Vanguard Magazine

April/May 2015

Preserving capacity, General Tom Lawson, Chief of the Defence Staff, Keys to Canadian SAR

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I INSIDE IndUSTRy 8 aPRIL/May 2015 DND increase pending, but Budget 2015 gets industry support Airbus partnerships key to FWSAR proposal The federal government's April budget may have come with few surprises – many of the details were leaked in the weeks leading up to its release – but it did offer the promise of new money for National Defence. Since 2009 the Canadian Armed Forces has seen infl ation adjusted spending drop by 13 percent, a signifi cant amount that undoubted- ly helped the government achieve its goal of a balanced budget for 2015. So the promise of an $11.8 billion increase is a welcome change, even if it is over 10 years and does not begin until 2017-18. If re-elected this fall, the government pro- posed to raise the department's annual bud- get escalator from 2.5 to 3 percent, meaning a gradual increase to $2.3 billion by 2026-27. Current missions were acknowledged: up to $360.3 million to extend Operation Impact and $7.1 million to support the training mission with the Ukrainian Security Forces. And $23 million over four years was earmarked to upgrade the physical security of CAF bases. The pledge of an increase that will only take effect in the distant future if the government is returned to offi ce was met with plenty of media criticism – Sahir Jhan, former assistant parlia- mentary budget offi cer, observed to the Ottawa Citizen that DND could be "treading water for the next few years." But the budget was widely praised by indus- try associations. Through not all their members were necessarily on board, the associations recognized in its many provisions for R&D, small businesses, training, and technology development new opportunities to improve the defence, aerospace and security sectors. "For Canadian companies, the Budget 2015 initiatives are about ensuring that Canadians look after Canadians and that we do this with the best products and services available," said Christyn Cianfarani, president of the Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries, a vocal proponent of long-term procurement and industrial strategies. "Doing this requires strong and innovative Canadian companies. Collectively these investments will help us bet- ter understand what we have to offer at home, on the world stage, and win contracts abroad." Among the budget's notable promises is $2.5 million per year, starting in 2016–17, to support the Defence Analytics Institute, a key pillar of the new procurement strategy that would increase the government's analytical capacity. Budget 2015 also committed to a number of initiatives to support advanced research, including $30 million over four years for cut- ting-edge technology development in satel- lite communications. It pledged $65 million to business and industry associations to help collaboration with post-secondary institutions to develop the workforce of tomorrow. And it contained provisions to encourage trade and investment, including $50 million over fi ve years for a program to share the cost of explor- ing new export opportunities with small- and medium-sized enterprises. For the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada (AIAC), the extension of Canada's par- ticipation in the International Space Station mission until 2024 and a commitment of $30 million over four years to support the Canadian Space Agency was "another step as we con- tinue to work with the government on a long- term vision for Canada's future in space," said president Jim Quick. He also acknowledged a $6 million offer to work with AIAC and provincial and regional stakeholders to create a national supply chain development initiative. "[That] will have a sig- nifi cant long-term impact on the industry's ability to grow individual companies and help them scale the supply chain faster than they have in the past," he said. For companies that have invested the past 14 years in Canada's fi xed-wing search and res- cue (FWSAR) replacement project, the release on March 31 of the long-anticipated Request for Proposals might have been cause to check the calendar. It was not a pre-April Fool's prank, however. In documents made available to bidders pre- viously registered with its FWSAR source list, the government laid out its requirement to "procure a fl eet of new sensor-equipped air- craft, including long-term in-service support for a period up to 20 years, in order to provide an effective response to SAR incidents any- where in the Canadian Area of Responsibility, and to support the National Search and Rescue Program." When that source list was fi rst published in December 2013, six companies expressed interest in the replacement of the RCAF's ven- erable CC115 Buffalos and CC130H Hercules: Airbus Defence and Space; Alenia Aermacchi; Bell Boeing; Embraer Defence and Security; Lockheed Martin; and Viking Air. The FWSAR program has faced plenty of prob- lems since it was fi rst announced in 2003, in- cluding accusations that the original statement of requirements favoured one contender. But the shift from a platform to a capability-based requirement has changed the equation consid- erably, according to one contender. "Having the procurement changed to capa- Christyn Cianfarani Jim Quick

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