What’s Canada Buying? January 10, 2013
- October 2012, Julian Fantino, then-defence acquisition supremo, on the possibility of counterfeit Chinese electronics in Canadian military equipment: “We don’t have any particular concerns in this country. I have been advised that the checks and balances we have in our country are sufficient.”
- January 2013, CBC (without sharing the allegedly obtained documents, of course) “Despite repeated government denials, CBC News has confirmed that some of Canada’s new Hercules military transport planes have counterfeit Chinese parts in their cockpits that could leave pilots with blank instrument panels in mid-flight. Documents show the Canadian military has known about the bogus electronic chips in the giant Hercules C-130J aircraft since at least July 2012, but continued to hide the fact during a CBC News investigation months later. The military continues to fly the new Hercs with the fake parts, and says it still has no immediate plans to replace them. A 14-month investigation by the powerful U.S. Senate armed services committee concluded last year that counterfeit parts in the Hercules transports and other American-made military equipment are prone to failure with potentially “catastrophic consequences.” Failure of the parts could leave Canadian military pilots flying blind, potentially in a combat zone, with no information on altitude, speed, location, fuel supply, engine performance or warning messages ….”- a bit more backstory here at Milnet.ca, and in a U.S. congressional report on the issue here.
- Wanted: folks to help with blast-induced traumatic brain injury research – someone to work on chemical changes in the brain resulting from traumatic brain injury, and someone to work on changes in blood and spinal fluid from such injuries. You can find out a bit more on the work from parts of the bid packages here, with a bit of info on previous brain injury work done at Suffield here.
- “Even though the final costs for the RADARSAT Constellation mission went from $600 million to more than $1 billion, the multi-satellite project is being described as a “win-win-win” situation. Those comments were made at a news conference on Wednesday as MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (TSX:MDA) announced a $706-million deal with the Canadian Space Agency for the construction of three satellites. The contract will lead to the completion of construction, the launch of the satellites planned for 2018 and the first year of operation of the satellite system. The project will build on technology that MDA has developed through the RADARSAT-1 and RADARSAT-2 missions. Federal Industry Minister Christian Paradis joined CSA president Steve MacLean and MDA’s Mag Iskander to launch the final stage of RCM at the company’s satellite systems plant in the Montreal suburb of Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue ….” - more from the Industry Canada Info-machine here, a Canadian Space Agency RADARSAT Backgrounder here and from other media outlets here.
- Remember this one? “A pair of leading U.S. aircraft-makers is urging Ottawa to think outside the box as the government prepares to revive a long-stalled program to replace the country’s search-and-rescue planes. Boeing and Bell Helicopter, partners in the V-22 Osprey, plan to enter into the competition the tilt-rotor aircraft that can fly like a plane, but also hover like a helicopter ….” It appears this isn’t Bell’s first try to convince the CF to use the Osprey for search and rescue work – check here, here and here for more about previous attempts.
- Ceasefire.ca upset about the potential for Canada to sell Colombia armoured vehicles
- F-35 Tug o’ War Who’s nibbling? “…. French aircraft manufacturer Dassault Aviation said Jan. 9 the Paris-based company would respond to Canada’s request regarding its Rafale fighter jet. Unlike the F-35A, which Canada is still considering, Rafale and other potential competitors, including the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and Eurofighter Typhoon, feature twin engines and probe-and-drogue refueling capabilities desired by Canada’s air forces. “We are ready to explain what operational capacity and industrial cooperation Rafale may offer,” Dassault confirmed in an email. Though the likelihood of a Dassault win is slim, Ottawa and other potential buyers might take the French fighter jet more seriously if the company seals a deal with India this year for the sale of 126 Rafale aircraft. India’s selection of Rafale in January 2012 was a boon to the French aircraft manufacturer, which is eager to chalk up its first export customer for the multi-role fighter. But as Paris and New Delhi dicker over technology transfer and manufacturing differences, the agreement remains vulnerable to rival challenges, and India’s own budget woes could further postpone contract signature before April this year.” - more on Dassault’s interest here in French & here in Google English (thanks to Mark Collins for the tip) and in regular English here.
- “Esterline CMC Electronics’ (CMC) has recently been awarded a contract by Public Works and Government Services Canada for the avionics upgrade of the Canadian Department of National Defence (DND) fleet of five Airbus CC-150 (A310) Polaris aircraft. This program entails an upgrade of the legacy avionics equipment with CMC’s latest generation CMA-900 Flight Management Systems (FMS) with vertical navigation functionality and high-performance Global Positioning System Wide Area Augmentation System (GPS WAAS) sensors. The upgrade adds the capability for the fleet to operate in polar regions via software functionality in the CMA-9000 FMS and an upgrade of the legacy aircraft avionics. Under the contract, Future Air Navigation (FANS-1) functionality will be added to the five aircraft. The FANS-1 functionality includes Airline Operational Communication (AOC) and Controller-Pilot Datalink Communications (CPDLC) functions via the CMA-9000 FMS in association with newly installed communication avionics. The polar capability allows tanker refueling operations throughout Canada’s North ….”