Archive for the ‘Navy’ Category

A COMPARISON BETWEEN CANADA’S JOINT SUPPORT SHIP AND THE NEW DUTCH JSS; DAVID PUGLIESE OTTAWA CITIZEN DEFENCE REPORT

January 26, 2010

A COMPARISON BETWEEN CANADA’S JOINT SUPPORT SHIP AND THE NEW DUTCH JSS

By David Pugliese

Ottawa Citizen

As the Canadian Navy’s Joint Support Ship remains stalled, the Royal Netherlands Navy is moving ahead with the construction of its own similar vessel.

The Royal Netherlands Navy has signed a contract for the construction of its JSS with Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding (DSNS) slated to build the vessel. The JSS will replace HNLMS Zuiderkruis, a supply ship more than three decades old.

Canada’s JSS project is still in limbo, waiting for the Harper government to move on producing a national shipbuilding strategy. Canadian defence industry representatives told Defence Watch on Friday that they expect the shipbuilding strategy to be completed by the spring. “There are indications it’s coming by the end of the first quarter,” said an industry official said.

The three Canadian JSS would replace the existing 40-year-old plus supply vessels which haul fuel and ammunition for naval task groups at sea. The ships would also provide support to the Canadian Army and special forces, carrying troops, vehicles, helicopters, ammunition and a hospital, as well as act as a command center for ground forces sent ashore.

The Royal Netherlands Navy’s ship appears similar. It  is to measure 205 metres in length and will displace over 28,000 tons. The JSS will be used for a wide variety of missions, including replenishment-at-sea,  transport of materiel and personnel, medical, technical and logistic support, and for strategic sea-lift and sea-basing missions. The number of crew is set at around 150. The ship’s speed is expected to be 18 knots.

The Dutch JSS would have roll on/roll off capabilities and a steel beach stern for accommodating cargo transfer via landing craft. The JSS is to be delivered in July 2014.  The Canadian JSS is supposed to be around 28,000 tonnes and 200 metres in length, with a speed of 21 knots. It would carry a crew of a little more than 200 and have a roll-on/roll-off capability as well.

The difference between the Canadian and Dutch JSS is in the procurement approach. The Dutch vessel’s hull will be built at the Damen shipyard in Galati, Romania, with the rest of the construction in the Netherlands.

Canada’s JSS fleet would be built entirely in Canada.

The JSS was originally announced in 2004 by the Martin government but the focus on Afghanistan diverted DND’s attention to equipment issues related to that war.

As a result, JSS went on to the backburner for a bit. It did eventually proceed, only to derail in August 2008 after industry failed to meet the government’s specifications within the allotted budget.

“We’re pretty much ready to be talking to the [defense] minister about what we need to do to advance the JSS so we’re ready to go,” Vice Admiral Dean McFadden told Defence Watch in the summer.

FOR MORE NEWS SEE DAVID PUGLIESE’S DEFENCE WATCH

For more Canadian Forces and Defence Department news or articles by David Pugliese of the Ottawa Citizen go to David Pugliese’s Defence Watch at:

communities.canada.com/ottawacitizen/blogs/defencewatch/

CANADA’S ARCTIC PATROL SHIPS TO BE READY 2014: DAVID PUGLIESE OTTAWA CITIZEN MILITARY NEWS

January 26, 2010

DND SAYS IT CAN STILL MEET A 2014 DELIVERY DATE FOR THE CANADIAN NAVY’S ARCTIC ‘FRANKENBOAT’

By David Pugliese

Ottawa Citizen

Work has virtually stopped on the Arctic/Offshore Patrol vessels but the Defence Department says it is confident it can still meet a deadline of having the first ship delivered in 2014.

Like with the Joint Support Ship, the Arctic/Offshore Patrol Ship project is stalled, awaiting government approval on a new shipbuilding policy. That shipbuilding policy was originally expected to be ready by the “fall” of 2009 but now likely won’t be in place until sometime next year.

That will have an impact on the milestones for the Arctic/Offshore Patrol Ship program but DND spokeswoman Lynne Rattray told Defence Watch that the original 2014 delivery date still stands.

“The Department is studying various procurement approaches in order to mitigate schedule impact, and continues to advance the project to meet first ship delivery in 2014,” she added.

“When the Government reaches a decision on the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy, the way ahead will be communicated in due course.”

The Request for Proposals for ship building and in-service support for the project was originally expected to be released in March 2010. The second phase, Project Implementation, would then have begun when the contracts were awarded in January 2011. Both are expected to be delayed.

In May, Deputy Minister Robert Fonberg assured the Senate defence committee that the delays in moving ahead with the Arctic/Offshore Patrol Ships –which he labelled as “Frankenboats” — was because DND was being careful on how it was proceeding.

“I do not want to let stand the notion that we are headed for disaster,” Fonberg said.  “One of the reasons that this has been taking time is because we are trying to ensure that we avoid those kinds of problems.  We know what the challenges are of trying to build a sort of “Frankenboat” that does both offshore as well as first‑year sea ice in the Arctic.”

The estimated cost of acquiring these ships is $3.1 billion, with approximately $4.3 billion provided for operations and maintenance over their 25-year lifespan, according to DND.

The Arctic/Offshore Patrol Ship (AOPS) project is to deliver six to eight multi-purpose, ice-capable offshore patrol ships with the versatility to navigate rivers, coastal waters and open seas, to crunch though Arctic ice and to guard approaches, according to DND. They will be armed and equipped with helicopter landing pads, have a range of 6,800 nautical miles and able to sustain operations for up to four months, the department notes in its background information sheet on the vessels.

In May 2008, a contract was awarded to BMT Fleet Technology to assist in developing technical specifications for the Arctic Offshore Patrol Ships project. These technical specifications will then be used to draft a Request for Proposals to select a contractor to design and build the ships.

For more Canadian Forces and Defence Department news or articles by David Pugliese of the Ottawa Citizen go to David Pugliese’s Defence Watch at:

communities.canada.com/ottawacitizen/blogs/defencewatch/

CANADA AND U.S. TIGHTEN MARITIME SECURITY: OTTAWA CITIZEN DAVID PUGLIESE

January 26, 2010

MARITIME SECURITY LEGISLATION FOR THE GREAT LAKES AND THE COASTS

By David Pugliese

Ottawa Citizen

The Canadian government is moving ahead to make permanent the “Shiprider” program that deals with maritime security on the Great Lakes on the east and west coasts.

Previously, government officials had been talking about the initiative as part of a plan to improve capabilities against cross-border crime and terrorism. But the focus of the program, according to the Canadian government, will be more specifically aimed at limiting illegal smuggling of guns and drugs.

Terrorism is seen as a more distant threat and secondary role, although potential adversaries could also get caught by the Shiprider program, according to military officers.

Justice Minister Rob Nicholson introduced on Friday in the House of Commons legislation to implement the “Shiprider” program. The proposed law is known officially as the Canada-U.S. Framework Agreement on Integrated Cross-Border Maritime Law Enforcement Operations.

The legislation, according to the federal government, would permit specially designated Canadian and American law enforcement personnel to jointly work on marine law enforcement vessels in boundary waters, such as the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway, and off both east and west coasts.  Working together, these officers will be authorized to enforce the law on both sides of the border to help ensure that criminal organizations no longer exploit shared waterways, government officials note.

Several years ago the Senate national security and defense committee labelled the Great Lakes as “Canada’s soft underbelly.” As part of a number of initiatives at the time, the U.S. and Canada launched a pilot Shiprider program.

Also established were marine security emergency response teams, tactical units with an enhanced ability to board ships in Canadian waters and a interim Marine Security Operations Center (MSOC) located at Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario.

In 2008, Inspector Lori Seale-Irving, the RCMP officer in charge of the MSOC project, said the federal police force’s links with other agencies is key for the Great Lakes center to be successful. “We’re continuously working with provincial, municipal and federal partners,” she told me in an interview “As well we’ve had ongoing discussions with the United States Coast Guard in relation to the Great Lakes MSOC.”

That MSOC, along with the MSOCs operated by the Canadian Forces on the east and west coasts, feed information into the Canadian Forces Canada Command as well as to other government agencies.

Public Safety Minister Peter Van Loan says the proposed law is needed to provide Canadian and U.S. law enforcement with the “tools” necessary to prevent organized crime moving back and forth across the border. The focus is on the illegal smuggling of guns and drugs between the two countries, according to Van Loan.

The Framework Agreement on integrated law enforcement operations in boundary waters with the U.S. was signed in May 2009, by Van Loan and Janet Napolitano, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security.

For more Canadian Forces and Defence Department news or articles by David Pugliese of the Ottawa Citizen go to David Pugliese’s Defence Watch at:

communities.canada.com/ottawacitizen/blogs/defencewatch/

CANADIAN NAVY STAYS CLEAR OF U.S. EQUIPMENT AND SENSORS BECAUSE OF EXPORT CONTROLS: OTTAWA CITIZEN DAVID PUGLIESE

January 26, 2010

Navy says no to buying American U.S. restrictions on technology can lead to delays

The Ottawa Citizen

Jan 25 2010

By David Pugliese

Faced with delays and restrictions about what it can and cannot do with U.S. technology, Canada’s navy has opted to modernize its frigates using as much non-American equipment as possible for key systems on the ships.

The Defence Department had stipulated that the command-and-control systems on the multibillion-dollar frigate upgrade be free of U.S. regulations, say officials with Lockheed Martin Canada in Ottawa, the company handling the contract.

In the past, the strict enforcement by the U.S. government of technology restrictions under International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) has delayed the delivery of military equipment to Canada. In addition, in 2006 U.S. government officials tried unsuccessfully to limit the type of Canadians who could work on Canadian defence programs, specifically requesting that those who were born in certain countries or who had dual citizenship with particular countries not be allowed access to American technology.

Such restrictions violate Canadian law.

As a result, key radars, sensors and software to be installed on the Halifax-class frigates are coming from Canada, Sweden, Israel, Germany and the Netherlands.

“It was a desire (by the customer),” Don McClure, Lockheed Martin Canada’s vice- president of business development, said of the decision to use technology that wasn’t controlled by ITAR. “The primary thing is during the life of a warship there is the need to modify certain tactics or add certain sensors and the navy didn’t want to be restricted to having to ask permission (from the U.S.) for that.”

McClure said the command-and-control system the firm is developing in conjunction with Saab Electronics Systems of Sweden will be free of any U.S. export controls.

That will also allow the Ottawa company to market the system to other navies without having to seek U.S. permission.

Some of the weapons on the Canadian frigates use U.S.-technology and there are other American-made components that aren’t covered by ITAR on the vessels.

McClure said the frigate modernization is on track, with the first ship expected to be worked on starting in the fall. The Defence Department is spending a total of $3.1 billion on the program, which not only includes the work being done by Lockheed Martin Canada and its partners, but mid-life improvements to mechanical systems on the vessels to be done by shipyards on the east and west coasts.

The modernization of all 12 frigates will be finished by 2017.

Defence Department spokeswoman Jocelyn Sweet sent an

e-mail noting that the department did not specify that the materials and work associated with the mid-life maintenance of the frigates be free from U.S. ITARS.

But she added, “DND did require that any proposals related to the integrated combat system address how the contractor would mitigate any risk to the delivery schedule if they included sourcing of material or services from the U.S. that would invoke ITAR restrictions.”

Ottawa-based Thales Canada Defence and Security, which is also working on the frigate modernization, has noticed a spike in the desire for ITAR-free equipment at the Defence Department and from military forces around the world, said company official Conrad Bellehumeur. “Telling them something is ITAR-free produces a great interest” at DND, he added.

McClure noted that European companies are starting to gain an advantage in some marketplaces because of the U.S. ITAR restrictions.

ITARs have been partly blamed for the delays in the delivery of the Canadian Forces new maritime helicopter, the Cyclone, which is years behind schedule.

The U.S. enforces the ITARs as a way to prevent sensitive technology from falling into the hands of countries such as China and Iran.

But privately, some Canadian defence industry officials complain that the U.S. selectively uses ITARs to give equipment being provided by American-based companies an advantage in export situations. They say there have been cases where the U.S. State Department has used ITARs to prevent Canadian products from being sold overseas because those items have some American-technology in them, while at the same time giving approval to U.S. firms to sell the same components in the same foreign market.

Lockheed Martin officials said the frigate contract will create about 60 new jobs in Ottawa, largely in program management and manufacturing. Bellehumeur said the contract would maintain about 15 jobs in Ottawa at Thales.

For more Canadian Forces and Defence Department news or articles by David Pugliese of the Ottawa Citizen go to David Pugliese’s Defence Watch at:

communities.canada.com/ottawacitizen/blogs/defencewatch/

DAVID PUGLIESE OTTAWA CITIZEN COMMENTARY WHY IS THE JOINT SUPPORT SHIP DELAYED?

December 6, 2009

By David Pugliese

Ottawa Citizen journalist

The Joint Support Ship project still sits idle waiting for the Harper government to move ahead on a new shipbuilding policy.

When will that be happening?

There was talk that the policy would be ready by the end of this year but that won’t take place. Some in industry expect a policy by the spring, unless a federal election gets in the way. If that happens, then all bets are off.

Work on a new shipbuilding policy was launched with great fanfare in the summer, with meetings between government and  industry representatives. But since then, the government has been focused on other issues.

The Canadian Navy, however, has signaled that it is ready to move ahead on JSS.

“We’re pretty much ready to be talking to the [defense] minister about what we need to do to advance the JSS so we’re ready to go,” Vice Admiral Dean McFadden told Defence Watch several months ago. “One thing that has caused us to take a bit of a pause in progressing that as an independent program is what I think is a superb initiative to try and develop a new and strategic relationship between government and industry in how this country goes about building ships.”

“That initiative gained a great deal of momentum in the summer,” McFadden added. “There was a forum held in Ottawa in July where I think we are coming to the fundamental issue — we want to stop doing a boom-and-bust building cycle in this country.”

And so it stands.

No Cabinet approval on a shipbuilding policy. Then no movement on JSS.

The big question in the maritime world is focused on when JSS will be delivered (although the more pessimistic ask, “Will it ever be delivered?”).

The project, before it ran into trouble, called for a contract to be awarded last year with the first vessel delivered in 2012.

But Dan Ross, the Defence Department’s Assistant Deputy Minister for Materiel, acknowledged the obvious to a Senate defence committee when he informed them that the delivery schedule won’t be met. But he still told the Senate committee (May 25) that he expected a request for proposals for the ships to be issued to industry in 2010. It could take another year to get to a contract and from there another four to five years to complete the ship, he noted.

That would mean the first ship would be delivered around 2016.

But even with that schedule Ross would not commit to the program delivering three Joint Support Ships at the end of the day. “I do not know if anyone here is prepared to state what the outcome will be,” he told the committee.

The JSS was originally announced in 2004 by the Martin government but the focus on Afghanistan diverted DND’s attention to equipment issues related to that war. As a result, JSS went on to the backburner for a bit. It did eventually proceed, only to derail in August 2008 after industry failed to meet the government’s specifications within the allotted budget.

The three JSS would replace the existing 40-year-old plus supply vessels which haul fuel and ammunition for naval task groups at sea. The ships would also provide support to the Canadian Army and special forces, carrying troops, vehicles, helicopters, ammunition and a hospital, as well as act as a command center for ground forces sent ashore.

For more Canadian Forces and Defence Department news or articles by David Pugliese of the Ottawa Citizen go to David Pugliese’s Defence Watch at:

http://communities.canada.com/ottawacitizen/blogs/defencewatch/

DAVID PUGLIESE OTTAWA CITIZEN DEFENCE WATCH: NAVY’S ARCTIC PORT WON’T BE READY UNTIL 2014

November 27, 2009

 

BY DAVID PUGLIESE

Ottawa Citizen

 

A design contract for the Nanisivik Naval Facility in Nunavut has been awarded to a civilian firm from British Columbia but the date when construction work on the facility is to begin could fall behind schedule, Defence Watch has been told.

 

On Thursday the Defence Department announced that the initial design phase contract has now been awarded to a British Columbia firm. Construction work at the naval facility could “possibly begin in 2011” and is forecasted to be operational by 2014, according to the department.

 

Sources tell Defence Watch that it is fully expected that the program could slip slightly behind schedule, mainly because construction and environmental issues expected with building projects in the North.

 

The sources noted that construction at the Nanisivik site was originally expected to commence in the summer of 2010. It is estimated the project will cost around $100 million.

 

In May, Defence Department officials told a Senate committee that the facility was going to be operational as early as 2012.

“The Nanisivik berthing and refuelling facility has had initial site studies done,” explained William Pentney, Associate Deputy Minister of National Defence. “Construction work will begin in 2011.  We expect it to be operational initially in 2012 and fully operational by 2015, appreciating that Arctic seasons are short and there is a fair bit of work to be done to ensure we are meeting the environmental and planning standards as well as developing something that will be effective.”

 

Pentney noted that the U.S. could also use the facility. “Canada cooperates with the United States to a great degree in search and rescue and Coast Guard activities in the North and I am sure we would be happy to welcome the American military, and perhaps other militaries, to our base in our internal waters to refuel and undertake training,” he added.

 

Located more than 1,000 nautical miles by sea north of Iqaluit, the facility will serve as a staging area for naval vessels on station in the high Arctic, enabling them to re-supply, refuel, embark equipment and supplies, and transfer personnel. This will extend the range of Canadian ships in the Arctic during the navigable season (approximately June to October), according to the Canadian government.

 

Military and government officials have noted that the site is strategically located inside the eastern entrance to the North West Passage, at Nanisivik in Nunavut. As a deep-water berthing facility already exists at this site, start-up costs will be significantly reduced. With its sheltered harbour, nearby jet-capable airstrip, and proximity to the North West Passage, Nanisivik offers an ideal location for the docking and refuelling facility, according to background information provided by the Defence Department.

 

The initial design contact announced Thursday was awarded to WorleyParsons Westmar Ltd., from North Vancouver, B.C.

 

In a statement Thursday, Defence Minister Peter MacKay said the contract award “demonstrates” the Conservative government’s commitment to ensuring Canada’s security and exercising sovereignty in the North.

 

This contract, worth just under $900,000, is for the first of four design phases of the project, according to Defence Department officials.

 

This initial design phase will establish the various requirements for construction, as well as preliminary design work that will lay the foundation for the remaining design phases. The other three design phases will involve conceiving detailed plans and designs, developing drawings, and preparing construction estimates for the facility.

 

The NNF will function as a logistics hub to support the Canadian Navy, and other Canadian government vessels in the Arctic during the navigable season.

 

For more Canadian Forces and Defence Department news or articles by David Pugliese of the Ottawa Citizen go to David Pugliese’s Defence Watch at:

 

http://communities.canada.com/ottawacitizen/blogs/defencewatch/

 

DAVID PUGLIESE OTTAWA CITIZEN JOURNALIST: TRACKING THE CREW OF HMCS CHICOUTIMI

November 24, 2009

BY DAVID PUGLIESE

OTTAWA CITIZEN

 

The Defence Department is now conducting a long-term study on the health of those submariners who survived the 2004 fire aboard HMCS Chicoutimi.

 

But according to details provided to Defence Watch, of the 56 surviving crew who manned HMCS Chicoutimi during the fire, only 11 are still assigned to submarines or to the Fifth Maritime Operations Group.

 

Eighteen of the crew have left the Canadian Forces for a variety of reasons, according to an accounting of where the crew members are.

 

Twenty crew members are currently employed in other capacities, including teaching submarine-related or occupation specific courses at naval schools, working on navy bases, or working on the Maritime Staff in Ottawa.

 

The remaining seven of the 56-member crew are employed outside the navy at the following locations: Canadian Special Operations Forces Command, the Joint Personnel Support Unit, 5th Service Battalion and other units.

 

“No compensation or severance package specifically or solely designed for the survivors of the Chicoutimi incident has been offered or paid to the crew members,”, according to a Defence Department response to a Parliamentary question by NDP Veterans critic Peter Stoffer.

 

Under the first of its kind study, the result of an agreement between the navy and the Canadian Forces medical branch, the health of the crew, including those now out of the military, will be tracked until 2014. At that point it will be determined whether to continue monitoring their health.

 

In a 2008 article Canadian Press journalist Murray Brewster reported that sailors were falling ill with debilitating medical conditions. In Brewster’s interviews with sailors, the submariners detailed how they suffered from unexplained fainting spells, short-term memory loss and chronic conditions, such as asthma. There were also reports of neurological disorders.

 

Military records indicate that over half the Chicoutimi crew suffered from post- traumatic stress following the fire. In addition, since the fire, over 20 sailors complained of breathing trouble.

 

The health of the submariners will be compared to a control group of submariners, who were not involved in the incident.

 

For More Canadian Forces and Defence Department news or articles by David Pugliese of the Ottawa Citizen go to David Pugliese’s Defence Watch at:

 

http://communities.canada.com/ottawacitizen/blogs/defencewatch/

DAVID PUGLIESE DEFENCE WATCH: TWO CANADIAN NAVY WARSHIPS IN FINAL STAGES OF DISPOSAL

November 17, 2009

DND says the decommissioned destroyer-escort Gatineau will be towed to Pictou, Nova Scotia today, where the final stages of disposal will take place. The Terra Nova is scheduled to follow on November 20, according to DND. Both tow dates are weather dependent and subject to change.

 

Here are more details from the department:

 

A contract for the removal and dismantling of the destroyer-escorts was awarded to AECON FABCO on October 21, 2009, and is valued at approximately $4.2 million. The survey of the two decommissioned destroyer-escorts conducted by AECON FABCO progressed ahead of schedule, allowing the ships to be removed from Dartmouth earlier then anticipated.

 

The two destroyer-escorts will be removed and towed one at a time by tug boat. The final destroyer-escort, Terra Nova, is scheduled to arrive in Pictou by November 22, 2009. It is anticipated that the destroyer-escorts will be fully dismantled by fall 2010 and disposed of in accordance with all national and provincial regulations.

 

Gatineau is a Restigouche-class destroyer-escort that served from 1959 – 1996. She was the second vessel to be commissioned as HMCS Gatineau and also held two battle honours from her namesake ship, which included the Atlantic 1943-44 and Normandy 1944. She also had the opportunity to offer a 21 gun salute to Queen Elizabeth II and President Dwight Eisenhower on June 26, 1956 for the official opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway. Gatineau was decommissioned from active service in May 1996.

 

Terra Nova is also a Restigouche-class destroyer-escort that served from 1959 – 1997. One of her most recognized contributions was her deployment with Operation FRICTION, the Canadian Forces contribution to Operation DESERT STORM (the Gulf War) in 1990. Along with the other ships in the Canadian Naval Task Group, Terra Nova undertook escort duties for hospital ships and other vulnerable coalition naval vessels. Terra Nova was decommissioned from active service in July 1997.

 

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

November 17, 2009

ex

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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DAVID PUGLIESE OTTAWA CITIZEN JOURNALIST BOOK REVIEW: NEW BOOK AIMS TO HELP CANADIANS RECONNECT WITH NAVY

November 15, 2009

 

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.

 


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