QinetiQ has been awarded a C$51m (c£30m) contract to deliver unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) that will drive enhanced situational awareness for the Canadian Armed Forces. The contract will be delivered from QinetiQ’s state-of-the-art unmanned vehicle manufacturing and operational facilities in Medicine Hat, Alberta.
The vertical take-off UAS will provide Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) services to the Royal Canadian Navy and Special Operations Forces Command, for both domestic and international operations.
The system, based on the UMS SKELDAR V-200 UAS, will be equipped with a number of sensors including an Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar and Electro-optic infrared (EO/IR) camera.
Robert Aube, Managing Director of QinetiQ in Canada said: “We are delighted with this contract win to deliver critical over-the-horizon situation awareness to the Royal Canadian Navy and Special Operations Forces Command. This generates tactical advantages for commanders while minimising the risk to manned helicopters and personnel.
“As a result of the contract, we will be pleased to see a large number of jobs created in the Southern Alberta region where UAS repair and overhaul services will be carried out.”
Aube continued: “We are dedicated to providing a world-class service for the Canadian Armed Forces and the information collected and used by a UAS system of this calibre will be critical for the men and women serving Canada, both domestically and abroad.”
Iain Farley, Managing Director International Business at QinetiQ said: “International growth is a core part of QinetiQ’s strategy and to facilitate this, we continue to make significant investments in our subsidiary businesses and complementary acquisitions. This contract provides an important proof point that this strategy is delivering.”
QinetiQ will work with four principal partners to deliver the ISTAR services: Canadian-UAV, Leonardo, UMS SKELDAR and Wescam:
Axel Cavalli-Björkman, CEO of UMS SKELDAR, the UAV joint venture between Sweden’s Saab and UMS AERO GROUP of Switzerland, said: “With multiple systems to be delivered in Q3 this year, the Royal Canadian Navy have secured a maritime UAV platform that not only includes our heavy fuel engine manufactured by German-based Hirth Engines, but also has an ability to carry multiple payloads.”
Cameron McKenzie, Vice President, Global Sales & Business Development of L3 WESCAM, said: “This order marks many strategic firsts for WESCAM in the Canadian marketplace, including a first for our MX Series turrets to be used by the Royal Canadian Navy, a first order for our MX-8 and MX-10D in Canada and our first contract with QinetiQ in Canada.”
Sean Greenwood, President and CEO of Canadian UAVs said: “This is the foundational contract the Canadian UAV industry has been waiting for to become world-class in autonomous vehicle service delivery and technology development. QinetiQ’s recognition of CUAVS’ work to date with Transport Canada in developing advanced UAV operations and their commitment to supporting local SMEs has been fundamental to our growth and cannot be understated.”
Wayne Smith, Head of Radar Campaigns from Leonardo, said: “Our PicoSAR Active Electronically Scanned Array radar provides an unrivalled all-weather capability for Unmanned Aerial Systems. It delivers a high-resolution Synthetic Aperture Radar imaging and Ground Moving Target Indication capability that will allow the SKELDAR V-200 to easily acquire a true, all-weather ground mapping and surveillance capability.”
Source: QinetiQ/UMS Skeldar