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INDUSTRY FOCUS – Marshall Canada

INDUSTRY FOCUS – Marshall Canada


Managing Director of Marshall Canada


Not Just an ‘Aerospace’ Company Anymore


Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group provides applied engineering services and integrated product solutions to a wide range of global customers. The Group has a history spanning more than 100 years, during which it has delivered a wide range of ground-breaking engineering solutions across land, sea, and air domains. Today, the Group consists of 1,600 highly skilled employees located across the UK, Canada, Europe, and the United Arab Emirates.

Most recognize Marshall for its well-earned reputation for being a reliable and responsive partner through its support efforts to the Royal Canadian Air Force. Over the past fifteen years, Marshall has been a major subcontractor on the Primary Air Vehicle Optimized Weapons System Management (PAV OWSM) program for the CC-130H Hercules Search and Rescue (SAR) aircraft. For this program Marshall provides engineering and technical support, as well as design work for modifications that keep the Hercules SAR fleet viable and airworthy. This engineering capability spans well beyond the Hercules aircraft as Marshall provides aerospace and managed support solutions to a number of other aerospace customers.




Although the aerospace domain remains a significant part of the company it is by no means the only area of interest in Canada. Known previously as Marshall Aerospace Canada, the company has grown and diversified with multi-domain endeavours so, in recognition of this expansion, they rebranded to Marshall Canada last year.

Marshall Canada is headquartered in Ottawa and has its main offices in Abbotsford, BC. With employees dispersed across the country, Marshall Canada is a complete turnkey supplier and partner that maintains and supports the capabilities of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF). Not only is the company focused on providing leading capabilities to the CAF, but it is also dedicated to delivering lasting economic benefits across Canada.

Sam Michaud, Managing Director of Marshall Canada told CDR “Our rebrand speaks to the growth of our company and the broad scope of work we’re able to provide. I also have to say I’m really proud of the agility and commitment demonstrated by our team during the pandemic. We transitioned to a fully work from home posture at the start of the pandemic and did not miss a beat in supporting our customers. I’m also immensely proud that we have a diverse leadership team with more than 40% of our senior management team being women.”




Land systems is a key area of growing expertise and focus at Marshall Canada. This capability is supported by decades of experience which resides with the parent company in the UK. This expertise was further enhanced through Marshall Canada’s recent experience with Canada’s Medium Support Vehicle System – Standard Military Pattern (MSVS-SMP) program. In this case, Marshall Canada provided the loadbeds for all the MSVS-SMP trucks. This effort consisted of four variants of loadbeds for 800 vehicles and ancillary equipment for 1,500 vehicles.

Heather Larmer is the Senior Commercial and Strategic Offsets Manager for Marshall Canada and was recently recognized as one of CDR’s Top Aerospace and Defence Professionals under 40 years old. “My focus is to look at current programs and future pursuits to ensure we maximize work performed in Canada which helps drive innovation in the Canadian defence market,” said Larmer. “Our work on the MSVS program is a direct result of the Marshall Groups intellectual property which resides in the UK. We were able to bring that IP to Canada where we established a domestic supply chain to manufacture all the loadbeds here in the country, and that is a perfect example of our commitment to Canada’s ITB [Industrial Technological Benefits] policy. That focus helps us expand our capability, develop Canadian suppliers – small and medium businesses in particular – and introduce new skills and innovation into the Canadian defence market.”

COVID-19 has emphasized the need for the CAF to be capable of supporting the country through a wide variety of challenges, particularly when supporting remote or northern communities in austere conditions. This requires land systems engineering and support capabilities that are increasingly agile, more capable, more flexible, and readily deployable.




Marshall Canada’s expertise in this area focuses on providing modular, scalable solutions that are built upon a standardized design which can be used for a variety of mission requirements. This deployable infrastructure is renowned for its ability to provide protection, equipment and advanced communications in austere environments and extreme climatic conditions.

Case in point, the Defensiebrede Vervanging Operationele Wielvoertuigen (DVOW) program which seeks to update the Dutch Armed Forces with new vehicles, containers, and support equipment. Marshall is providing 1,400 container systems which include Command and Control shelters, workshops, controlled atmosphere and basic storage units, along with an initial 14-year fully integrated availability support package.

This deep technical pedigree allows Marshall Canada to support the innovative Deployable Technical Analysis Laboratory (DTAL) for the Canadian Army. These modular and scalable labs provide fully integrated infrastructure and equipment and are compliant to ISO standards for military applications and are Convention for Safe Containers (CSC) approved. Marshall Canada supports, maintains, and updates the DTAL system as required by the Department of National Defence.

“DTAL is all about smart containers that can withstand austere conditions whether that’s in the Arctic or in hot or humid conditions. The modules click together and can be set-up in a matter of hours,” said Larmer. “They are best described as smart shipping containers because they can be deployed quickly and can be configured to the customers specifications. A good example is the DNA module which is used to analyze explosive devices. In a similar fashion, we can configure modules to suit naval applications or applications which support unmanned vehicle operations.”

Marshall Canada has its sights set on several upcoming programs currently in options analysis phase. Of particular note are those which seek to provide new camp utilities to improve energy efficiencies for military base camps by reducing fossil fuel consumption, water demand, and waste (liquid and solid) products.

“We are increasingly bringing Marshall’s decades of experience in deployable infrastructure, vehicle integration, and complex deployable capabilities to Canada. Our capabilities are perfectly suited to the deployable infrastructure and vehicle integration projects but are not limited to them. Last year we delivered a deployable CT Scanner to the CAF in the midst of the pandemic,” said Michaud. “The deployable CT scanner is an excellent example of the kind of agile capability that is needed in responding to future emergencies, like pandemics, at home and abroad.”

Marshall Canada supports, maintains, and updates the DTAL system as required by the Department of National Defence



One of the biggest opportunities Marshall Canada is focused on is the Logistics Vehicle Modernization (LVM) program. For this program, Marshall Canada is a team member with General Dynamics Land Systems – Canada (GDLS-C) and Mercedes-Benz.

“We are very excited to be part of the GDLS-Canada and Mercedes-Benz power team. Every member of the team was carefully selected to bring world-class capabilities to the Canadian Army to ensure they have the very best mobility solutions in their future fleet of trucks,” said Michaud. “GDLS-C brings decades of experience as a combat vehicle provider to lead and integrate the full range of essential capabilities, while Mercedes-Benz provides their unbeatable Zetros platform. We at Marshall Canada will provide our broad array of modules and pods that will be integrated with the Mercedes trucks to provide a true best-in-class range of capabilities.”

Adding to the LVM discussion, Larmer told CDR “We’ve done similar modules and pods for other vehicle programs in the UK and in Europe. We’re bringing that expertise and intellectual property to Canada just as we did for the MSVS program. We intend to deliver and grow that capability in Canada, and we will support those products throughout the lifetime of the LVM project. That delivery and support footprint will reside entirely within Canada, and it’s part of the value proposition we bring to the team.”

There is no doubt that Marshall Canada is a growing company which is flexible, agile, and responsive. These attributes enable the company to tailor engineering services to meet a broad range of operational requirements while also creating jobs and economic value in lockstep with Canada’s ITB policy.



Joetey Attariwala is CDR’s Senior Staff Writer & Aviation Editor



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