By David Pugliese
CarteNav Solutions Inc., based in Halifax and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Provincial Aerospace Ltd., announced that it received a strategic investment from Lockheed Martin Aeronautics of $1.4-million (U.S.) under the Canadian government’s Industrial and Regional Benefits (IRB) investment framework program. The funding provided by Lockheed Martin will be used to augment the ability of CarteNav’s flagship product, AIMS-ISR, so it can integrate with and enhance leading airborne surveillance radars, Paul Evans, CarteNav’s president, said in a statement.
The majority of the product development activity is expected to be completed over a period of two years and will result in the hiring of software engineers and other technical personnel, the firm noted.
The offset investment behind the CarteNav project is in direct support of Lockheed Martin’s IRB obligations associated with Canada’s purchase and in-service support of 17 CC-130J Hercules aircraft. Those planes were delivered to the Royal Canadian Air Force in 2010.
“We are very pleased to see our Investment Framework grant going to a highly innovative company like CarteNav,” Charles Bouchard, chief executive of Lockheed Martin Canada, said in a statement. “We have been impressed with CarteNav’s track record of development and commercialization of software products that are globally competitive, and the success of this project will be an excellent example of how large international aerospace companies such as Lockheed Martin can collaborate with smaller businesses in Canada to help bring technological advances that create opportunities for lasting business growth in the Canadian economy.”
SNC-Lavalin says it has been awarded a two-year extension to its existing Canadian government contract, valued up to $180-million, to provide in-service support to the Royal Canadian Navy’s minor warships and auxiliary vessels. The contract awarded to SNC-Lavalin in 2011 was an initial four-year contract that included options to extend the duration of the contract up to another four years, the firm noted.
Airbus Defence and Space and PAL Aerospace have entered into a strategic partnership for the provision of in-service support (ISS) for C295 aircraft operated by members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. The announcement follows a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed by the two companies to pursue global ISS opportunities. It builds on the existing partnership for Canada’s Fixed-Wing Search and Rescue (FWSAR) program.
“We are excited to expand our existing relationship with PAL Aerospace beyond Canada’s FWSAR program into further export-oriented opportunities,” Simon Jacques, President of Airbus Defence and Space Canada, said in a statement. “This agreement is testament to how Airbus works to develop partnerships that grow beyond single contracts into lasting, global relationships,” he added.
The GCC includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates. Collectively, the member states already operate nine C295s of 12 ordered in a variety of configurations. The agreement between PAL Aerospace and Airbus Defence and Space will allow both companies to leverage their footprint and experience in the region substantially increasing the ISS alternatives for C295 users in the GCC countries, the companies noted.
In 2016, PAL Aerospace celebrated its 10th anniversary working in the GCC. Through its UAE joint venture, PAL Aerospace Services Aircraft Maintenance LLC provides comprehensive ISS support, the company added.
The Canadian government recently announced it is buying an existing unmanned aerial surveillance system, the RQ-21A Blackjack, through a government-to-government contractual arrangement. The deal is being handled through the U.S. Foreign Military Sales program. The contract is valued at $14.2-million (U.S.) and includes initial training.
The RQ-21A Blackjack, produced by Boeing Insitu, based in Bingen, Washington, is a small unmanned aircraft that will provide the Canadian Army with persistent, real-time intelligence through aerial surveillance and reconnaissance, the government noted in a statement. Canada is the first foreign military to acquire the system from the U.S. Navy, according to Canadian officials.
Calian Group Ltd. says it has “re-won” two long-term DND contracts for a combined ceiling value of $29-million with the Military Personnel Generation (MilPersGen) and the Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (RCEME) Schools. The initial contract for the MilPersGen contract is valued at $7-million over a period of 12 months with two one-year options, which if exercised could increase the total contract value to $21-million, the company noted.
Since 2010, Calian has been providing training services to the MilPersGen (formerly Canadian Defence Academy) at schools such as the Canadian Army’s Leadership and Recruit School, the Fire Fighter and CBRN Academy, the Chaplain School and the Logistics Training Centre. This new contract expands the scope of work to include additional schools such as the Canadian Forces Health Services Training Centre, School of Military Intelligence, School of Meteorology, Military Policy Academy, Language School, and the Canadian Forces Naval Operations School, the firm added.
The initial contract for RCEME is valued at $5-million over a period of 2.5 years with two one-year options, which if exercised, could increase the total contract value to over $8-million, Calian said.
Viking Air Limited of Victoria has now completed the acquisition of the amphibious aircraft program from Bombardier, including transfer of the Type Certificates for the CL-215, CL-215T, CL-415 aircraft and all variants to Viking. Upon completion of the Type Certificate transfer, Viking is designated as the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) for the amphibious aircraft fleet, including full manufacturing design rights for all variants, the company noted. Viking also assumes responsibility for in-service product support for the fleet of 170 water bombers currently in operation in 11 countries worldwide.
MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (MDA) has signed a contract with a California-based satellite company ViaSat Inc. to repair, maintain and upgrade ViaSat’s Link 16 military communication terminals, which are currently deployed across Canada by DND.
MDA will use its existing facilities across Canada to perform this operational support, resulting in a decreased maintenance time, and reduced cost to the CAF. The repair and maintenance service will grow into an intermediate maintenance facility (I-Level), as additional terminals and radios are deployed throughout the Canadian military.
NovAtel Inc. of Calgary said the United States Naval Observatory (USNO) selected its GPS Anti-Jam Technology (GAJT), which protects GPS-based navigation and precise timing receivers from intentional jamming and accidental interference, to satisfy a requirement for a controlled reception pattern antenna capability at sites throughout the Department of Defense Information Network (DoDIN). The DoDIN is the core global network of the United States’ military and is depended upon for secure and sensitive voice, data, video and bandwidth services. This latest order brings the number of NovAtel GAJT antennas ordered by the U.S. Navy to over 600, the company noted.