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Team Artemis Adds Canadian Companies for RCAF’s Remotely Piloted Aircraft System Program

Four Canadian companies have joined Team Artemis, expanding its expertise and capabilities to support the Royal Canadian Air Force’s (RCAF) Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) program.

Airbus Defence and Space Canada, based in Ontario, joins Alberta-based companies ATCO Frontec, Canadian UAVs and Lockheed Martin CDL Systems as members of Team Artemis, led by L3Harris Technologies, a global technology innovator, and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), a world leader in unmanned aircraft system (UAS) development.

The additions to Team Artemis bring expertise in aeronautics engineering, deployed logistics, training and simulation, and mission management capability. They complement team members that provide crucial Canadian components – the WESCAM MX-Series EO/IR turret from L3Harris and the PT6A engine from Quebec-based Pratt & Whitney Canada. L3Harris, with Canadian operations in 14 locations and six provinces, is serving as prime contractor and will provide C4ISR integration for the platform as well as all in-service support functions for the planned contract duration of more than 25 years.

The Team Artemis supplier base collectively employs more than 18,000 Canadians, generates $11 billion in revenue and operates throughout the country.

“The addition of these well-established, innovative and highly qualified companies further strengthens our position to offer the RCAF the most capable solution for its RPAS requirements,” said Ugo Paniconi, General Manager, L3Harris in Mirabel. “Our team will offer a proven, cost-effective solution, which will include substantial and sustainable Canadian industrial content – resulting in significant work packages and jobs across the country.”

Team Artemis offers the Artemis UAS, which is based on IAI’s Heron TP UAS but uniquely designed to meet Canadian specifications. The Heron TP has been in service for more than 10 years with the Israeli Air Force and has been selected by the German Armed Forces. It is the only combat-proven system that meets the RCAF’s demanding operational requirements.

The Government of Canada is planning to acquire an RPAS to help meet its defence needs. The RPAS will be integrated into a network of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems to enable near real-time flow of information essential to RCAF operations.

L3Harris was selected as a qualified bidder in late May 2019. The request for proposal is expected to be released later this year, the contract awarded in 2022-2023 and the first system delivery is anticipated in 2024-2025.

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