QinetiQ has been awarded a £30m contract to deliver unmanned aircraft systems to Canada.
The firm say that the deal is designed to drive enhanced situational awareness for the Canadian Armed Forces. The contract will be delivered from QinetiQ’s unmanned vehicle manufacturing and operational facilities in oddly named Medicine Hat, Alberta.
The vertical take-off UAS will provide Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) services to the Royal Canadian Navy and Canadian 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 in a release:
“We are delighted with this contract win to deliver critical over-the-horizon situation awareness to the Royal Canadian Navy and Canadian 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.
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 in the same release:
“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. The investment we have made in Canada has helped secure our largest Canadian contract to date and provides us with a solid foundation for delivering further QinetiQ products and services into the Canadian market and beyond.”
QinetiQ will work with four principal partners to deliver the ISTAR services: Canadian-UAV, Leonardo, UMS SKELDAR and Wescam:
“This is an important contract win for us alongside our partners including QinetiQ and confirms our stated strategic commitment to working with global navies following our announcement last year with the German Navy,” explains Axel Cavalli-Björkman, CEO of UMS SKELDAR, the UAV joint venture between Sweden’s Saab and UMS AERO GROUP of Switzerland.
“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.”
“L3 WESCAM is proud to have been chosen by QinetiQ, as it confirms our role as a trusted global supplier of advanced imaging technologies to the UAS market,” said Cameron McKenzie, Vice President, Global Sales & Business Development of L3 WESCAM.
“In fact, 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.”