Gov't awards contracts for SAR illumination flares
Posted on Mar 18, 2019

Last Friday, the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement Canada, announced three contracts totalling $48 million awarded to Magellan Aerospace Corporation, based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, for LUU-2 illumination flares.

“These contracts provide the highly trained members of the Royal Canadian Air Force with the equipment they need to respond quickly and safely in potentially life-saving, night-time search and rescue operations and help bring Canadians home," Minister Qualtrough said. "This critical procurement is another example of how our government is building a more agile and better-equipped military, while creating jobs and economic growth in Canada.”

Critical to operations, these flares will be used by the Royal Canadian Air Force to illuminate the sky during night-time search and rescue operations. The flares descend from aircraft by parachute and produce 1.8-million candlepower of light for a five-minute period. 

“Search and rescue services are incredibly important to Canadians, and a core mission of our Canadian Armed Forces," said Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan. "The Canadian Armed Forces flies approximately 1,000 search and rescue missions each year, and it is critical that we provide our women and men in uniform with the equipment they need to provide this life-saving service to Canadians. These contracts will ensure the Royal Canadian Air Force is well equipped and able to succeed day or night.”

The three contracts provide a combined 10,000 units of the illumination flares over a five-year period, as well as non-recurring expenses related to manufacturing.

Alongside the Canadian Coast Guard, the Canadian Armed Forces responds to more than 9,000 search and rescue calls annually, approximately 1,000 of which result in the launching of search and rescue air assets.

Magellan Aerospace Corporation has 585 employees in Winnipeg, and these contracts will create or sustain approximately 20 jobs.

Hexagon and Frequentis partner on Integrated Control Rooms
Posted on Mar 6, 2019

Technology and Innovation

After two decades of informal collaboration, two industry leaders have now formally partnered to deliver an integrated solution for public safety control rooms in the UK.

The partnership between Hexagon and Frequentis allows emergency services to deploy a proven, best-of-breed solution at the heart of their critical control room ecosystem, which promotes innovation and constant evolution, while avoiding supplier lock-in.

More than 30 public safety agencies in the UK and Europe already use Frequentis control room communication solutions with Hexagon’s computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system, and North America is taking notice.

Control room demo setup.

The challenges of keeping society safe have never been more visible – or felt more acutely – than in the critical control room environment. The new control room solution features superior integration by design coupled with unsurpassed industry experience.

Operational staff demand timely actionable information and insight to make the right decisions and deliver the right response yet multiple data sources, while offering opportunity and insight, risk confusion and unmanageable complexity. The quicker a situation can be visualized, the faster it can be acted upon. It is the overwhelming ambition of the Chief Information Officer to deliver this situational awareness.
Frequentis is a specialist in safety-critical communication and information solutions with more than seventy years of cross-industry experience in civil aviation, defence, public safety, maritime and public transportation markets. It is now the market leader in the provision of UK Public Safety control room communication solutions for First Contact and Despatch.
“We are pleased to partner with Hexagon to combine our expertise and experience in the market and deliver safety-critical control room solutions that put the operator back in control, enabling enhanced situational awareness and a faster emergency response,” said Andy Madge, Frequentis UK Managing Director. “We intend to provide the best information available to those who make the key decisions in critical scenarios. Our Emergency Services can then deliver an effective service to the public.”
Hexagon is the world leader in the supply of incident management solutions and is unique in the UK in providing these to customers across all three emergency services as well as roadside rescue. Its broader portfolio: notably asset management, mobility, analytics, major event planning and crisis management underpins Safe City initiatives around the world.
“Suppliers must offer open solutions possessing superior integration characteristics while focussing on their core competencies,” said Pete Prater, Managing Director of Hexagon Safety & Infrastructure in the UK.  “The best way to support the ambition of the emergency services is to recognize that an ecosystem of suppliers – offering a combination of superior components – is the key to critical ICT provisioning.  The latest integrated solution from Frequentis and Hexagon delivers on this ambition.”

Control room demo setup.

PAL Aerospace extends search capabilities
Posted on Feb 21, 2019

– St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada

Canada's PAL Aerospace has confirmed its collaboration with Australia’s Sentient Vision to offer customers the revolutionary Visual Detection and Ranging (ViDAR) optical radar. Under this agreement, PAL will operate a specially configured ViDAR array within the AIMS mission system currently provided through its subsidiary, CarteNav.

Based in Newfoundland, PAL Aerospace is a world leader in aircraft special mission operations, having accumulated more than 250,000 flying hours of experience across 35 years of surveillance operations in fisheries monitoring, defence and security operations, search and rescue, pollution detection, drug interdiction and environmental and ice management.

“PAL Aerospace believes the incorporation of this world leading optical search system is a meaningful complement to the capacity of our recently launched Force Multiplier special missions’ aircraft,” said PAL CEO Brian Chafe. “PAL is committed to providing flexible solutions that meet the needs of our customers and adding ViDAR’s unique capabilities enhances that capability.”

ViDAR is a wide area optical search system capable of operation unaffected by environmental obstacles, such as whitecaps, which detrimentally affect traditional technologies. The system is unique in its ability to detect objects as small as fishing buoys and people in the water over significant areas, allowing aircraft operators to map vast swaths of the ocean in real time. ViDAR autonomously locates objects on the surface of the water, transmits a thumbnail and location coordinate back to the AIMS mission system and prompts the operator to investigate further.

Both ViDAR and AIMS have extensive records of accomplishment and are in operation on multiple continents across multiple environments in both military and civilian application.

Sentient will work with PAL on the integration of ViDAR into the AIMS mission system. “Blending these leading edge technologies into a combined offering marks a significant step forward in providing a game changing ocean surface search solution to customers. Whether it is search and rescue, fisheries surveillance, counter narcotics or border protection, ViDAR provides an optimal solution to address these complex mission requirements,” said Simon Olsen, Sentient’s Director of Business Development, Strategy and Partnerships.

PAL Aerospace COO Jake Trainor confirms that PAL has worked with Sentient for many years, originally on the implementation of the Kestrel Moving Target Indicator (MTI) feature into AIMS, and most recently on integrating ViDAR. “AIMS provides an intuitive interface from which operators can take advantage of the capabilities of the ViDAR persistent wide-area maritime search,” he said.

Sentient Vision Systems develops and deploys computer vision solutions for defense and civil applications. The company specializes in video analytics with a primary focus on the development of automated detection software for full motion video. With more than 1,700 systems deployed, Sentient’s solutions enhance the performance of EO/IR operations for many agencies and forces worldwide.

With its focus on intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) solutions, PAL Aerospace has been recognized by governments and militaries for reliability and on-time/on-budget delivery. This track record of success has led to on-going operations around the world, and PAL’s collaboration with Sentient confirms its commitment to collaboration and long-term growth in the Australian market.

Next Gen simulation system launched by IXTROM
Posted on Feb 6, 2019


IXTROM launches IXVMS training and simulation solution to help military leaders maximize mission success before boots touch the ground

Magog, Quebec (12 February 2019) - IXTROM, a leader in situational awareness and information management systems, has launched IXVMS (Intelligent Visualization, Modeling and Simulation) collective training management and awareness system, a game-changing, next-generation training and simulation solution that prepares soldiers for the challenges of modern warfare.

IXVMS is the first of an entirely new, next-generation software designed to modernize the training capabilities of our military forces while enabling interoperability with multiple participants across multiple domains, while keeping their rights, roles and authorities, in real time and securely.

IXVMS is a web-based Collaborative Training and Exercise Platform providing an innovative organizational approach to support planners in the design and execution of modeling and simulations. IXVMS provides an intuitive and quick-flowing approach to operational information management and the development of exercise planning and execution in order to develop concepts and training objectives. Objectives are then prioritized with explicit resourcing conditions while participants are given rights and restrictions according to their role and responsibility within the exercise organizational structure. The solution enables various groups and organizations from multiple domains – Land, Maritime, Air, Cyber, Civilians organizations and others – to interoperate and work together, thereby maximizing the likelihood of mission success.

"The next-generation IXTROM's IXVMS has the interoperability necessary for today's joint and allied forces tactics and military exercises. This state-of-the-art software solution will help better prepare our soldier to safeguard and strengthen our citizen's safety and protect the critical infrastructure. IXVMS provides the innovating tools to train, rehearse and improve time to react to threats obtaining mission success," says Soledad R. Bourque, President of IXTROM Group.

IXVMS is a multifunctional and streamlined solution that is easily and intuitively adaptable to all type of exercises, to create, modify and execute different scenarios from any perspective. Military leaders can analyze every aspect of each scenario in real time to effectively achieve exercise objectives. The training elements can be changed and new ones added "on the fly" as the simulation unfolds – improving tactical and strategic proficiency and real-time decision-making.

IXVMS is a rapidly-deployable, mobile system, and is interoperable with multiple agencies and elements, including the vast array of Command, Control, Battle Management, and Communications systems.

The unique capabilities that IXTROM provides make an important addition to the next-generation defense and security architectures around the world.

"We recognize the importance of modernizing the worldwide command and control systems to ensure total soldier capability and resiliency. Developing the latest technology to support the worldwide safety and security, fostering the next generation of talent, creating sustainable jobs for a brighter future, and growing the economy are our top priorities," confirms Ms Bourque.

"IXTROM continues to develop some of the most advanced technologies in the industry right here in Canada, while consistently contributing to our economy and our community."

IXTROM specializes in software engineering and the development of intelligent and innovative solutions that provide users with Situational Awareness and Command, Control, Communications and Computer, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) capabilities. The Company provides state-of-the-art solutions within a unique framework, enabling seamless interoperability, cross-agency collaboration, and enhanced interconnectivity to support rapid, coordinated and safe responses to real-world threats.

IXTROM recognizes that in critical moments, every second counts. In order for responders to make the best decisions when it matters, their training environment should reflect the challenges they face in the real world.

Real-time, uninterrupted feedback in both training and performance analysis is the greatest predictor of mission success. This understanding has helped IXTROM lay the foundation of a strong company culture and consistently challenge the status quo of traditional market offerings.


FrontLine Innovation Platform
Posted on Dec 13, 2018



For our first edition of top global innovators, FrontLine has gathered a select group of ­organizations that take their innovative priorities ­seriously. From artistic design to advanced materials to cutting-edge technologies and imaginative research, you will no doubt hear more from these companies in the future. Contact us today for ­inclusion in our Fall 2019 edition: <[email protected]>


Cutting edge exhibition designs turn heads and attract traffic. This award-winning company can make your next trade event a show-stopper.


With the aim of preventing the spread of disease across borders, and ensure people receive timely treatment, medical sniffer dogs could potentially be deployed at ports of entry to identify passengers who may unknowingly be carrying malaria and other serious pathogens.


These state-of-the-art marine-sector innovations will be impacting modern navies around the world for decades to come, increasing efficiencies in a highly digital future.


HENSOLDT is a global pioneer of technology and innovation in the area of defence and security electronics, HENSOLDT provides naval forces with unprecedented sensor capabilities.


A global leader in the delivery of end-to-end managed clothing solutions, Logistik has been at the forefront of providing advanced military apparel for more than two decades.


The world’s fourth industrial revolution is looming, and despite the potential for disruption, Thales believes that technology can make the world a safer place.


Innovative technologies and solutions from Prod360 provide peace of mind to military and first responder organizations responsible for public safety and security.


Leonardo DRS contracted to upgrade Flight Incident Recorder
Posted on Sep 18, 2018

Leonardo DRS, Inc. announced it has been awarded a contract to develop upgraded Deployable Flight Incident Recorder Set (DFIRS) technology for new and in-service F/A-18E/F and EA-18G aircraft. The contract, awarded by The Boeing Company, will be executed by Leonardo DRS’ subsidiary, DRS Technologies Canada Ltd., in Kanata, Ontario.

The DFIRS system is a fully integrated deployable flight recorder system with an Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) that marks the aircraft’s location upon impact and immediately sends an emergency signal for search and rescue. The upgraded technology will include the latest in emergency locator, antenna and battery technologies and will provide extended available memory storage for flight data as well as the integration of a dual-frequency 243/406 MHz ELT. The system will also have extended transmission duration and battery life.

DRS’ DFIRS builds upon earlier generations of highly innovative deployable flight recorder technology originally developed by the National Research Council of Canada and brought to market by DRS Technologies Canada Ltd.

“We are proud to be able to provide this advanced life-saving technology for combat aircrews around the world,” said Martin Munro, Vice President and General Manager of DRS Technologies Canada, Ltd. “Boeing has been a pioneer in the adoption of deployable flight data recorders for military and tactical aircraft, and we are very pleased to continue our relationship to assist in the location and recovery of downed aircrews and the vital flight data,” Munro said.

The redesigned system will also ensure backwards compatibility, allowing current F/A-18 customers to take advantage of the new DFIRS without incurring modification to their in-service aircraft.

DFIRS has been standard equipment on F/A-18 model aircraft since 1992 with approximately 1400 units in service with the U.S. Navy and international customers including: Australia, Finland, Kuwait, Malaysia and Switzerland. Since its introduction, the DFIRS has been successively re-qualified for operational service on F/A-18E/F model Super Hornets and more recently the EA-18G model “Growlers.”

Unlike traditional ‘black boxes’, in the event of an accident, the Leonardo DRS innovative flight recorder deploys from the fuselage when the aircraft is in a crash profile and is able to float indefinitely. The Emergency Locator Transmitter broadcasts its location to international emergency search and rescue satellites within seconds of deployment.

DFIRS provides critical, life saving and time sensitive information to aid in the near immediate location of a downed aircraft, aids search and rescue resources to quickly locate and recover the aircraft and crew. The valuable flight data can be easily recovered in a timely manner without the need for underwater retrieval.

“The re-design of DFIRS is another superb example of government and industry working together to foster innovation with consequential improvements in aviation safety,” said Munro, "for example, critical ¼ scale wind tunnel testing of the F/A-18 DFIRS was performed at the NRC’s internationally recognized aerodynamics facility in Ottawa”.

Leonardo DRS specializes in a wide range of electro-optical/infrared systems, naval and maritime systems, ground combat mission command and network computing, global satellite communications and network infrastructure, avionics systems, and intelligence and security solutions.

See the full range of capabilities at and on Twitter @LeonardoDRSnews.

Lockheed ships communications satellite for U.S. and Allies
Posted on Aug 6, 2018

On July 27th, Lockheed Martin shipped the fourth Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) military communications satellite to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, where it will be prepared for an October liftoff aboard an Atlas V rocket.

“Four AEHF satellites in orbit means protected global connectivity for those who need it most, from the president to deployed soldiers,” said Michael Cacheiro, Lockheed Martin vice president of Protected Communications. “We offer powerful end-to-end systems so that more operational users can have assured connectivity in contested environments. Delivering this fourth satellite in orbit will be critical to the Air Force, as it will connect all four satellites on orbit, forming a geostationary ring to provide uninterrupted global communications.”
AEHF communications are jam-proof and offer low probability of detection or interception, and the four-satellite constellation will be able to deliver that capability worldwide.

The satellite enables military communications with real-time video, battlefield maps and targeting data, boosted by a five-fold increase in individual user data rates. This delivery comes at a time when more troops are on the cusp of using AEHF’s benefits with a new generation of terminals that will soon be available based on both DOD and commercial models.

The AEHF system provides vastly improved global, survivable, highly secure, protected communications for strategic command and tactical warfighters operating on ground, sea and air platforms. The system also serves international partners including Canada, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. A single AEHF satellite provides greater total capacity than the entire legacy five-satellite Milstar constellation combined.

Lockheed Martin is under contract to deliver six AEHF satellites and the Mission Control Segment. The first three AEHF satellites are on orbit, and AEHF-5 and -6 are progressing on schedule. All satellites are assembled at the company’s Sunnyvale, California, facility.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 100,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. This year, the company received three Edison Awards for ground-breaking innovations in autonomy, satellite technology and directed energy.

Nikola UTV responds to military requirement
Posted on Jul 26, 2018

PHOENIX – Nikola Powersports has accepted a contract from SOFWERX of Tampa, Fla. to develop a roadmap and demonstration of autonomous and mixed-autonomy capabilities with the Nikola Reckless vehicle.
The Reckless UTV is a totally electric vehicle that can go from 0 to 100 kilometers-per-hour in just over three seconds. The vehicle has a modular capability that can plug and play with a Remote Weapons Station (RWS) and military drones.  The near silent Nikola Reckless UTV recently conducted off road testing with the United States Marine Corps at Camp Pendleton and Twentynine Palms, California and will continue to expand capabilities by offering autonomous features.
SOFWERX was created under a Partnership Intermediary Agreement between Doolittle Institute and the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). Located in Tampa, FL, SOFWERX has a very dynamic environment designed to create a high rate of return for all participants. Through the use of a growing ecosystem, promotion of divergent thought and neutral facilitation, the company’s goal is to bring the right minds together to solve challenging problems.
“This contract highlights Nikola’s innovative approach to  UTV design.  The military asked for a technologically superior electric vehicle and Nikola answered the call.”  said Andrew Christian, Nikola’s vice president of defense, Nikola Powersports.  “We’ll prove that the Reckless can perform under four grueling scenarios including unmanned perimeter security with remote monitor, supply run, control recovery and autonomous multi-vehicle missions.”
“As we continue to grow our entire operation, I am continually impressed with the many military applications our Nikola Reckless can handle,”  said Trevor Milton, CEO, Nikola Motor Company. “So in addition to helping the environment with zero emissions vehicles, we are also helping our country.”
The Nikola team will build a remote control function for the vehicle and support aerial and ground robots that can interface with and deploy from the Reckless vehicle. The Nikola vehicle will be ready for demonstration no later than May 2019.
Nikola Powersports is a division of Nikola Motor Company dedicated to the powersports industry that includes UTVs for military and commercial markets, and watercraft. Nikola Motor Company designs and manufactures electric vehicles, vehicle components, energy storage systems, and electric vehicle drivetrains. 

For more information, visit or Twitter: @nikolamotor.


Ukraine to modernize public safety helicopter fleet
Posted on Jul 23, 2018

Following the Intergovernmental Agreement signed between France and Ukraine on 8 June, Airbus Helicopters signed a contract with the Ukrainian Ministry of Interior for the purchase of 55 civil helicopters destined for search and rescue (SAR), public services, and emergency medical service (EMS) missions in the country. The 55 aircraft include 21 re-purposed H225s, and 10 brand new H145s and 24 H125.

The contract, which also foresees the setting up of a local training and maintenance centre, was signed in Kiev on 14 July in the presence of Arsen Avakov, Minister of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Ukraine, and Bruno Even, Airbus Helicopters CEO.
The heavy twin-engine H225 aircraft ordered by Ukraine, for which the French State currently holds economic rights, will be re-purposed to suit public services and search & rescue missions for which the aircraft is recognized as a reference helicopter. The H225 features include a takeoff sequence of less than five minutes, an extra long-range capability with auxiliary fuel tanks, and its world-renowned autopilot and upper SAR modes. The first H225 helicopters are expected to land in Kiev before the end of 2018.

 A world leader in the EMS segment and parapublic missions, the Airbus H145 is the latest member of its 4-tonne-class twin-engine rotorcraft product range – with designed-in mission capability and flexibility, especially in high and hot operating conditions. Compact in size, this helicopter’s small footprint and large, flexible cabin make it the aircraft of choice for a variety of civil missions.

The H125, an Airbus bestseller, is a light single-engine helicopter that has earned its reputation as a true multi-mission workhorse thanks to its high levels of performance, exceptional manoeuvrability, excellent visibility and low vibration levels in the cabin, with an optimized maintenance plan that contributes to reduced operating costs for the customer.  The aircraft, with its new flat floor can be quickly and easily reconfigured for various missions, including aerial work, firefighting, law enforcement, search and rescue, and passenger transport.
Airbus is a global leader in aeronautics, space and related services. In 2017 it generated revenues of € 59 billion restated for IFRS 15 and employed a workforce of around 129,000. Airbus offers the most comprehensive range of passenger airliners from 100 to more than 600 seats. Airbus is also a European leader providing tanker, combat, transport and mission aircraft, as well as one of the world’s leading space companies. In helicopters, Airbus provides the most efficient civil and military rotorcraft solutions worldwide.

L3 WESCAM opens authorized service center in Spain
Posted on Jul 19, 2018

At the Farnborough Airshow in the UK, imaging leader L3 WESCAM announced it has signed an agreement with European Optronics Services (EOS) to open a WESCAM Authorized Service Center (WASC) in Madrid, Spain.

The 1,744-square-foot facility will maintain L3’s MX-Series of electro-optical and infrared (EO/IR) imaging turrets operated by customers located across Spain, Portugal and Algeria. The center is expected to be operational early 2019.

The EOS facility will be equipped with the tooling required for optical alignment and other equipment necessary to ensure MX systems can be maintained in-region at an advanced service level. With a dedicated team assembled and trained to support MX systems operating across the air, land and maritime domains, customers will see an increase in operational availability and shorter turnaround times.

“We are proud to deliver a stronger, globally diverse in-service support network for our customers,” said Rod Till, Vice President of Customer Service for L3 WESCAM. “By working with innovative companies like EOS that are located in strategic regions, we will continue to grow our in-service support structure and see an immediate increase in customer satisfaction.”

Deployed in close proximity to L3’s customers, other strategically located facilities can be found throughout the United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, Spain, Germany, Jordan, the United States, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Canada. Additionally, L3 is preparing to open more WASCs later this year in the Asia region.

Providing service and support where and when they are needed, L3’s global in-service support facilities also incorporate remote diagnostic testing of fielded operational systems; service representatives available for dispatch 24/7 from any WASC; eLearning; and classroom, in-flight and in-vehicle training, in addition to mission simulation and mission rehearsal training.

L3 WESCAM is a world leader in the design and manufacture of stabilized, multispectral imaging systems. To learn more about L3 WESCAM, please visit the company’s website at