DAVID PUGLIESE DEFENCE WATCH: GROUND STATION LINKS SET UP FOR MARITIME MONITORING SATELLITE

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exactEarth Ltd., the Canadian subsidiary of COM DEV, is moving ahead with establishing its AIS (Automatic Identification System), a maritime tracking system that the Canadian Forces recently tested on the Pacific coast. Here is the update they have sent:

 

 

 

CAMBRIDGE, ON – exactEarth Ltd., the data services subsidiary of COM DEV International Ltd. has established a major component of its ground-based infrastructure through a long-term agreement with Norway’s Kongsberg Satellite Services AS (KSAT). KSAT will provide downlinking services at its Svalbard Satellite Station (“SvalSat”) facility to capture data from exactEarth’s planned constellation of AIS satellites.

 

Each exactEarth satellite will pass over Svalbard every 90 to 100 minutes. Located at 78 degrees north latitude, SvalSat is the world’s only established commercial station capable of downlinking on every satellite orbit.

 

exactEarth’s agreement with KSAT ensures that its customers will have up-to-date, reliable access to AIS (Automatic Identification System) data. SvalSat maintains around-the-clock staffing to service many of the world’s leading satellite operators. The facility offers a high speed backhaul link via redundant fiber optic cables to transmit all data to exactEarth’s data processing centre in Canada.

 

“Our agreement with KSAT offers us the best possible downlinking solution,” said Peter Mabson, President of exactEarth. “We have established a long-term relationship with a world-leading service provider, while at the same time eliminating the need to construct our own ground-based antenna system. In addition, KSAT is an established provider of satellite based Earth Observation services such as oil spill detection and ice monitoring to the Norwegian and International markets so this strategic partnership will open up new opportunities for both companies.”

 

Under the agreement, KSAT will build a dedicated tracking station, including an antenna system with a 7.3 meter dish, at its SvalSat site for use of exactEarth. In addition, KSAT will provide backup downlink capabilities using some of their existing antenna systems.

 

“We are excited to partner with exactEarth and to provide their ground station at SvalSat,” said Rolf Skatteboe, President of KSAT. “exactEarth’s space-based AIS solution will provide improved visibility into worldwide maritime traffic, and we look forward to playing a role in delivering that information to the global community. KSAT is the prime contractor for the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) oil spill detection service, and adding real time AIS information is a logical next step in the development of this service.”

AGREEMENT ALLOWS U.S. TO MOVE AFGHAN EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES OVER RUSSIAN TERRITORY

By Dave Pugliese Tue, Nov 17 2009 COMMENTS(0) David Pugliese’s Defence Watch

 

 

RIA Novosti is reporting that the regular transit of U.S. military cargo and personnel to Afghanistan over the Russian territory will start soon after the final logistics issues have been resolved.

 

More from RIA Novosit:

 

Moscow and Washington signed the Air Transit Agreement on July 6 during President Barack Obama’s visit to Russia.

 

“We anticipate that regular flights will start as soon as we have worked out the remaining logistical details,” U.S. State Department spokesman Ian Kelly told a daily press briefing on Monday.

 

“I think one of the points that we’re trying to iron out is notification processes that have to be in place. We’re also working with other countries on the transit routes since anything over-flying Russia to go to Afghanistan would have to fly over other countries as well,” the diplomat said.

 

The Pentagon plans to make at least 4,500 flights to Afghanistan via Russian airspace as the number of U.S. troops deployed in the fight against the Taliban militants and drug-trafficking in the war-torn Central Asian state is expected to swell to some 68,000.

 

TWO TYPES OF AUTOMATIC GRENADE LAUNCHERS BEING CONSIDERED FOR CANADIAN ARMY

By Dave Pugliese Tue, Nov 17 2009 COMMENTS(1) David Pugliese’s Defence Watch

 

 

 

By David Pugliese

Ottawa Citizen

 

Canada has received two bids to provide the Canadian Forces with a new automatic grenade launcher but no date has been set for when the winning weapon system is selected.

 

A Defence Department spokeswoman told Defense Watch on Monday that request for proposal for the Close Area Suppression Weapon (CASW) project closed on October 8 and the proposals are now being examined by Public Works and Government Services. There is no indication when the winning bid will be selected but defence sources expect that to be completed by January or February 2010.

 

Rheinmetall Canada and Singapore Technologies each put in a bid, Defense Watch has learned.

 

Rheinmetall had offered the army the Heckler and Koch 40mm grenade launcher which is being used by 16 militaries, including many NATO nations. Singapore Technologies, which has kept a low profile during the competition, has its own 40mm grenade launcher and ammunition. If the Singapore Technologies gun is selected, then Canada would join the small number of nations which use the weapon.

 

The winner will be selected on the basis of the lowest cost meeting the requirements outlined by the Army.

 

Testing of both weapons was done several weeks ago at Canadian Forces Base Gagetown, NB, according to sources.

 

The $100 million CASW project has been repeatedly delayed, with some industry officials pointing to it as an example of the major problems plague the Defence Department’s procurement system.

 

In 2004, Canadian Army officers said the weapons would be delivered in August 2006 for eventual use in Afghanistan. Then the delivery date was later set as the summer of 2008.

 

Later the delivery of the guns was revised to occur in late 2009.

 

The new date for delivery is now 2012.

 

The project had to be restarted in the spring after government bureaucrats ruled that a defence company’s paperwork was not filled out properly.

 

Only one firm, Rheinmetall Canada, based in Quebec, bid on the project and although the HK gun technically fit all the army’s requirements, the government disqualified the firm’s bid. Public Works informed Rheinmetall Canada that the financial forms attached to its proposal didn’t provide enough information.

 

Rheinmetall Canada argued that it submitted a fully compliant bid. However, the government did not accept that position and the procurement process was restarted this summer.

 

HK Grenade Launcher (photo below):

 

RHEINMETALL CANADA GETS NEW PRESIDENT

By Dave Pugliese Mon, Nov 16 2009 COMMENTS(0) David Pugliese’s Defence Watch

 

 

From Rheinmetall:

 

The board of directors of the Rheinmetall AG holding is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Andreas Knackstedt as President and Chief executive officer of Rheinmetall Canada Inc.

 

Mr. Knackstedt brings with him a proven track record as president and CEO of Pierburg America, Rheinmetall’s automotive division. Among other achievements, he successfully established Pierburg’s presence in America and implemented strategies to expand product and customer portfolio as well as business size. His twenty years of executive experience in international industry and research will be a great benefit to the organization.

 

In his new position at Rheinmetall Canada located in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, Mr. Knackstedt will lead a company renowned for its expertise in the design and manufacturing of air defence systems, remotely controlled weapon stations, and state-of-the-art wearable computers for the Canadian Forces and international customers.

 

 

 

ESTERLINE CMC SELECTED BY CHILEAN AIR FORCE FOR C-130 COCKPIT UPGRADE

By Dave Pugliese Mon, Nov 16 2009 COMMENTS(0) David Pugliese’s Defence Watch

 

 

This came in today from Esterline, a U.S.-owned company with its principal locations in Montreal, Quebec; Ottawa, Ontario; and Chicago, Illinois:

 

Esterline CMC Electronics (CMC) has been selected by the Chilean Air Force for the complete cockpit avionics systems upgrade of its C-130 fleet. As prime contractor, CMC is responsible for delivery of its complete Cockpit 9000 suite, including the supply of turnkey installation kits as well as all in-country activities such as touch labour, training and support.

“We are very honoured to work with the Chilean Air Force on this comprehensive modernization program,” said Greg Yeldon, president, Esterline CMC Electronics. He added: “Our Cockpit 9000 suite has been engineered using the most advanced and state-of-the-art components available today in order to provide operators with unmatched operational reliability and maintainability for long into the future.“
According to Chilean Air Force General Rojas, “We have been very impressed with CMC’s flexibility in adapting its Cockpit 9000 to our specific needs while being able to schedule a very rapid installation turnaround.  As a result, we will be able to look forward in a relatively short time to experiencing the many operational, safety, and economic benefits that this modern cockpit will bring to our C-130 aircraft.“

SENATORS TO VISIT CFB KINGSTON, PETAWAWA AND BORDEN

By Dave Pugliese Mon, Nov 16 2009 COMMENTS(0) David Pugliese’s Defence Watch

 

 

 

Members of the Senate Standing Committee on National Security and Defence will be touring a number of baes this week.

 

They will visiting CFB Petawawa, CFB Kingston, CFB Trenton and CFB Borden from November 17 – 19, 2009. The delegation includes Senator Colin Kenny, Chair of the Committee, Senator Pamela Wallin, Deputy Chair, and Senators Joseph Day, Michael Meighen and Wilfred Moore.
On Tuesday at Petawawa the senators will be briefed on the treatment of wounded soldiers, including the process of casualty care from injury through to recovery/release from the Canadian Forces/transition to civilian life. They will also meet injured soldiers to get their perspective on treatment and the casualty administration process and tour facilities available to soldiers at a Canadian Forces Base
On Wednesday at CFB Kingston, they will visit 1 Wing to be briefed on its capabilities and responsibilities, particularly with the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, and issues from deployment in theatre, visit the Land Forces Doctrine and Training System to discuss the Land Warfare Lessons Learned Process and meet the Commandant, Deans and Director Cadets to discuss the training and academic program delivered to Officer Cadets at RMC.
Over at CFB Trenton the same day, the senators will be briefed on the operation and maintenance of the transport fleet and support for overseas and domestic operations, visit the Canadian Forces Aerospace Warfare Centre to discuss lessons learned in theatre; the employment of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs); and the impact of the JUSTAS (Joint Unmanned Surveillance Target Acquisition System) Project.

At CFB Borden on Thursday the senators will be briefed by the Base Commander on resources for accommodation and training infrastructure meet with Canadian Forces Recruiting Group to discuss current recruiting as well as component and occupational transfers meet students from the Canadian Forces School of Administration and Logistics meet School Commandants to discuss trades training and issues they face.

CLOSE COMBAT VEHICLE PROJECT FALLS BEHIND SCHEDULE

By Dave Pugliese Mon, Nov 16 2009 COMMENTS(5) David Pugliese’s Defence Watch

 

 

 

BY DAVID PUGLIESE

OTTAWA CITIZEN

 

The Close Combat Vehicle project has fallen behind its schedule with the delay being attributed to issues around industrial region benefits associated with the program, Defence Watch has learned.

 

A solicitation of interest and qualifications or SOIQ was supposed to be issued in September to industry with a request for proposals to follow by mid-November.

 

Neither has been issued.

 

The Defence Department has declined to discuss the CCV project or allow officials to do interviews on the acquisition, estimated to be worth around $1 billion. As a general rule, neither the Canadian Army nor the office of Assistant Deputy Minister Dan Ross allow media interviews on equipment programs.

 

Public Works and Government Services spokeswoman Celine Tremblay noted that the government is working closely with the defence industry to address requirements for the Close Combat Vehicle.

 

An industry day was held on September 2 and 3 and feedback was received during one-on-one sessions with defence contractors, she added. That information is being reviewed and will be used to help modify the solicitation of interest and qualifications. The SOIQ allows industry to identify its desire to take part in the project and assess whether it can meet DND’s requirements.

 

“The Government of Canada will issue the SOIQ for the Close Combat Vehicle when the review process is complete,” Tremblay stated in an email.

 

Defence sources say there is general agreement within the bureaucracy on the need for the CCV armoured vehicle program but there has been some concern about how industrial regional benefits associated with the project will be handled. The Harper government has been concerned about the criticism that it has received over the last year that billions of dollars have been spent or earmarked for new military equipment but Canada’s industry has seen little work coming from that spending. Many of the contracts have been awarded to U.S. firms, although those companies promise to provide industrial regional benefits to domestic industry.

 

However, defence sources believe that government concerns regarding industrial regional benefits on the CCV can be dealt with and they expect the project to proceed within the next month or so. Some DND procurement officials are suggesting that the requirement for a SOIQ be dropped and the government proceed directly to issuing a request for proposals.

 

The Close Combat Vehicle project will involve the procurement and fielding of the armoured vehicles as well as the development and implementation of a through-life in-service support contract.

 

The Canadian Forces will acquire 108 vehicles with an option for up to 30 more. The contract is scheduled to be awarded by summer 2011 with initial operational capability (IOC) declared one year later in July 2012, according to DND. The CCV is expected to reach full operational capability by July 2015.

 

The Canadian Forces sees the CCV as bridging the gap between light armoured vehicles (five to 20 tonnes) and heavy armoured vehicles (more than 45 tonnes), coming in between 25 and 45 tonnes. The CCV will allow infantry to operate in support of the Leopard 2 tanks, providing the Army with a more balanced and integrated fleet, the Canadian Forces has stated in a background information sheet on the project.

 

Nexter Systems, the French armored vehicle firm,  is offering the Canadian Army its wheeled VBCI armoured vehicle for the CCV project. The Hagglund’s tracked CV90 from BAE Systems is also being offered for CCV.

 

At this point, armoured vehicle manufacturer Rheinmetall has not indicated whether it will take part in the project.

 

LAST GROUP OF VALCARTIER MILITARY PERSONNEL BACK HOME MONDAY FROM AFGHANISTAN

By Dave Pugliese Sun, Nov 15 2009 COMMENTS(0) David Pugliese’s Defence Watch

 

 

 

Tte last group of Valcartier military personnel to return back home from Kandahar arrives on Monday, according to a press release from the Army. About 30 troops, which were serving in Joint Task Force Afghanistan Rotation 7, arrive in Quebec City.

 

This 27th flight will constitute the last of a series for Joint Task Force Afghanistan Rotation 7 contingent since September 26, 2009.

COUNTER-INSURGENCY STILL TO BE PROMINENT IN THE FUTURE FOR CANADA’S ARMY SAYS COMMANDER

By Dave Pugliese Sun, Nov 15 2009 COMMENTS(1) David Pugliese’s Defence Watch

 

 

 

Army commander Lt.-Gen. Andrew Leslie tells the Canadian Press in Kandahar that counter-insurgency operations will eventually displace the army’s traditional peacemaking capabilities.

 

Leslie believes the current geo-political situation, in which developed countries are concerned about the security threats presented by failed states, has made the long-time penchant for peacemaking irrelevant, according to Canadian Press.

 

Here is more from the article:

 

“Peacemaking still saw the diplomatic political powers interacting with protagonists who were willing to sit down at a conference table with essential force being almost a last resort,” Leslie said in an interview with The Canadian Press during a recent trip to Afghanistan.

 

“It’s not going to be peacemaking anymore, it’s going to be counter-insurgency because the odds of us doing peacemaking between two functional states are probably pretty low, ergo COIN (counter-insurgency).”

 

“Counter-insurgency will not form the cornerstone of our operations, but it’s right in the centre of our spectrum of capabilities we’re going to train for.”

 

BOOK REVIEW: NEW HISTORY BOOK AIMS TO HELP CANADIANS RECONNECT WITH THE NAVY

By Dave Pugliese Sun, Nov 15 2009 COMMENTS(0) David Pugliese’s Defence Watch

 

 

Book Review

By David Pugliese

 

The Naval Service of Canada, 1910-2010

The Centennial Story

Edited by Richard Gimblett

 

280 pages

$40.00

Published by the Dundurn Group

 

The Naval Service of Canada is a first-rate and heavily illustrated volume that will appeal to those currently serving or retired from the navy or anyone with a strong interest in Canadian maritime matters.

 

The book was produced under the guidance of the Canadian Naval Centennial Project and chronicles the full century of the Canadian Navy. Edited by Richard Gimblett, it covers the origins of the navy back to 1867 as well as its operations in both world wars, the Korean conflict and the postwar period. It also examines what the future might be like for the navy.

 

The book is more of a general overview of Canada’s naval history, as opposed to an in-depth look; it is indeed more akin to a coffee-table style book.

 

With that in mind, readers will appreciate the top-notch color and black and white photos (some photos never seen before), and in particular the high quality art plates detailing Canada’s ships and submarines. In addition, the drawings of technical maritime innovations of the Canadian Navy will also be welcome.

 

Besides the more than 100 years of history outlined in the book, there is an excellent chapter by James Boutilier on the future of the navy and where the service could find itself being used in the coming decades.

 

One of the goals of the Canadian Naval Centennial Project is to foster a renewed awareness among Canadians of the navy and its contributions to the country, as well as the role the service plays within the Canadian Forces.

 

Gimblett says The Naval Service of Canada was produced “to give an accessible survey history to people who would not normally read naval history, and the point is to help Canadians better connect with their navy.”

 

Will this book help in that?

 

Perhaps, if enough libraries purchase it. At $40 a book, it will likely not appeal to the general public. But then again, with the holiday season coming it would make an excellent gift for those interested in maritime matters, or as I mentioned, current or retired navy personnel.

 

The Commander of Maritime Command, Vice-Admiral Dean McFadden, will preside over the launch of the book on Monday at the NDHQ Chief’s and Petty Officer’s mess, 4 Queen Elizabeth Drive, in Ottawa at 11:30 a.m.

 

DID THE CANADIAN FORCES DOWNPLAY THE CIVILIAN HELP RECEIVED DURING THE ICE FLOE RESCUE?

By Dave Pugliese Sat, Nov 14 2009 COMMENTS(2) David Pugliese’s Defence Watch

 

 

 

The Canadian American Strategic Review has an interesting commentary on their contention that the Canadian Forces glossed over the civilian help that the CF received during the recent rescue of the young Inuit hunter in the Arctic. Here is part of what CASR writes, with a link to the full commentary:

 

“The dramatic rescue of  17 year old  Inuit hunter, Jupi Angootealuk, has drawn public attention to the aerial search and rescue capabilities of the Canadian Forces once again. The press release from 17 Wing Winnipeg ( reproduced below ) rightly celebrates the achievement of  SAR Techs. No one questions the skill or bravery of  people willing to parachute on to ice floes to effect a rescue. But, as usual, the PAffO leaves questions unanswered while glossing over  contributions by  non-military people.

 

In a revised press release,  it was acknowledged that the “search [ had ] included assistance from an aircraft operated by Kenn Borek Air” but this was after media reports  had made clear that  the youth was originally spotted  on the ice floe  by Phil Amos who circled to drop supplies and to try to drive young polar bears away.”  http://www.casr.ca/doc-dnd-ice-floe-rescue.htm

 

 

 

 

http://www.casr.ca/doc-dnd-ice-floe-rescue.htm

 

 

In addition, CASR has an editorial on the locations of SAR bases in Canada. Link is here: http://www.casr.ca/ft-sar-civilian-1.htm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

QUESTIONS LINGER ABOUT U.S. SUBMARINE OPERATION IN THE ARCTIC

By Dave Pugliese Fri, Nov 13 2009 COMMENTS(3) David Pugliese’s Defence Watch

 

 

By David Pugliese

Ottawa Citizen

 

 

The Canadian government won’t say whether the U.S. informed it in advance about a nuclear-powered submarine which recently surfaced near the North Pole.

 

The U.S. Navy has noted that the submarine, USS Texas, recently completed its Arctic mission. The 7,800-ton sub, with a crew of 134, completed what some U.S. media outlets are calling a historic month-long exercise near the North Pole since it became the first of the new Virginia-class submarines not only to operate in the Arctic, but also to surface through the ice.

 

It is unclear exactly what route the submarine took and whether the U.S. requested permission from Canada to operate in any waters claimed by Canada. Before being elected prime minister, Stephen Harper complained about U.S. submarines operating in Canadian waters without permission and he vowed to put an end to that.

 

Defence Watch asked Defence Minister Peter MacKay for comment but that request was passed on to Foreign Affairs.

 

In an email late Friday night Foreign Affairs spokesman Alain Cacchione stated that information about submarine operations is considered secret. He noted that Canada permits shipping through Canadian Arctic waters provided vessels respect Canadian controls “related to safety, security, the environment and Inuit interests.”

 

There are safety protocols in place under NATO that provide for the exchange of information on allied submarine movements, Cacchione added.

 

Defence sources, however, note that the Pentagon does not ask Canada for permission if its submarines need to operate in Arctic areas that Canada claims sovereignty over but the U.S. considers as international waters. That includes the Northwest Passage.

 

The Canadian government has noted an increase in Russian activities in the North. Both MacKay and Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon have taken a hard-line in regard to excursions by the Russians into the Arctic. Earlier this year, MacKay accused the Russians of sending military aircraft too close to Canadian northern airspace. He vowed that Canadian Forces CF-18 fighter aircraft would intercept every Russian aircraft each and every time they come near the country. Cannon told reporters that Canada “will not be bullied” by a Russian plan to create a new security force for the Arctic. Canada has its own plans for a new response force for the Arctic.

 

In the past, U.S. Arctic submarine exercises have included firing unarmed torpedoes to test their performance in frigid waters. The U.S. Navy did not release details on what, if any, weapons tests were performed by the Texas.

 

The sub remained on the surface for 24 hours.

 

“Words cannot describe how impressed I am with my crew’s performance and professionalism,” Cmdr. Robert Roncska, the Texas’ commanding officer, said of the Arctic mission. “The ship performed extremely well in the cold under-ice environment, and I am honored to carry on the tradition of Arctic operations by our awesome submarine force,” Roncska added in a recent release by the U.S. Pacific Fleet submarine force.

 

Photo below of USS Texas in Arctic courtesy U.S. Navy:

 

 

For my earlier article on Canada’s new Arctic units go here:

 

http://davidpugliese.wordpress.com/2009/11/13/canadas-new-arctic-force-by-david-pugliese-ottawa-citizen-journalist/

 

COMMANDER AND PERSONNEL FROM AFGHAN HELICOPTER FORCE SOON TO RETURN HOME

By Dave Pugliese Fri, Nov 13 2009 COMMENTS(0) David Pugliese’s Defence Watch

 

 

 

Lieutenant-Colonel Marc Bigaouette, Commander of Canadian Helicopter Force Afghanistan (CHF(A)), along with about 115 other Canadian Forces members from CFB Valcartier, Quebec will return home on Saturday.

 

Canadian Helicopter Force Afghanistan is a component of the Joint Task Force Afghanistan Aviation Battalion and includes 174 military members, eight CH 146 Griffon helicopters and six CH 147 Chinook helicopters. CHF(A)’s tasks include transporting troops and freight in order to reduce the use of ground convoys, which expose the troops to ambushes, land mines and improvised explosive devices, according to the Canadian Forces press release.

 

This group of about 115 soldiers is the 26th of a contingent that consists of approximately 1,640 troops from Valcartier scheduled to return, the release noted. They have been on the Canadian mission in Afghanistan since mid-March 2009.

 

MAGELLAN AEROSPACE RECEIVES B-1 BOMBER CONTRACT

By Dave Pugliese Fri, Nov 13 2009 COMMENTS(0) David Pugliese’s Defence Watch

 

 

Magellan Aerospace Corporation of Toronto says it has been awarded a contract by The Boeing Company, Integrated Defense Systems, Long Beach, California, to build spare engine shrouds for the U.S. Air Force fleet of B-1Bs. Aeronca, Inc., a subsidiary of Magellan Aerospace USA, Inc., will produce the light weight titanium honeycomb engine shroud panels that protect the aft fuselage of the airplane from heat generated by the engines, according to the company.

 

The contract includes tooling refurbishment or replacement and production hardware and is estimated to generate revenue of $3.5 million U.S.

 

The B-1B uses three shrouds per engine for a total of twelve panels per aircraft. Magellan Aerospace notes that contract will supply the Air Force with critically needed spares in light of the age of the fleet – the first B-1B entered service in June 1985.

 

Aeronca, located in Middletown, Ohio, was the original manufacturer of these panels. The company specializes in the development and manufacture of high heat resistant metal structures for air and space applications.

 

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// ]]> actEarth Ltd., the Canadian subsidiary of COM DEV, is moving ahead with establishing its AIS (Automatic Identification System), a maritime tracking system that the Canadian Forces recently tested on the Pacific coast. Here is the update they have sent:

 

 

 

CAMBRIDGE, ON – exactEarth Ltd., the data services subsidiary of COM DEV International Ltd. has established a major component of its ground-based infrastructure through a long-term agreement with Norway’s Kongsberg Satellite Services AS (KSAT). KSAT will provide downlinking services at its Svalbard Satellite Station (“SvalSat”) facility to capture data from exactEarth’s planned constellation of AIS satellites.

 

Each exactEarth satellite will pass over Svalbard every 90 to 100 minutes. Located at 78 degrees north latitude, SvalSat is the world’s only established commercial station capable of downlinking on every satellite orbit.

 

exactEarth’s agreement with KSAT ensures that its customers will have up-to-date, reliable access to AIS (Automatic Identification System) data. SvalSat maintains around-the-clock staffing to service many of the world’s leading satellite operators. The facility offers a high speed backhaul link via redundant fiber optic cables to transmit all data to exactEarth’s data processing centre in Canada.

 

“Our agreement with KSAT offers us the best possible downlinking solution,” said Peter Mabson, President of exactEarth. “We have established a long-term relationship with a world-leading service provider, while at the same time eliminating the need to construct our own ground-based antenna system. In addition, KSAT is an established provider of satellite based Earth Observation services such as oil spill detection and ice monitoring to the Norwegian and International markets so this strategic partnership will open up new opportunities for both companies.”

 

Under the agreement, KSAT will build a dedicated tracking station, including an antenna system with a 7.3 meter dish, at its SvalSat site for use of exactEarth. In addition, KSAT will provide backup downlink capabilities using some of their existing antenna systems.

 

“We are excited to partner with exactEarth and to provide their ground station at SvalSat,” said Rolf Skatteboe, President of KSAT. “exactEarth’s space-based AIS solution will provide improved visibility into worldwide maritime traffic, and we look forward to playing a role in delivering that information to the global community. KSAT is the prime contractor for the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) oil spill detection service, and adding real time AIS information is a logical next step in the development of this service.”

AGREEMENT ALLOWS U.S. TO MOVE AFGHAN EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES OVER RUSSIAN TERRITORY

By Dave Pugliese Tue, Nov 17 2009 COMMENTS(0) David Pugliese’s Defence Watch

 

 

RIA Novosti is reporting that the regular transit of U.S. military cargo and personnel to Afghanistan over the Russian territory will start soon after the final logistics issues have been resolved.

 

More from RIA Novosit:

 

Moscow and Washington signed the Air Transit Agreement on July 6 during President Barack Obama’s visit to Russia.

 

“We anticipate that regular flights will start as soon as we have worked out the remaining logistical details,” U.S. State Department spokesman Ian Kelly told a daily press briefing on Monday.

 

“I think one of the points that we’re trying to iron out is notification processes that have to be in place. We’re also working with other countries on the transit routes since anything over-flying Russia to go to Afghanistan would have to fly over other countries as well,” the diplomat said.

 

The Pentagon plans to make at least 4,500 flights to Afghanistan via Russian airspace as the number of U.S. troops deployed in the fight against the Taliban militants and drug-trafficking in the war-torn Central Asian state is expected to swell to some 68,000.

 

TWO TYPES OF AUTOMATIC GRENADE LAUNCHERS BEING CONSIDERED FOR CANADIAN ARMY

By Dave Pugliese Tue, Nov 17 2009 COMMENTS(1) David Pugliese’s Defence Watch

 

 

 

By David Pugliese

Ottawa Citizen

 

Canada has received two bids to provide the Canadian Forces with a new automatic grenade launcher but no date has been set for when the winning weapon system is selected.

 

A Defence Department spokeswoman told Defense Watch on Monday that request for proposal for the Close Area Suppression Weapon (CASW) project closed on October 8 and the proposals are now being examined by Public Works and Government Services. There is no indication when the winning bid will be selected but defence sources expect that to be completed by January or February 2010.

 

Rheinmetall Canada and Singapore Technologies each put in a bid, Defense Watch has learned.

 

Rheinmetall had offered the army the Heckler and Koch 40mm grenade launcher which is being used by 16 militaries, including many NATO nations. Singapore Technologies, which has kept a low profile during the competition, has its own 40mm grenade launcher and ammunition. If the Singapore Technologies gun is selected, then Canada would join the small number of nations which use the weapon.

 

The winner will be selected on the basis of the lowest cost meeting the requirements outlined by the Army.

 

Testing of both weapons was done several weeks ago at Canadian Forces Base Gagetown, NB, according to sources.

 

The $100 million CASW project has been repeatedly delayed, with some industry officials pointing to it as an example of the major problems plague the Defence Department’s procurement system.

 

In 2004, Canadian Army officers said the weapons would be delivered in August 2006 for eventual use in Afghanistan. Then the delivery date was later set as the summer of 2008.

 

Later the delivery of the guns was revised to occur in late 2009.

 

The new date for delivery is now 2012.

 

The project had to be restarted in the spring after government bureaucrats ruled that a defence company’s paperwork was not filled out properly.

 

Only one firm, Rheinmetall Canada, based in Quebec, bid on the project and although the HK gun technically fit all the army’s requirements, the government disqualified the firm’s bid. Public Works informed Rheinmetall Canada that the financial forms attached to its proposal didn’t provide enough information.

 

Rheinmetall Canada argued that it submitted a fully compliant bid. However, the government did not accept that position and the procurement process was restarted this summer.

 

HK Grenade Launcher (photo below):

 

RHEINMETALL CANADA GETS NEW PRESIDENT

By Dave Pugliese Mon, Nov 16 2009 COMMENTS(0) David Pugliese’s Defence Watch

 

 

From Rheinmetall:

 

The board of directors of the Rheinmetall AG holding is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Andreas Knackstedt as President and Chief executive officer of Rheinmetall Canada Inc.

 

Mr. Knackstedt brings with him a proven track record as president and CEO of Pierburg America, Rheinmetall’s automotive division. Among other achievements, he successfully established Pierburg’s presence in America and implemented strategies to expand product and customer portfolio as well as business size. His twenty years of executive experience in international industry and research will be a great benefit to the organization.

 

In his new position at Rheinmetall Canada located in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, Mr. Knackstedt will lead a company renowned for its expertise in the design and manufacturing of air defence systems, remotely controlled weapon stations, and state-of-the-art wearable computers for the Canadian Forces and international customers.

 

 

 

ESTERLINE CMC SELECTED BY CHILEAN AIR FORCE FOR C-130 COCKPIT UPGRADE

By Dave Pugliese Mon, Nov 16 2009 COMMENTS(0) David Pugliese’s Defence Watch

 

 

This came in today from Esterline, a U.S.-owned company with its principal locations in Montreal, Quebec; Ottawa, Ontario; and Chicago, Illinois:

 

Esterline CMC Electronics (CMC) has been selected by the Chilean Air Force for the complete cockpit avionics systems upgrade of its C-130 fleet. As prime contractor, CMC is responsible for delivery of its complete Cockpit 9000 suite, including the supply of turnkey installation kits as well as all in-country activities such as touch labour, training and support.

“We are very honoured to work with the Chilean Air Force on this comprehensive modernization program,” said Greg Yeldon, president, Esterline CMC Electronics. He added: “Our Cockpit 9000 suite has been engineered using the most advanced and state-of-the-art components available today in order to provide operators with unmatched operational reliability and maintainability for long into the future.“
According to Chilean Air Force General Rojas, “We have been very impressed with CMC’s flexibility in adapting its Cockpit 9000 to our specific needs while being able to schedule a very rapid installation turnaround.  As a result, we will be able to look forward in a relatively short time to experiencing the many operational, safety, and economic benefits that this modern cockpit will bring to our C-130 aircraft.“

SENATORS TO VISIT CFB KINGSTON, PETAWAWA AND BORDEN

By Dave Pugliese Mon, Nov 16 2009 COMMENTS(0) David Pugliese’s Defence Watch

 

 

 

Members of the Senate Standing Committee on National Security and Defence will be touring a number of baes this week.

 

They will visiting CFB Petawawa, CFB Kingston, CFB Trenton and CFB Borden from November 17 – 19, 2009. The delegation includes Senator Colin Kenny, Chair of the Committee, Senator Pamela Wallin, Deputy Chair, and Senators Joseph Day, Michael Meighen and Wilfred Moore.
On Tuesday at Petawawa the senators will be briefed on the treatment of wounded soldiers, including the process of casualty care from injury through to recovery/release from the Canadian Forces/transition to civilian life. They will also meet injured soldiers to get their perspective on treatment and the casualty administration process and tour facilities available to soldiers at a Canadian Forces Base
On Wednesday at CFB Kingston, they will visit 1 Wing to be briefed on its capabilities and responsibilities, particularly with the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, and issues from deployment in theatre, visit the Land Forces Doctrine and Training System to discuss the Land Warfare Lessons Learned Process and meet the Commandant, Deans and Director Cadets to discuss the training and academic program delivered to Officer Cadets at RMC.
Over at CFB Trenton the same day, the senators will be briefed on the operation and maintenance of the transport fleet and support for overseas and domestic operations, visit the Canadian Forces Aerospace Warfare Centre to discuss lessons learned in theatre; the employment of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs); and the impact of the JUSTAS (Joint Unmanned Surveillance Target Acquisition System) Project.

At CFB Borden on Thursday the senators will be briefed by the Base Commander on resources for accommodation and training infrastructure meet with Canadian Forces Recruiting Group to discuss current recruiting as well as component and occupational transfers meet students from the Canadian Forces School of Administration and Logistics meet School Commandants to discuss trades training and issues they face.

CLOSE COMBAT VEHICLE PROJECT FALLS BEHIND SCHEDULE

By Dave Pugliese Mon, Nov 16 2009 COMMENTS(5) David Pugliese’s Defence Watch

 

 

 

BY DAVID PUGLIESE

OTTAWA CITIZEN

 

The Close Combat Vehicle project has fallen behind its schedule with the delay being attributed to issues around industrial region benefits associated with the program, Defence Watch has learned.

 

A solicitation of interest and qualifications or SOIQ was supposed to be issued in September to industry with a request for proposals to follow by mid-November.

 

Neither has been issued.

 

The Defence Department has declined to discuss the CCV project or allow officials to do interviews on the acquisition, estimated to be worth around $1 billion. As a general rule, neither the Canadian Army nor the office of Assistant Deputy Minister Dan Ross allow media interviews on equipment programs.

 

Public Works and Government Services spokeswoman Celine Tremblay noted that the government is working closely with the defence industry to address requirements for the Close Combat Vehicle.

 

An industry day was held on September 2 and 3 and feedback was received during one-on-one sessions with defence contractors, she added. That information is being reviewed and will be used to help modify the solicitation of interest and qualifications. The SOIQ allows industry to identify its desire to take part in the project and assess whether it can meet DND’s requirements.

 

“The Government of Canada will issue the SOIQ for the Close Combat Vehicle when the review process is complete,” Tremblay stated in an email.

 

Defence sources say there is general agreement within the bureaucracy on the need for the CCV armoured vehicle program but there has been some concern about how industrial regional benefits associated with the project will be handled. The Harper government has been concerned about the criticism that it has received over the last year that billions of dollars have been spent or earmarked for new military equipment but Canada’s industry has seen little work coming from that spending. Many of the contracts have been awarded to U.S. firms, although those companies promise to provide industrial regional benefits to domestic industry.

 

However, defence sources believe that government concerns regarding industrial regional benefits on the CCV can be dealt with and they expect the project to proceed within the next month or so. Some DND procurement officials are suggesting that the requirement for a SOIQ be dropped and the government proceed directly to issuing a request for proposals.

 

The Close Combat Vehicle project will involve the procurement and fielding of the armoured vehicles as well as the development and implementation of a through-life in-service support contract.

 

The Canadian Forces will acquire 108 vehicles with an option for up to 30 more. The contract is scheduled to be awarded by summer 2011 with initial operational capability (IOC) declared one year later in July 2012, according to DND. The CCV is expected to reach full operational capability by July 2015.

 

The Canadian Forces sees the CCV as bridging the gap between light armoured vehicles (five to 20 tonnes) and heavy armoured vehicles (more than 45 tonnes), coming in between 25 and 45 tonnes. The CCV will allow infantry to operate in support of the Leopard 2 tanks, providing the Army with a more balanced and integrated fleet, the Canadian Forces has stated in a background information sheet on the project.

 

Nexter Systems, the French armored vehicle firm,  is offering the Canadian Army its wheeled VBCI armoured vehicle for the CCV project. The Hagglund’s tracked CV90 from BAE Systems is also being offered for CCV.

 

At this point, armoured vehicle manufacturer Rheinmetall has not indicated whether it will take part in the project.

 

LAST GROUP OF VALCARTIER MILITARY PERSONNEL BACK HOME MONDAY FROM AFGHANISTAN

By Dave Pugliese Sun, Nov 15 2009 COMMENTS(0) David Pugliese’s Defence Watch

 

 

 

Tte last group of Valcartier military personnel to return back home from Kandahar arrives on Monday, according to a press release from the Army. About 30 troops, which were serving in Joint Task Force Afghanistan Rotation 7, arrive in Quebec City.

 

This 27th flight will constitute the last of a series for Joint Task Force Afghanistan Rotation 7 contingent since September 26, 2009.

COUNTER-INSURGENCY STILL TO BE PROMINENT IN THE FUTURE FOR CANADA’S ARMY SAYS COMMANDER

By Dave Pugliese Sun, Nov 15 2009 COMMENTS(1) David Pugliese’s Defence Watch

 

 

 

Army commander Lt.-Gen. Andrew Leslie tells the Canadian Press in Kandahar that counter-insurgency operations will eventually displace the army’s traditional peacemaking capabilities.

 

Leslie believes the current geo-political situation, in which developed countries are concerned about the security threats presented by failed states, has made the long-time penchant for peacemaking irrelevant, according to Canadian Press.

 

Here is more from the article:

 

“Peacemaking still saw the diplomatic political powers interacting with protagonists who were willing to sit down at a conference table with essential force being almost a last resort,” Leslie said in an interview with The Canadian Press during a recent trip to Afghanistan.

 

“It’s not going to be peacemaking anymore, it’s going to be counter-insurgency because the odds of us doing peacemaking between two functional states are probably pretty low, ergo COIN (counter-insurgency).”

 

“Counter-insurgency will not form the cornerstone of our operations, but it’s right in the centre of our spectrum of capabilities we’re going to train for.”

 

BOOK REVIEW: NEW HISTORY BOOK AIMS TO HELP CANADIANS RECONNECT WITH THE NAVY

By Dave Pugliese Sun, Nov 15 2009 COMMENTS(0) David Pugliese’s Defence Watch

 

 

Book Review

By David Pugliese

 

The Naval Service of Canada, 1910-2010

The Centennial Story

Edited by Richard Gimblett

 

280 pages

$40.00

Published by the Dundurn Group

 

The Naval Service of Canada is a first-rate and heavily illustrated volume that will appeal to those currently serving or retired from the navy or anyone with a strong interest in Canadian maritime matters.

 

The book was produced under the guidance of the Canadian Naval Centennial Project and chronicles the full century of the Canadian Navy. Edited by Richard Gimblett, it covers the origins of the navy back to 1867 as well as its operations in both world wars, the Korean conflict and the postwar period. It also examines what the future might be like for the navy.

 

The book is more of a general overview of Canada’s naval history, as opposed to an in-depth look; it is indeed more akin to a coffee-table style book.

 

With that in mind, readers will appreciate the top-notch color and black and white photos (some photos never seen before), and in particular the high quality art plates detailing Canada’s ships and submarines. In addition, the drawings of technical maritime innovations of the Canadian Navy will also be welcome.

 

Besides the more than 100 years of history outlined in the book, there is an excellent chapter by James Boutilier on the future of the navy and where the service could find itself being used in the coming decades.

 

One of the goals of the Canadian Naval Centennial Project is to foster a renewed awareness among Canadians of the navy and its contributions to the country, as well as the role the service plays within the Canadian Forces.

 

Gimblett says The Naval Service of Canada was produced “to give an accessible survey history to people who would not normally read naval history, and the point is to help Canadians better connect with their navy.”

 

Will this book help in that?

 

Perhaps, if enough libraries purchase it. At $40 a book, it will likely not appeal to the general public. But then again, with the holiday season coming it would make an excellent gift for those interested in maritime matters, or as I mentioned, current or retired navy personnel.

 

The Commander of Maritime Command, Vice-Admiral Dean McFadden, will preside over the launch of the book on Monday at the NDHQ Chief’s and Petty Officer’s mess, 4 Queen Elizabeth Drive, in Ottawa at 11:30 a.m.

 

DID THE CANADIAN FORCES DOWNPLAY THE CIVILIAN HELP RECEIVED DURING THE ICE FLOE RESCUE?

By Dave Pugliese Sat, Nov 14 2009 COMMENTS(2) David Pugliese’s Defence Watch

 

 

 

The Canadian American Strategic Review has an interesting commentary on their contention that the Canadian Forces glossed over the civilian help that the CF received during the recent rescue of the young Inuit hunter in the Arctic. Here is part of what CASR writes, with a link to the full commentary:

 

“The dramatic rescue of  17 year old  Inuit hunter, Jupi Angootealuk, has drawn public attention to the aerial search and rescue capabilities of the Canadian Forces once again. The press release from 17 Wing Winnipeg ( reproduced below ) rightly celebrates the achievement of  SAR Techs. No one questions the skill or bravery of  people willing to parachute on to ice floes to effect a rescue. But, as usual, the PAffO leaves questions unanswered while glossing over  contributions by  non-military people.

 

In a revised press release,  it was acknowledged that the “search [ had ] included assistance from an aircraft operated by Kenn Borek Air” but this was after media reports  had made clear that  the youth was originally spotted  on the ice floe  by Phil Amos who circled to drop supplies and to try to drive young polar bears away.”  http://www.casr.ca/doc-dnd-ice-floe-rescue.htm

 

 

 

 

http://www.casr.ca/doc-dnd-ice-floe-rescue.htm

 

 

In addition, CASR has an editorial on the locations of SAR bases in Canada. Link is here: http://www.casr.ca/ft-sar-civilian-1.htm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

QUESTIONS LINGER ABOUT U.S. SUBMARINE OPERATION IN THE ARCTIC

By Dave Pugliese Fri, Nov 13 2009 COMMENTS(3) David Pugliese’s Defence Watch

 

 

By David Pugliese

Ottawa Citizen

 

 

The Canadian government won’t say whether the U.S. informed it in advance about a nuclear-powered submarine which recently surfaced near the North Pole.

 

The U.S. Navy has noted that the submarine, USS Texas, recently completed its Arctic mission. The 7,800-ton sub, with a crew of 134, completed what some U.S. media outlets are calling a historic month-long exercise near the North Pole since it became the first of the new Virginia-class submarines not only to operate in the Arctic, but also to surface through the ice.

 

It is unclear exactly what route the submarine took and whether the U.S. requested permission from Canada to operate in any waters claimed by Canada. Before being elected prime minister, Stephen Harper complained about U.S. submarines operating in Canadian waters without permission and he vowed to put an end to that.

 

Defence Watch asked Defence Minister Peter MacKay for comment but that request was passed on to Foreign Affairs.

 

In an email late Friday night Foreign Affairs spokesman Alain Cacchione stated that information about submarine operations is considered secret. He noted that Canada permits shipping through Canadian Arctic waters provided vessels respect Canadian controls “related to safety, security, the environment and Inuit interests.”

 

There are safety protocols in place under NATO that provide for the exchange of information on allied submarine movements, Cacchione added.

 

Defence sources, however, note that the Pentagon does not ask Canada for permission if its submarines need to operate in Arctic areas that Canada claims sovereignty over but the U.S. considers as international waters. That includes the Northwest Passage.

 

The Canadian government has noted an increase in Russian activities in the North. Both MacKay and Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon have taken a hard-line in regard to excursions by the Russians into the Arctic. Earlier this year, MacKay accused the Russians of sending military aircraft too close to Canadian northern airspace. He vowed that Canadian Forces CF-18 fighter aircraft would intercept every Russian aircraft each and every time they come near the country. Cannon told reporters that Canada “will not be bullied” by a Russian plan to create a new security force for the Arctic. Canada has its own plans for a new response force for the Arctic.

 

In the past, U.S. Arctic submarine exercises have included firing unarmed torpedoes to test their performance in frigid waters. The U.S. Navy did not release details on what, if any, weapons tests were performed by the Texas.

 

The sub remained on the surface for 24 hours.

 

“Words cannot describe how impressed I am with my crew’s performance and professionalism,” Cmdr. Robert Roncska, the Texas’ commanding officer, said of the Arctic mission. “The ship performed extremely well in the cold under-ice environment, and I am honored to carry on the tradition of Arctic operations by our awesome submarine force,” Roncska added in a recent release by the U.S. Pacific Fleet submarine force.

 

Photo below of USS Texas in Arctic courtesy U.S. Navy:

 

 

For my earlier article on Canada’s new Arctic units go here:

 

http://davidpugliese.wordpress.com/2009/11/13/canadas-new-arctic-force-by-david-pugliese-ottawa-citizen-journalist/

 

COMMANDER AND PERSONNEL FROM AFGHAN HELICOPTER FORCE SOON TO RETURN HOME

By Dave Pugliese Fri, Nov 13 2009 COMMENTS(0) David Pugliese’s Defence Watch

 

 

 

Lieutenant-Colonel Marc Bigaouette, Commander of Canadian Helicopter Force Afghanistan (CHF(A)), along with about 115 other Canadian Forces members from CFB Valcartier, Quebec will return home on Saturday.

 

Canadian Helicopter Force Afghanistan is a component of the Joint Task Force Afghanistan Aviation Battalion and includes 174 military members, eight CH 146 Griffon helicopters and six CH 147 Chinook helicopters. CHF(A)’s tasks include transporting troops and freight in order to reduce the use of ground convoys, which expose the troops to ambushes, land mines and improvised explosive devices, according to the Canadian Forces press release.

 

This group of about 115 soldiers is the 26th of a contingent that consists of approximately 1,640 troops from Valcartier scheduled to return, the release noted. They have been on the Canadian mission in Afghanistan since mid-March 2009.

 

MAGELLAN AEROSPACE RECEIVES B-1 BOMBER CONTRACT

By Dave Pugliese Fri, Nov 13 2009 COMMENTS(0) David Pugliese’s Defence Watch

 

 

Magellan Aerospace Corporation of Toronto says it has been awarded a contract by The Boeing Company, Integrated Defense Systems, Long Beach, California, to build spare engine shrouds for the U.S. Air Force fleet of B-1Bs. Aeronca, Inc., a subsidiary of Magellan Aerospace USA, Inc., will produce the light weight titanium honeycomb engine shroud panels that protect the aft fuselage of the airplane from heat generated by the engines, according to the company.

 

The contract includes tooling refurbishment or replacement and production hardware and is estimated to generate revenue of $3.5 million U.S.

 

The B-1B uses three shrouds per engine for a total of twelve panels per aircraft. Magellan Aerospace notes that contract will supply the Air Force with critically needed spares in light of the age of the fleet – the first B-1B entered service in June 1985.

 

Aeronca, located in Middletown, Ohio, was the original manufacturer of these panels. The company specializes in the development and manufacture of high heat resistant metal structures for air and space applications.

 

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One Response to “DAVID PUGLIESE DEFENCE WATCH: GROUND STATION LINKS SET UP FOR MARITIME MONITORING SATELLITE”

  1. 2012 Says:

    nice article.. thanks for sharing.. :)

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