INDUSTRY WATCH: Who's Who And What's What In The Defence Sector

(Volume 24-06)

By David Pugliese

Above, Kevin McCoy, president of Irving Shipbuilding, and hundreds of employees at the Halifax Shipyard marked the start of production of the first Arctic Offshore Patrol Ship in September 2015. Irving recently announced that delays on the Canadian Surface Combatant program’s bids will not delay the start of ship construction. (cnw group, j.d. irving limited)

Above, Kevin McCoy, president of Irving Shipbuilding, and hundreds of employees at the Halifax Shipyard marked the start of production of the first Arctic Offshore Patrol Ship in September 2015. Irving recently announced that delays on the Canadian Surface Combatant program’s bids will not delay the start of ship construction. (cnw group, j.d. irving limited)

The Canadian government and Irving Shipbuilding Inc. have informed defence firms about yet another delay on the Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC) program. The government and Irving have extended the submission deadline for the CSC request for proposals.

Bidders had previously complained they didn’t have enough time to recruit Canadian firms for the surface combatant program and warned Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) that their bids would reflect that problem if they were not provided with more time. The deadline was originally June 22. That has now been delayed to at least mid-August, noted a statement from the federal government.

“As per the RFP, bidders can submit draft bids for review until June 15, 2017,” the statement from PSPC pointed out. “These bids will not be scored, and financial information will not be submitted, but bidders will be informed if any part of their submission is non-compliant, so they can make adjustments before submitting a final bid,” the statement noted.

This is the second extension granted through this RFP process. The original deadline was set for April 27, 2017.

With this extension, targeted completion for the procurement process moves to 2018 from fall 2017, according to PSPC. The start of ship construction remains scheduled for the early 2020s, the department added.

Meanwhile, things are moving along on another procurement program. A Royal Canadian Air Force delegation recently conducted a preliminary “anthropometric” examination of the cockpit of the Airbus C295W aircraft, which has been selected for Canada’s Fixed-Wing Search and Rescue (FWSAR) program. The examination at Airbus’s Seville, Spain C295W final assembly line allowed the RCAF to gain more a detailed familiarity with the aircraft’s design and layout from a “human factors” perspective, Airbus officials said. The company demonstrated that RCAF equipment such as flight clothing, helmets and night-vision goggles will integrate with the C295 flight-deck.

Discovery Air Defence Services Inc. announced it had successfully completed its first-ever training with the Austrian Air Force over Wittmund, Germany. Seven Eurofighters from Austria’s 1st Squadron Überwachungsgeschwader (Surveillance Wing) in Zellweger trained against two DA Defence A-4N Skyhawks in air-to-air gunnery, and Eurofighters from the German Luftwaffe’s Tactical Air Force Wing (71 Richthofen) in supersonic intercepts, according to Discovery Air Defence Services. DA Defence’s training qualified the Austrian pilots in air-to-air weapons and tactics.

Leonardo Helicopters and IMP Aerospace & Defence say that they are re-establishing their “Team Cormorant” to pursue the proposed modernization of the Cormorant search and rescue helicopters. Team Cormorant comprises Leonardo Helicopters, the original equipment manufacturer of the EH101/AW101/Cormorant helicopters; IMP, the prime contractor for Cormorant in-service support; and other key Canadian companies who will supply and support critical aircraft components, technology, systems, simulation and training.

The Canadian government has awarded two maintenance contracts to KF Aerospace of British Columbia. The first contract, valued at $21.8-million, is for the maintenance of the Royal Canadian Air Force’s CC-115 Buffalo search and rescue aircraft for a period of three years. That contract includes the option to extend the contract for an additional year. Canada has six Buffalos based in Comox, BC.

Two Discovery Air Defence jet aircraft bank away from each other during a flight training exercise. Discovery Air Defence recently completed its first-ever training with the Austrian Air Force over Wittmund, Germany, which saw two of its A-4N Skyhawks train in air-to-air gunnery against seven Austrian Eurofighters. (stefan petersen)

Two Discovery Air Defence jet aircraft bank away from each other during a flight training exercise. Discovery Air Defence recently completed its first-ever training with the Austrian Air Force over Wittmund, Germany, which saw two of its A-4N Skyhawks train in air-to-air gunnery against seven Austrian Eurofighters. (stefan petersen)

The second contract, valued at $9.6-million, is for maintenance work on the RCAF’s CC-138 Twin Otter aircraft for a period of four years. It includes the possibility of four additional one-year extensions. Canada’s four Twin Otters are based in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. “The work for both contracts will include ongoing life-cycle management, inspection repair, painting and modifications as well as the supply of high-priority spare parts, for the duration of the contracts,” the federal government noted in a news release.

Rockwell Collins rolled out a variety of military communications systems to highlight at CANSEC 2017. It also announced that the Canadian Army had selected its joint fires solution for its Digitally-Assisted Close Air Support (DACAS) system. That would digitally link airborne platforms and ground-based Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (JTACs) via an Android smartphone. 
Under the contract, Rockwell Collins will produce and service 100 Android-based joint-fires systems with the potential for follow-on options. Rockwell Collins will qualify the initial systems by the summer of 2017 for the Canadian Army’s use on the multinational BOLD QUEST exercise in the fall, the company noted. The agreement also includes in-country service and support from Rockwell Collins in Canada for up to 10 years.
“Migrating away from hardware solutions to commercial off-the-shelf technology drives down cost and provides user-friendly and updatable platforms,” Lee Obst, managing director, Rockwell Collins for Canada, said in a statement. “The Android joint-fires solution is a great example of leveraging cutting-edge technology for military purposes.” 
Based upon the most widely used joint-fires system in the world, the wearable Android-based joint-fires solution delivers a lightweight and user-friendly solution while maintaining full digital interoperability with a wide range of coalition aircraft and artillery systems, Rockwell Collins added in a news release.
System development will be based in Richardson, Texas, while Rockwell Collins Canada will directly provide support to the Canadian Army. 

Lockheed Martin Canada will provide and install new combat management systems for three of the Chilean Navy’s frigates. The majority of the work will be done at Lockheed Martin Canada’s facilities in Ottawa, Montreal and Halifax. The combat management systems and other equipment will be installed on Chile’s Type 23 frigates.

Lockheed Martin Canada is not releasing details about the value of the contract.

Lockheed Martin’s Combat Management System 330 was chosen by Chile after a world-wide competition. A similar system is in use on the Royal Canadian Navy’s Halifax-class frigates.

“We are thrilled with this award and look forward to working with the Chilean Navy and ASMAR, the Chilean shipyard, as well as forging long-term relationships with Chilean partners to deliver new capability to the Armada de Chile,” Rosemary Chapdelaine, vice president for Lockheed Martin Canada Rotary and Mission Systems, said in a statement.

Work has already started in Canada on the systems. The work to be done eventually in Chile will focus on integrating the systems on the ships and testing them.  In 2014, Lockheed Martin Canada signed a contract to conduct similar modernization work on two of the Royal New Zealand Navy’s frigates. Installation of those systems is expected to take place sometime later this year or early next year in Victoria, BC.

The Kongsberg Maritime camera systems group from the UK will be supplying large network Internet Protocol closed-circuit television system for Project Resolve, the interim supply ship for the Royal Canadian Navy. The system has been delivered to Chantier Davie in Levis, Quebec.