Canada's Leading Defence Magazine




This is now the fourteenth iteration of CDR’s Survey & Ranking of Canada’s Top Defence Companies, and the exercise has proven to be a great success in shining the spotlight on our industry and the many fine Canadianbased companies involved in it. But, it also provides us with a platform to showcase new and emerging defence players and one such example is Newfoundland-based, Kraken Sonar Systems, a company that recently was awarded a contract from Atlas Elektronik Canada to supply and integrate its AquaPix Sonar on the SeaCat AUV.

Karl Kenny, President and CEO of Kraken told CDR that his company is very pleased to be equipping, “. . . SeaCat with our AquaPix system and we look forward to continued growth.” By the way, speaking of Atlas Elektronik Canada, look for an in-depth report in CDR on how technology developed in Canada by this fast growing Canadian defence player, will soon be made available to Canada’s Navy. Kraken, by the way, is new to CDR’s Top Defence Companies Survey & Ranking, checking in this time at position # 75.

But, on the other end of the table there is our # 1 ranked Defence Company for 2018, Lockheed Martin Canada. Of course, Lockheed Martin is a well-known name in defence, it is the biggest defence company in the world, but as you will read in Tim Mahon’s profile on the company in this issue, its Canadian connection is legitimate, where, at its Montreal and Ottawa operations, it has developed critical naval systems for Canada’s Halifax Class ships. Now, Lockheed Martin Canada is breaking into the export market and it will supply its Canadian-developed systems to the navies of New Zealand and Chile. In fact, as we write this, our Senior Staff Writer, Joetey Attariwala, has been photographing the arrival of HMNZS Te Kaha at Esquimalt in B.C. where Lockheed Martin will be installing its systems on that ANZAC Class frigate.

We are often asked about the criteria we use for our rankings (and by the way, details on that are available on the CDR website) so a brief note of explanation here. It would be relatively easy for us to simply list companies by number of employees, annual sales, or market cap etc, but our goal is to recognize those companies that have achieved over the past year, and that may mean they have shown success in the export market, support for Canada’s military, or perhaps there has been a break-through in new product development, so it is typically the companies which achieve success in these areas that make a move up in the CDR Top Defence Companies survey.

And, we pay special attention to the Top 10 companies as they are considered to have performed particularly well and, as such, they benefit from an expanded profile in addition to the basic data listing. But, this year we have a first as we’ve deemed two companies to have performed equally well, so as a result, we have two companies at the number 10 position. For that reason, we are missing a number 11 company. As always, our rankings are subjective and are based on information supplied to us by the companies themselves or from publicly available data that is compiled by our research team.

But, let’s get back to our story on Canada’s # 1 Defence Company. As you will read in Tim’s profile in this issue, Lockheed Martin in Canada, is headed up by LGen (ret’d) Charlie Bouchard, a former senior officer in the RCAF, and of course, Canada employs key Lockheed Martin product in the form of the C-130J tactical airlifter and the CH-148 Cyclone helicopter will soon be going into service with Canada’s military. Looking to the future, the F-35 fifth generation jet fighter could provide a solution to Canada’s fighter jet requirement.

With regard to how this company has chosen to carry on business in this country, we think it is telling that Lockheed Martin has opted to partner with Canadian industry rather than fight it, for example in recent years, it has acquired Montreal-based Kelly

Aviation and Alberta-based CDL Systems, both of which continue to grow and thrive under the Lockheed Martin umbrella. And of course, for its massive CSC bid, Lockheed Martin together with BAE Systems, has put together an impressive team that includes leading Canadian companies like, CAE, MDA, Ultra Electronics and L3 Technologies.

This will now be the second time that CDR has recognized Lockheed Martin Canada as its # 1 Defence Company, having tapped the company for that honour back in 2009. So, for all the latest on this outstanding Canadian defence company, we urge you to read Tim Mahon’s very incisive profile in this issue of CDR. We think you’ll agree with us that Lockheed Martin Canada is a very worthy recipient of our # 1 ranking for 2018.

Our Cover Story in this issue of CDR offers up the very interesting proposition that there is a legitimate possibility that a fighter jet could be built in this country to satisfy Canada’s own requirement. It’s something that we have been campaigning for in this very space for some time. As you will read in Joetey Attariwala’s very informative story on the Gripen E, Saab already has a history of working with Bombardier on projects like Swordfish where they supply their Global 6000 as the platform, and Bombardier would be a logical place to assemble Gripen E if Canada selects it. By the way, look for an in-depth interview with the Bombardier executive in charge of special mission aircraft in CDR’s next issue.

When Brazil chose Gripen E, part of the deal was that the aircraft would be built in that country, so certainly Canada could do the same. And, by the way, one of the aircraft that Gripen E beat out in Brazil? Yes, ironically it was Boeing’s Super Hornet. But, make no mistake about it, Gripen E is a formidable aircraft that comes with the very latest technology like a new GE F414G engine (also employed on Super Hornet), AESA radar and increased fuel capacity for greater range.

CDR’s Aviation Editor, Joetey Attariwala, talked to Saab reps at last year’s Paris Air show about Gripen E, and for the Cover Story in this issue, he followed that up with extensive interviews with key company executives as well as test pilots. So, for all the details on how Gripen E could satisfy Canada’s fighter jet requirement, we strongly suggest you read our Cover Story in this issue of CDR.

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