Posts Tagged ‘David Pugliese Defence Watch’

NORAD REVIEWS ITS AIR DEFENCE: DAVID PUGLIESE DEFENCE WATCH OTTAWA CITIZEN

January 26, 2010

DEFENCE WATCH COMMENTARY

By David Pugliese

Ottawa Citizen

NORAD is now examining the state of its air defence capabilities to see if it has the right mix of aircraft, number of bases and alert times to properly conduct its homeland defence mission.

And should the joint U.S.-Canadian military organization cut back on the number of aircraft and bases it needs to do the job?

The news of the review has sparked some angst in the U.S., with former U.S. Air Force officers suggesting that the process is being driven by budget cuts and will ultimately undercut North American air defences. Lt.-Gen. Thomas McInerney, a former commander for NORAD’s Alaska region, says he is concerned air defences could be cut back and that the U.S. is  “being lulled” into removing dollars from NORAD to put into other areas of defence.

The U.S. no longer conducts regular combat fighter aircraft patrols over its cities as it did in the years following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington. Such missions were expensive, at one point costing more than $50 million a week.

But in an interview with Defence Watch, Canadian Maj.-Gen. Pierre Forgues, NORAD’s director of operations, played down the money angle. Forgues said although fighter aircraft and support planes are costly to operate, the price tag for such equipment wasn’t behind the decision to review the state of air defences.

He also suggested that the air defence status quo could continue.

Forgues said that the review will start “with a blank slate” and that there are no pre-conceived notions of what exactly would be needed to do such at job. But at the same time, Forgues readily acknowledged that NORAD is relatively happy with the current situation. “We’re comfortable at this point we’re meeting the requirements,” he added.

The New York Times reported that the study is focused on circumstances in which the attack would be aimed not at a public building or landmark but instead at a power plant or a critical link in the nation’s financial network, like a major electrical grid or a computer network hub.

But Forgues told Defence Watch that such scenarios have been on NORAD’s radar since Sept. 11, 2001.

So why this review now?

In January, the Government Accounting Office, similar to Canada’s Auditor General, called on the U.S. air force to improve the management of its operations to protect American airspace. It recommended that the U.S. portion of NORAD routinely conduct assessments to determine the requirements of air sovereignty alert missions as well as the appropriate numbers of personnel and aircraft assigned to support those operations.

In 2008, the GAO also took the Pentagon and NORAD to task for understating the security problems and vulnerabilities involved when NORAD moved from Cheyenne Mountain to Peterson Air Force Base.

Perhaps the GAO’s criticisms struck a chord with NORAD’ senior leadership.

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/

CONTINUOUS 30-MINUTE CANADIAN FORCES SEARCH AND RESCUE POSTURE NOT ON: DAVID PUGLIESE DEFENCE WATCH

November 19, 2009

30-MINUTE ROUND THE CLOCK SEARCH AND RESCUE RESPONSE POSTURE NOT PRACTICAL SAYS THE CANADIAN AIR FORCE BY

 

BY DAVID PUGLIESE

Ottawa Citizen

 

The positioning of Canadian Forces search and rescue aircraft as well as the speed in which SAR crews respond continues to be an ongoing issue for some of those who make their living at sea or in the remote areas of the country.

 

Laurie Sullivan, the owner of a Newfoundland-based fishing vessel which sank in September, has criticized the fact that a SAR helicopter was not based in St. John’s to assist in responding to emergencies in the North Atlantic. Two crew members died in that sinking.

 

The recent rescue of an Inuit teenager on an ice floe in the North has also raised questions about whether more SAR assets should be based in the Arctic while other have suggested that the Air Force should increase its SAR posture to a 30-minute continuous readiness posture.

 

Defence Watch has obtained a report on that issue, with the Air Force firmly coming out against a 24/7 30-minute readiness.

 

The current position is that when tasked, an aircraft must be airborne within 30 minutes during normal working hours and within two hours during all remaining quiet hours, according to the Air Force.

 

Unlike the two-hour SAR posture where crews and technicians hold a recall standby away from the squadron, a 30-minute SAR posture requires aircrews remain poised to launch from the flight line.

 

A 30-minute SAR posture is too expensive and would provide little benefit, according to The Canadian Forces Search and Rescue 30-minute Continuous Readiness Posture Force Generation Analysis obtained by Defence Watch.

 

An analysis of incidents between the years 2000-2004 determined that had a 30-minute posture been in effect on a 24/7 basis, “only a small increase in the probability of victim survival would have been gained by adopting a 30-minute posture.”

 

To reach the increased level of readiness would add more maintenance, require more aircraft and infrastructure upgrades, the report noted. According to the Air Force it would cost $387 million in extra capital costs and $540 million in overall annual recurring costs.

 

The Air Force also concluded that the timeline to achieve the enhanced posture would likely require six to eight years.

 

The end result is that the status quo will be maintained well into the future.

 

In January 2008, DND’s Chief of Review Services examined SAR and concluded the Canadian Forces “component of SAR operations functions quite well and remains highly relevant.”

 

That conclusion, however, will likely not be accepted by some of those who have called for improvements.

 

 

 

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 COMMENTARY: THE SUDDEN PUSH TO GET A CANADIAN ARMY FIGHTING RIG

November 18, 2009

DEFENCE WATCH COMMENTARY

David Pugliese

Ottawa Citizen

The Defence Department and Public Works recently put out the call for the acquisition of Modular Fighting Rigs for the Canadian Army.

 

The request for proposals closes on Nov. 25 but those firms who wish to take part in the project have to have provide samples seven days before that (i.e. today, Nov. 18).

 

The new system is to be designed to provide soldiers deployed in operations the ability to carry critical fighting equipment included in their Fighting Order (The Fighting Order consists of, but is not limited to, the minimum essential ammunition, weapons, communications, Identification of Friend or Foe (IFF), navigation, trauma, water, rations, ballistic protection and environmental equipment that must be immediately available for combat. The system will also cater to different position/role within a section or platoon.)

 

Delivery of the rigs is to take place by March 2010.

 

But some inside the Canadian Forces and within industry are questioning the rationale for this urgent operational requirement purchase at this point in time. They note that for quite some time, the criticisms of the current equipment have been ignored. Yet all of a sudden, the rush is on to acquire this new piece of kit.

 

Does that make sense? There are of course different viewpoints on this.

 

Defence Watch presents below one such viewpoint on the issue. This analysis of the situation comes from a defence industry source who is not associated with any textile company or soldier equipment manufacturer but who has closely watched this project unfold.

 

Here is the analysis.

 

“On the positive side, the Canadian Forces is looking to adopt a modular based system for load carriage. The current in-service tactical vest has been widely criticized by CF members as being inadequate for operational use. DLR and DSSPM have dragged their feet for years in coming up with a solution to the criticisms of the tac-vest, until now, at the 11th hour of our current Afghanistan mission.

 

The manufacturers specifications in are SORD Australia, Tactical Tailor (US based), High Speed Gear (US Based), and CTOMS (Canadian).  It is interesting to note that none of the products requested are Canadian manufactured (CTOMS product is Canadian designed, but manufactured in the US).

 

Given the fact that Canadian textile firms are excluded from doing business with the US Dept. of Defense through the Berry Amendment and ‘Buy America’ clauses , one would wonder why and how the Canadian government would expect to get this procurement contract (which will likely have a total contract value greater than $1M Cdn) through, without drawing attention and criticism from the Canadian textiles industry, as well as opposition political parties.

 

In particular, Canada’s textile sector has been hurt during the recession.

 

Building load bearing equipment isn’t out of the realm of capability for Canadian companies such as Pacific Safety Products, or Fellfab who provide the Canadian Forces with much of the in-service items such as the Army’s rucksack, small pack and ballistic protective vest. What they need is some direction from DND in terms of a statement of requirement.

 

Canadian industry has not been given a fair opportunity to participate as companies were given less than 10 working days to submit a bid proposal along with material samples to meet a spec which DND has developed in relative secrecy. In fact, the project specifies that products utilize features based on intellectual property which are foreign owned.

 

Also interesting to note that neither CADPAT TW or AR are specified in his tender, which is odd, considering the significant amount of time, resources, and money which Canadian DND has put into developing the CADPAT pattern, which they claim significantly reduces the chance of a soldier’s detection in the visual and near infra-red spectrum, therefore increasing his survivability.

 

Canadian textile mills such as Lincoln Fabrics, and Consoltex have invested significant money and time to meet DND’s demanding specs for CADPAT fabrics, and have had a difficult time competing on the consumer market given the collapse of the North American textile industry. Is this how the government rewards their cooperation by spec’ing in foreign produced fabrics to be used by the Canadian Forces?

 

If DND were more forward thinking they could have engaged Canadian industry in terms of what their statement of requirement was, so that a made-in-Canada product which satisfies the requirements of the Canadian Forces could be fielded, rather than a rushed ‘UOR’ type requirement (this one is being labelled as an ‘Operational Evaluation’ by the CLS) at the 11th hour.”

 

 

 

Not everyone will agree with the above take on the situation. For instance, Soldier Systems, an website that covers the equipment industry, notes that Canadian textile manufacturers will likely get involved later manufacturing the fighting rigs under contract to the winning firm.

 

But it raises its own interesting aspects on this project: “What is even more interesting is that neither of the US companies chosen have major contracts with the US government,” Soldier Systems noted. “What is significant about their selection, and in fact all of the companies chosen, is that their selection is based completely on design. If you look at the initial list of 12 systems, none of the major US players were involved.”

 

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

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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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FORMER SOLDIER FIGHTS TO PRESERVE ARMY TRUCKS MLVW POSTED BY DAVID PUGLIESE OTTAWA CITIZEN JOURNALIST

March 29, 2009

 

FORMER SOLDIER FIGHTS TO PRESERVE ARMY TRUCKS MLVW

 

By David Pugliese,

The Ottawa Citizen

March 23, 2009

 

A Cantley man and former soldier is in a battle with the Defence Department over his efforts to preserve a bit of military history.

 

Gilles Chartrand is trying to convince Defence Minister Peter Mac-Kay to change the rules he says prevent surplus army trucks from being put on the road.

 

Chartrand, who collects and restores Canadian military trucks, drives the vehicles in veterans’ parades. His latest project centres on what is known as the Medium Logistics Vehicle Wheeled, a Canadian Forces truck built in 1982 that is being sold by the government as surplus.

 

Chartrand has two of the trucks, built by Bombardier, but says he is not allowed to put them on the road.

 

The Defence Department, however, disagrees and in an e-mail stated the trucks can be made roadworthy.

 

“These Medium Logistics Vehicles Wheeled (MLVW) were issued for sale as ‘non-repairable, for parts only,’ without vehicle ownership papers,” the e-mail stated. “Should a buyer wish to drive the truck on the road, they must comply with their provincial regulations, as they would with any other vehicle, through their province’s normal licensing process, including safety checks and vehicle registration.”

 

If those provincial standards are met, then a licence to use the trucks on the road can be obtained, according to the Defence Department.

 

Chartrand says that is not the case. In the sale of these particular trucks, the Defence Department’s designation as “non-repairable” means that they can only be used for scrap.

 

“The safety inspection people will not even let us in the door as long as the trucks are deemed ‘non-repairable’,” Chartrand said. “All we’re asking from DND is to remove that designation. Let us take it to safety and we’ll pass the safety.”

 

Chartrand has written MacKay and his member of Parliament, Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon, in the hopes they can reverse the Defence Department’s “non-repairable” designation on the trucks.

 

The two politicians have acknowledged receipt of his letter, but nothing more, he says.

 

A volunteer at the Canadian War Museum, Chartrand uses the restored vehicles to teach the public about the country’s military history. The former master warrant officer, who served as a mechanical engineer in the Canadian Forces, has his whole family involved in what he calls his expensive, but ultimately rewarding, hobby.

 

His son and his wife, Carolle, also a retired Canadian Forces member, are involved in the restorations, while another son collects military radios. “For us it’s a hobby, but it’s serious,” Chartrand said. “We’re trying to preserve some military history in the vehicles.”

 

Chartrand’s vehicles were in an Ottawa parade as part of the 60th anniversary celebrations for the end of the Second World War. He is also involved in a veterans breakfast at the end of May, where money raised will go to help injured Canadian soldiers who served in Afghanistan.

 

Chartrand said the U.S. government sells essentially the same truck on the surplus market — about 100 a day — and allows those to be driven on the road.

 

He said the Canadian-made version is far superior, with a different engine and extra safety features. They sell for between $5,500 and $7,500. So far, about 15 have been bought by collectors, Chartrand said. “We’re not talking about a whole lot of people here. It’s not like an army of trucks is going to be on the road.”

 

According to the Defence Department e-mail, before the trucks are sent to auction, the Canadian Forces strips the vehicles for any spare parts that are deemed useful for the remaining trucks in the fleet. “All vehicles are sold in an ‘as-is’ condition,” the e-mail states. “This means that there is no warranty and no guarantees associated with the sale of the vehicle.”

 

The army is now in the process of trying to replace the trucks. In 2004, the Defence Department warned in an internal report that the Medium Logistic Vehicle Wheeled truck could be hit by a “catastrophic” failure at any time because of poor brakes and steering systems.

 

But Chartrand said despite what the Defence Department claims, the vehicles are not only repairable, but in excellent condition. “Apart from a little bit of body work, these trucks are perfect,” he said of his vehicles. “You just walk in there and you hit the starter button and that engine fires right up.”

 

 

 

200 DEFENCE JOBS CREATED IN OTTAWA BY DAVID PUGLIESE OTTAWA CITIZEN JOURNALIST

March 29, 2009

 

 

 

By David Pugliese, Reporter

The Ottawa Citizen

 

Defence deal set to bring up to 200 jobs to Ottawa; Thales Canada wins military contract worth $184 million

The Ottawa Citizen

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

 

Up to 200 new jobs could be created in the Ottawa area as a result of military contracts announced Monday.

 

Thales Canada, which has about 190 employees in Ottawa, will receive a $184-million contract to develop software for the army’s command and control system. The contract runs for five years, but there is an option to continue such work for an additional five years.

 

Thales spokesman Conrad Bellehumeur said the contract will sustain 60 jobs at its Ottawa facility. Those employees had already been working on earlier versions of the software for the army’s command and control systems.

 

The new contract would also create 30 new jobs at the firm’s offices in Ottawa and Quebec City, he said.

 

With subcontracts and spinoff work going to other high-tech companies, there is the potential for another 170 new jobs in Ottawa because of the Defence Department contract, according to Bellehumeur.

 

The battle management system being developed by Thales is based on original software that the firm created for the French army.

 

Bellehumeur said the firm sees a growing market for such software for civilian agencies, such as for police forces and those who deal with large-scale security operations, such as the Olympics.

 

He declined for security reasons to get into specifics about what the firm is doing for the Defence Department. But Bellehumeur said it involves integrating the flow of information from various sources on the battlefield.

 

“Thales’s strength is systems integration, so it’s taking all of the components of the system, whether it’s a handheld (device) for a soldier on the ground or computer imagery and integrating all of that,” he said.

 

There is also great potential to export such software to other countries, Bellehumeur added.

 

Thales Canada has 1,350 employees in Montreal, Quebec City, Ottawa and Toronto.

 

The Ottawa branch handles the defence portion of the company’s work, said Bellehueur. The bulk of the firm’s employees are in Toronto and work on systems for urban rail such as subways. The company’s parent firm is based in France.

 

The second contract announced Monday was awarded to General Dynamics Canada of Ottawa, but the bulk of the work will be done in the firm’s Calgary facilities.

 

General Dynamics Canada was awarded the long-term support contract for the Canadian army’s land command support system. The contract is valued at $341 million and runs for five years.

 

General Dynamics Canada spokeswoman Amy MacLeod said the contract will sustain 250 existing jobs at the company’s Calgary location.

 

General Dynamics has been providing support for the army’s digital communications systems since 2003.

 

 

DEFENCE FIRMS TO GET NEW WORK BY DAVID PUGLIESE OTTAWA CITIZEN

March 8, 2009

 

 

 

Military contracts going to city firms; General Dynamics Canada, Thales net deals

 

By David Pugliese

 

The Ottawa Citizen

March 7, 2009

 

Two Ottawa companies will be awarded major military contracts on Monday as Defence Minister Peter MacKay moves to quell criticism that the Harper government has left domestic firms on the sidelines when it comes to supplying the Canadian Forces.

 

The deal will see major upgrades for the army’s existing command and control and communication systems, as well as the purchase of new software and equipment to improve how units share information and are controlled on the battlefield.

 

The army has earmarked around $260 million for the overall program, which will run until 2015. The project will begin this year.

 

General Dynamics Canada as well as Thales Canada, both of Ottawa, will be awarded the contracts, with the bulk of the work going to General Dynamics.

 

New jobs are expected to be created by the contracts, but at this point it is unclear how many positions will be added at the firms. The work will also maintain existing jobs.

 

Defence officials declined to discuss Monday’s announcement at headquarters.

 

But the award to the two firms will be portrayed by MacKay and Public Works Minister Christian Paradis as contracts being supplied to “Canadian” firms, according to defence insiders. Although General Dynamics Canada is owned by a U.S. corporation and Thales by a French consortium, both firms have a significant presence in Canada.

 

General Dynamics has about 1,500 workers in the Ottawa area as well as facilities in Calgary and Halifax. Thales has more than 260 Canadian employees, the bulk in Ottawa. It also has offices in Kingston and Quebec City.

 

The production work on the communications equipment will be done in Canada.

 

Monday’s announcement is in contrast to many of the other large-scale defence contracts announced over the last two years that went to American firms who did the work in the U.S.

 

Members of the country’s aerospace and defence industry, as well as opposition MPs, have been critical about the lack of work for Canadian-based firms from the multibillion-dollar equipment programs the Conservatives have under way for the Canadian Forces. In the summer of 2006, the Harper government announced that it would spend billions of dollars on C-17 and C-130 J transport planes and Chinook helicopters.

 

The C-17s, already delivered, were built in California while the C-130Js are going to be built in Georgia. The Chinook helicopters that the government is in the process of trying to acquire will be built in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

 

MacKay has also recently been pushing to launch a $3-billion program to buy new search-and-rescue aircraft for the Canadian Forces. His preferred choice is an Italian-designed aircraft being built in the U.S.

 

In January, MacKay came under criticism from Canadian autoworkers after he announced a $274-million contract to Navistar to build army trucks in Texas.

 

The same firm, however, recently laid off 500 Canadian workers at its assembly line in Chatham, Ont. Another 200 workers are expected to be laid off there by the spring.

 

Defence analyst Allen Sens said it is common for all governments to highlight military spending announcements as creating domestic jobs and supporting national economies. “But given all these big-ticket items purchased from foreign companies in the past couple of years, there’s a greater urgency to this particular announcement in highlighting the Canadian jobs it will create,” said Sens, a professor at the University of British Columbia.

 

MacKay has defended the awarding of various contracts to foreign firms, noting that, ultimately, Canadian companies benefit. In the case of the Navistar truck contract, he noted that the tires would be made in Canada and that Canadian mechanics would work on the vehicles.

 

Government officials also point out that each defence contract pays back more than its original value in what is known as industrial region benefits. In other words, foreign aerospace and defence firms that win contracts must spend at least the equivalent amount of the contract in Canada.

 

But the organization representing Canada’s aerospace industry has warned that domestic firms are not seeing quality work from the multi-billion-dollar defence contracts.

 

“Our industry remains acutely concerned that major defence procurements are proceeding in a way that will not fully engage and strengthen capabilities resident in the domestic industrial base,” Charles Lajeunesse, president of the Ottawa-based Aerospace Industries Association of Canada, wrote MacKay on Jan. 9. The association represents more than 400 companies in a industry that employs 90,000 workers.

 

There is a lack of “high value-added” jobs going to Canadian industry, Lajeunesse warned.

 

Those inside the Defence Department have been limited in what they can say publicly about the issue. But they privately argue that military needs come first and jobs for Canadians should be a secondary consideration.

 

Industry executives, however, say considering the ongoing economic problems facing the country, jobs for Canadians should be taken into account. They also argue that providing work to Canadian-based defence firms supports the military in the long run, since it develops and keeps much-needed expertise in-country.

 

Monday’s contracts are part of an ongoing army communications upgrade and support program that originally started in 2005. This is known as a “life extension” to that project, meaning that it will further modernize the equipment.

 

The work is designed to make use of improvements in technology to eventually electronically link various equipment in the military’s inventory so they can share information. In some cases, data from unmanned aerial vehicles and satellites would be quickly transmitted to troops. The project will also provide what is known as a “Battle Command on the Move” system to improve the flow of information from the battlefield back to senior officers.

 

 

CANADIAN DEFENCE PROCUREMENT LACKS OVERSIGHT

January 18, 2009

 

 The Ottawa Citizen

Monday, October 29, 2007

By David Pugliese

Source: The Ottawa Citizen

 

Twelve military equipment projects totalling $7.3 billion are considered “high risk,” have gone over budget and are at least two years behind schedule, according to a Defence Department review.

 

 

Taxpayers, however, will remain in the dark on exactly which programs have run into difficulty. The department has declined to release details. So far, $600 million has been spent on the programs in question.

 

Other equipment projects could also face cost overruns, but the department would not provide further details.

 

The analysis of capital equipment projects was done to identify higher-risk programs that warrant an audit, according to the study by the department’s chief of review services. It was produced in April and released recently.

 

“For the 12 higher-risk projects, project cost (or forecast) increased by 9 per cent on average and was behind schedule by 2.2 years,” the analysis said.

 

It added that those projects had not changed in terms of numbers, or type of equipment or capability to eventually be delivered .

 

The report also determined that non-competitive contracts could cost taxpayers extra, but it did not get into details about how much. “Sole-source acquisition can result in higher costs to the Crown, especially with amendments to the contract,” it pointed out. “Projects with competitively tendered contracts were considered lower risk,” the analysis said.

 

The analysis recommended the chief of review services conduct audits into five higher-risk projects. Because the department has limited auditing services available, it recommended that assistant deputy ministers conduct examinations into another six equipment programs.

 

The report says 64 per cent of 25 higher-risk projects have fallen behind schedule. That includes the 12 already identified to be in the most difficulty.

 

Such slippage is a strong indicator of the potential for delayed acquisition of the equipment or a capability as well as an increase in project management costs, according to the review.

 

The department recently put the document up on its website, but censored details about which projects have run into trouble as well as specifics about costs.

 

Defence officials declined to be interviewed about the review.

 

But in an e-mail to the Citizen, the department cited a provision under the access to information law that allows it to censor the report. It claims that the names of the equipment programs and other related details constitute advice to the department or to the defence minister, and thus cannot be seen by the public.

 

In its e-mailed response, the department said criteria for identifying projects for review could include the presence of high-risk transactions, cost or schedule changes, the initial risk assessment of the project, the overall value and a project’s history of meeting its set timetables.

 

The projects examined were those already under way in May 2006. The review examined 162 capital equipment projects totalling a little more than $51 billion.

 

The review did not look at the $24 billion in new equipment projects announced by the Conservative government between June 2006 and July of this year. Those new projects include the purchase of heavy-lift helicopters, the acquisition of C-17 and C-130J transport planes and new fleets of tanks, army trucks and supply ships. The Harper government also announced the construction of Arctic patrol ships, the establishment of a new training centre in the North and the modernization of the navy’s frigates.

 

Deliveries of C-17 aircraft have started, but most of the other programs are still in early stages, with the equipment to be delivered over the next decade.

 

Alan Williams, the department’s former assistant deputy minister for materiel, said the projects examined by the review could include equipment purchases, upgrades to existing equipment or in-service support contracts for various systems.

 

Mr. Williams said he found it significant that the review raised the question about sole-sourcing of military contracts. “In contrast to what the government has been saying, they’re acknowledging that you spend more money on sole-source contracts,” said Mr. Williams, author of Reinventing Canadian Defence Procurement. “Without competition, you can waste taxpayers’ dollars.”

 

The Harper government has come under fire in the last year in the Commons for what critics say are a series of non-competitive contracts awarded to defence firms. MPs with the NDP, Liberals and Bloc Québécois have all warned that directing contracts to particular firms without competition costs taxpayers money and limits the involvement of domestic firms.

 

The government has responded numerous times that the procurement process is fair, open and transparent. The equipment is needed quickly by the military, it contends.

 

The chief of review services’ analysis recommends strengthening the management of capital equipment programs by conducting audits early in the acquisition process. It also pointed out that more management control should be directed to programs based on their level of risk.

 

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Edition: Final

Story Type: Business

Length: 781 words

 

PRODUCTION FIELDS

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DOB: 20071029

POSITION: 1

 

 

 

 

CANADIAN FORCES LOOKS FOR COUNTER ROCKET RADAR

January 3, 2009

By David Pugliese

Ottawa Citizen

Published Jan. 2, 2009

The Canadian Forces is looking to spend at least $50 million on a new radar to warn troops about incoming rockets and mortar bombs.

 

The new program follows an earlier attempt which saw $33 million spent to lease a similar system but that project produced mixed results.

 

This time around the army is looking for a radar that has a range of up to 30 kilometres and can be quickly set up by several soldiers.

 

For its 2003-2004 Afghanistan mission, the Canadian military had leased a radar, dubbed Arthur, from Sweden but soldiers complained it had mis-identified friendly aircraft and electrical power lines as incoming enemy rockets. Out of 3,200 incidents the radar identified as enemy fire, only two could be confirmed as real, according to a report filed by Canadian military personnel.

 

At the time the army shelved plans to purchase what were known as counter-bombardment radars, citing the concern the technology was not developed enough to make their use practical. It decided to wait until the U.S. military figured out what it would do in terms of such technology.

 

But now the Canadian army has revived its plan to purchase such radars. A contract for a new system is expected sometime in 2010 but it is unclear whether the equipment would be delivered in time to protect Canadian troops in Afghanistan.

 

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has stated that Canada will withdraw the bulk of its troops from Afghanistan in 2011.

 

Afghan insurgents have fired Chinese-made rockets at Canadian soldiers as well as mortar rounds and home-made rockets.

 

The new system would not only warn that a warhead was incoming but it could determine the location from where it was fired from.

 

The Citizen asked the Defence Department in November for comment on the radar project but received no response. It is now common practice at the department not to respond to questions about how money is being spent on equipment.

 

Defence insiders, however, say the army wants up to 10 radars.

 

Several firms with Ottawa-based offices are expected to bid on the project.

 

Lockheed Martin officials say they will offer Canada its EQ-36, a new radar system now being developed for the U.S. army.

 

Mark Starr, Lockheed’s vice president of radar programs, said Canada has requested information on the radar, which can detect and locate mortar, artillery and rocket fire. “We’re very interested in making our system available to the Canadian Army,” he added.

 

Raytheon Canada intends to offer its improved Sentinel radar which can detect rockets and mortar rounds and other aerial threats at longer ranges.

 

Luc Petit, business development manager at Raytheon Canadian, pointed out that the Sentinel is being used in Iraq by the U.S. army and is also being used by the British military. Mr. Petit noted that Raytheon can also offer a land-based gun system than can be integrated with the radar and used to destroy incoming warheads.

 

Gary Hollink, president of Saab International Canada, said the firm will offer the army an advanced version of its Giraffe radar which can provide 360 degree detection and tracking of incoming warheads. Mr. Hollink noted that the Canadian navy already uses a version of the radar on its Halifax-class frigates.

 

He said the army could install a Giraffe at Kandahar airfield and “provide coverage and surveillance to a very significant range.”

 

In 2006 Saab acquired the company which built Arthur, the artillery and rocket detection radar used by Canada earlier in Afghanistan.

 

Despite the ongoing problems with that system the army concluded that Arthur did provide “a psychological morale booster for soldiers living in camp” since the troops knew that a radar was available to warn against incoming warheads.

 

 

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

 

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

 


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