What’s Canada Buying? September 18, 2012
- F-35 Tug o’ War (1) “A Federal Court bid to stop auditor general Michael Ferguson from releasing correspondence between his office and a House of Commons committee died a quiet death Monday. MPs voted to waive the parliamentary privilege of protection over the records in what’s being described as a one-time gesture. A court application was filed by federal lawyers in early September after attempts to persuade Ferguson to reject the information request failed. The NDP were seeking access to his correspondence with the public accounts committee, where he testified about his explosive report into the handling of the planned purchase of F-35 stealth fighters. Commons Speaker Andrew Sheer says the action taken by officials was in keeping with long-standing practice and they’d only asked the auditor’s office to wait until September before deciding whether to comply with the information request ….”
- F-35 Tug o’ War (2) Canada’s NDP: Flogging 50 Year Old Solutions to Today’s Defence Problems! “The NDP will be meeting this week with the Canadian group that’s pitching a plan to resurrect the Avro Arrow as a solution to the government’s fighter jet problems. “We’ve got a great aerospace industry in Canada, and of course, updating, bringing a much more modern version of the Avro Arrow or something along those lines would make a lot more sense,” NDP leader Thomas Mulcair said Sunday, comparing the storied Canadian jet to the U.S.-built F-35 the government was on track to purchase. “We could define our own needs for our armed forces, our weather conditions, and we could build something in Canada, leaving all the benefits here instead of shipping those jobs south.” The government turned down the idea from the consortium of engineers and design experts, who said their idea would produce a faster, more efficient jet that would cost Canadians less than the F-35s, and boost the national economy. The Conservatives said the proposal is unrealistic and too risky ….”
- F-35 Tug ‘o War (3) Meanwhile, south of the border…. “The future of the Lockheed Martin F-35 programme is at risk over software concerns and a breakdown in the relationships between the contractor and the government, says the deputy chief of the F-35 joint programme office. “There is no more money and no more time on this programme,” Maj Gen Christopher Bogdan told reporters at the Air Force Association convention. “We will not go back and ask for more, simple as that.” Bogdan’s comments covered a wide range of concerns, but he focused on the status of software development. In particular, he warned that the autonomic logistics information system — the nerve centre for F-35 maintenance and sustainment all over the world — is falling dangerously behind schedule ….”
- “…. In order for Defence R&D Canada to deliver its research programs for advanced underwater sensing systems to the Canadian Forces, there is an ongoing requirement for a “toolkit” of associated acoustic, electromagnetic, and environmental probing and sensing systems as well as test and calibration systems needed to validate and maintain the performance of these systems. A DRDC project has been initiated to recapitalize aging underwater research and development capabilities as well as provide new capabilities. The purpose of this requirement is to conduct an unclassified market survey to identify candidate UWW research systems ….” – more in bid document extract here.
- Wanted: contractor with seamstress diploma to fix, alter military clothing at CFB Bagotville.
- Remember this call for companies interested in making new helicopters for Canada’s Coast Guard (more in the “industry engagement” information package here)? Some companies say they’re interested: “Canada’s plans to modernise its coastguard’s ageing helicopter fleet have attracted the initial interest of five rotorcraft manufacturers, including the industry’s four biggest airframers. The country wants to purchase 16 light and eight medium helicopters alongside “at least one” flight simulator over the next five years. Canadian procurement body Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) says AgustaWestland, Bell Helicopter, Eurocopter, MD Helicopters and Sikorsky had all registered their interest by the 30 August deadline. PWGSC will now post a draft request for proposal on its electronic tendering website “once we have completed the engagement with industry and Canada has identified its requirements”. The budget for the procurement is still to be finalised, it adds. To be owned by the Fisheries and Oceans Canada department, the helicopter fleet will primarily be used for maintenance of coastguard communications systems, aids to navigation, “and other programs such as fisheries enforcement, ice reconnaissance, and environmental response, and will operate across Canada”, says the department. They will also support the nation’s new polar icebreaker, CCGS John G. Diefenbaker, which will enter full service in 2017 ….”