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NAVANTIA LEVERAGES AUSTRALIA SUCCESS FOR CSC

NAVANTIA LEVERAGES AUSTRALIA SUCCESS FOR CSC

For this issue of CDR, we sent our intrepid and peripatetic Senior Staff Writer, Joetey Attariwala, to some pretty far flung locales to report on a selection of diverse but equally important topics that we think will be of particular interest to our loyal readers.

First, he travelled to Orlando, Florida back in December to report on the I/ITSEC trade show where the latest in military training was on display and, as you will read in his dispatch, Canadian companies like industry leader CAE had much to offer in the way of new technology. And by the way, speaking of the latest in training technology, we suggest you read the piece in this issue by Joetey’s good friend, LGen (Ret’d) Yvan Blondin, former Commander of the RCAF, on LVC and future pilot training.

Then, Joetey headed over to CENTCOM in Tampa, Florida for a sit-down interview with Major General Dean Milner of the Canadian Army, whose job there is significant in that it represents the first time a Canadian Armed Forces 2 star has been seconded to that organization. At CENTCOM, Milner is employed as the Director of the Security Cooperation Division, (which is a sub-division within the J5 Directorate) reporting directly to General Joe Votel, CENTCOM commander.

The Milner interview took weeks to set up and required considerable cooperation between DND and CENTCOM but we certainly think it was worth the effort. As you will read in Joetey’s interview with Milner, his is an important assignment because the primary focus this past year has been the ongoing fight against transnational violent extremist organizations, specifically ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) or what is referred to by many in the region as “Daesh.” As regular readers of CDR will know, we commented on the great work that Canadian soldiers are doing over in Iraq in this very space in the last issue.

But, Joetey’s next assignment took him all the way to Adelaide, South Australia for the launch of that country’s latest AWD (Air Warfare Destroyer) navy ship and over there we found out that there are many lessons that Canada could learn from Australia’s naval shipbuilding program which might be applied to the CSC (Canadian Surface Combatant) program.

As Joetey reports from Australia, Navantia used the F-104 warship of the Spanish Navy as the baseline design for its bid on the SEA 4000 program, and after a rigorous Two Pass Process, the Australian Government selected Navantia as the Platform Systems Designer and it is now in the process of delivering the 7,000-ton Hobart class Air Warfare Destroyers (DDG).

Navantia has already said it plans to bid on CSC in Canada, teaming up with its partners from the Australian program, Saab Australia and CEA. As you will read in Joetey’s piece, the collaborative role that Navantia played as it worked with Australian shipbuilder, ASC (the equivalent of Irving Shipbuilding in Canada) could be a model for the company’s approach to CSC in Canada.

Finally, Joetey capped off his travels in search of the perfect defence story, with a cross country tour of Boeing facilities where he learned about platforms of particular interest to Canada such as the Scan Eagle UAV from Boeing’s Insitu unit in Bingen, Washington, the P 8 maritime patrol aircraft at Boeing’s Seattle operation, the Super Hornet fighter jet (selected by the Canadian government as an interim fighter solution) at the St Louis plant and also the Chinook helicopter at Boeing’s Philadelphia facility.

By the way, look for a special Cover Story on Super Hornet in CDR’s March/April edition where we go deep on all the capabilities that this fighter jet will bring to the RCAF as Canada’s interim fighter solution.

And so, you might ask, what do all Joetey’s peregrinations signify? Well for us at CDR it’s indicative of the global nature of the business we are in and we remain committed to going where ever the story is – anywhere in the world – to bring it to CDR readers from a Canadian perspective.

EXECUTIVE OF THE YEAR

As is our practice this time of year, we are pleased to name our Defence Executive of the Year, and this time our honoree, Dr. John Maris, is much more than simply a manager of a company. As you will read in Peter Diekmeyer’s profile on Maris in this issue, he is an inventor, a pilot, a former Air Force officer, an entrepreneur and much more.

It’s no secret that, in naming its Defence Executive of the Year, CDR has eschewed the paper shuffling, corporate suit in favor of the risk-taking executive with an entrepreneurial flair and this year is no exception. In leading Marivent, the company he founded, Maris has won awards from organizations as formidable in the aviation and aerospace fields as AIAC and NASA.

As chairman of AIAC, Maris won plaudits for his championing of the SME (small and medium size enterprise) in Canada, especially in the aerospace field.

And, not content with starting and running a successful company, Maris recently earned his PhD from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University of Daytona Beach Florida, so it certainly will not surprise us if this business leader continues to innovate, and blaze new trails in Canada’s defence and aerospace community.

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