NATO-standard weaponry.
Such a contract could involve up to 100,000 rifles. Colt Canada official Alex Payne, said the firm had an “exploratory type meeting” in January in Ukraine with government officials. It is hoping to set up a demonstration of its small arms in Ukraine sometime in the summer.
Payne noted, however, that the process of selling small arms to Ukraine could take up to two years. The country still has to figure out its procurement and competitive process for any proposed acquisition. “We have as equal a chance as anybody but I think there’s a long process to go through in terms of them of finding the best weapon for the best price,” Payne explained.
In December the Liberal government made changes to Canada’s arms export rules to allow for the sale of machineguns and other small arms to Ukraine. That process was originally started under the Conservative government.
General Dynamics Land Systems–Canada announced it is a network partner of the southern Ontario-based Next Generation Manufacturing Canada Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster.
The Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster is part of the Liberal government’s Innovation Superclusters Initiative. “Advanced manufacturing is a key economic engine for South Western Ontario and as the second largest advance manufacturer in the region, and a leading Canadian exporter, General Dynamics Land Systems–Canada looks forward to collaboratively working with our Supercluster partners,” Danny Deep, vice president of General Dynamics Land Systems–Canada, said in a statement.
Rheinmetall has won the first request for proposals for preliminary studies relating to European Union defence research financed by the EU’s European Defence Union. Under a project known as “Generic Open Soldier Systems Reference Architecture,” or GOSSRA, the European Commission has put the Düsseldorf-based tech group in charge of a consortium consisting of partners from nine different EU member states.
Under the GOSSRA project, studies will be conducted into developing an open reference architecture as the basis of EU-wide standardized soldier systems. This includes electronics, voice and data communication, software solutions, man-machine interfaces, sensors and effectors.
Rheinmetall makes the German Bundes-wehr’s IdZ-ES soldier system as well as the Canadian military’s Argus system.