© 2012 FrontLine Defence (Vol 9, No 4)

The new Boeing CH-147F Medium- to Heavy-Lift Helicopter for Canada is progressing ahead of schedule after making its first flight on June 24. The inaugural flight lasted more than 80 minutes and confirmed the initial airworthiness of the aircraft, including its new electrical system and advanced Common Avionics Architecture System cockpit. The Canadian government awarded Boeing a contract for 15 Medium-to-Heavy-Lift Helicopters and in-service support in June 2009. Aircraft deliveries are scheduled to begin in 2013.
A Toronto start-up called Per Vices attracted attention at CANSEC 2012 with common hardware platforms that interact with and substitute for most wireless technology. This general purpose platform allows software applications to target and compete in traditionally ­independent verticals like communication, counter-IED, and electronic warfare. “We’re focusing on lowering the skills, development, and capital barriers necessary to realizing these sophisticated capabilities in tactical environments. Given the ubiquity of mobile technology, this requires Per Vices to “bring signals intelligence to the front lines”, said company spokesman Brandon Malatest. Civil versions of the hardware are currently available.
Pelican Products designed the new 2370 LED multi-color flashlight with the latest LED technology to work in a variety of environments. The flashlight is engineered with a magnetically-actuated selector switch LED for easy change between four operating modes – high and low white, as well as night-vision-friendly red and blue. Designed for general use, the 2370 LED is weather/corrosion resistant, features a CNC machined aerospace-grade aluminum body with a knurled “no slip” grip pattern and an extremely tough, matte black, Type II anodized finish.

L-3 WESCAM launched two new products at Farnborough this year. The MX-10D electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) imaging and designating turret will operate as a medium- to low-altitude tactical surveillance and target designating system for both fixed- and rotary-wing platforms, as well as tactical UAVs. The MX-Sim, a training product that simulates the complete operations of WESCAM’s MX-Series of electro-optical and infrared imaging turrets, will allow operators to simulate their exact turret configuration, significantly reducing the expensive flying time required to train personnel.

L-3 WESCAM Designating turret
NovAtel of Calgary, Alberta, working with L-3 Interstate Electronics Corporation, has integrated Selective Availability Anti-Spoofing Module (SAASM) technology with its Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) receiver, allowing current and future customers to meet stringent U.S. security standards. SAASM is closely-guarded U.S. technology that prevents extremely precise (GNSS) positioning information from being ‘spoofed’. NovAtel’s ­circuit boards are used in many Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, Unmanned Ground Vehicle and aircraft test applications. NovAtel will accept orders for the OEM625S GNSS SAASM receiver from authorized customers starting in Q3 2012.
French ship-builder DCNS is supplying two BPC-type projection and command vessels to Russia under a contract that came into effect at the end of 2011. Three of these vessels are already in service with the French Navy. The design modifications needed to adapt the BPC concept to Russia’s specific requirements are progressing as planned. The design modifications are being conducted in two phases. The first phase ended in April 2012 with the successful completion of the Preliminary Design Review. Russia’s requirements include modifying the BPC design to accommodate Kamov helicopters and other Russian equipment (excluding weapon systems). The vessels also need to be modified to operate under extreme cold, with higher electrical power availability to de-ice part of the flight deck. All user interfaces and onboard signage also need to be localized into Russian.
The Polish Air Force contract to buy five more Airbus Military C295 transport ­aircraft increases that country’s fleet to 16 aircraft. Deliveries will start end of this year and continue into 2013. The aircraft will be used to support the Polish Air Force in its national and international operations. “The C295 is working extremely well with the Polish Air Force and we are proud to have a further vote of confidence from our customer with this new order for a further five aircraft. We have a very close relationship with Poland through our Polish ­subsidiary and we look forward to further expand our footprint in Poland”, said Domingo Ureña Raso, CEO of Airbus Military.


Tactical, micro-robot systems developer ReconRobotics has opened its international headquarters in Switzerland. All worldwide sales, marketing and customer service for the company’s line of micro-robotic systems outside North America will be handled by ReconRobotics’ new office in Lugano. Alan Bignall, President and CEO of Edina MN-based ReconRobotics, said that “local hires together speak a total of seven languages. In fact, ready access to well-educated multilingual personnel is one of the reasons we selected Switzerland after looking at sites in Holland, Italy and the UK.” ReconRobotics’ Recon Scout Throwbot system provides immediate situational awareness and greater standoff distance to military and law enforcement personnel, to protect from hidden threats, enhance mission planning and execution, and minimize collateral damage. More than 3,700 of the company’s Recon Scout systems have been deployed by militaries and law enforcement worldwide.
Rolls-Royce will lead a project to develop new technologies to support unmanned naval vehicle missions, following an award of $3 million from ACOA (the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency). Rolls-Royce will develop automated systems to support the missions carried out by unmanned naval vehicles, including mine-countermeasures, anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, coastal security patrols and environmental data collection. Rolls-Royce will design refuelling systems so unmanned craft can remain at sea for longer periods, and handling equipment that can deploy underwater sensors remotely from these advanced craft. The development of Unmanned Surface Vehicles (USVs) and Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUVs) is a rapidly expanding part of naval marine technology, and Rolls-Royce has extensive capability in the handling systems that enable these advanced craft to be launched, refuelled and recovered from the sea.
“Mitigating the Improvised Device Threat” is the theme of a CBRNE conference in Burlington, Ontario, October 15-18th. Three associations are participating; Canadian Explosive Technicians Association (CETA), International Association of Bomb Technicians and Investigators (IABTI), and ACCT (the Association of Canadian CBRN Technicians). The largest event of its kind in Canada, the focus is on explosive and CBRN response and capability, and improving the response of all emergency service agencies. The conference will have workshops, speakers, a large vendor area and a demo day. Speakers include: Norwegian police with a debrief of last year’s bombing and massacre; Columbian police discussing IED’s; ATF agents discussing drug cartels; and, Canadian Forces operations debriefs. Registration is limited to members of CETA, IABTI, ACCT or any active member of a law enforcement or military unit.
RCMP buys armoured personnel carriers from Navistar Defence Canada. The company has delivered on a USD $14 million contract from the Government of Canada to supply the Royal Canadian Mounted Police with International MXT Armoured Personnel Carriers. The new vehicles will provide increased protection and rescue capabilities for RCMP officers and members of the public during high-risk situations. The contract to support the RCMP is the company’s first MXT vehicle sale to the police and security sector.

Vector Aerospace, a leading provider of aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul services has been appointed a Pratt & Whitney Canada Designated Overhaul Facility for the PW150A turboprop engine. Vector’s new DOF will be established in the Asia-Pacific region, with the intent to have a fully operational facility in place by mid-2013. “The development of a Pratt & Whitney Canada PW150A engine overhaul facility in this area creates considerable new opportunities for PW150A engine owners and operators throughout the Asia Pacific region to access our industry-proven services,” said Vector Aerospace President and CEO Declan O’Shea.

The UK accepted its first F-35 Lightning II aircraft in July 2012. “It’s fitting that our first delivery to an international partner is to the United Kingdom, because without sustained British innovation over many generations, we would not have an event to celebrate today,” said Bob Stevens, Lockheed Martin chairman and CEO. The U.K. was the first of eight international partners to join the F-35 program.

The second P-8I aircraft for the Indian Navy completed its first official flight in July. The aircraft are built by a Boeing-led industry team that includes CFM International, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Spirit AeroSystems, BAE Systems and GE Aviation.The P-8I is one of eight long-range maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft that Boeing is building for India as part of a contract awarded in January 2009.


Boeing test pilots will put the P-8I, a Next-Generation 737-800 derivative, through its paces over a U.S. Navy test range west of Neah Bay, Washing­ton, and a joint U.S./Canadian test range in the Strait of Georgia. In order to efficiently design and build the P-8I and the P-8A, the Boeing-led team is using a first-in-industry, in-line production process. Assembly on the second P-8I aircraft is complete and it will make its first flight in the coming weeks. The P-8I features open system architecture, advanced sensor and display technologies, and a worldwide base of suppliers, parts and support equipment.

Upcoming Events
DEFSEC (Halifax)
5-7 September

CFSAC (Connaught Range, Ottawa)
19-22 September

Network Ops Symposium (Kingston)
24-25 October

SecureTech (Ottawa)
30-31 October

© FrontLine Defence 2012