OTTAWA – 1336 mots – Temps de lecture : 5 minutes 20 secondes. On the afternoon of CANSEC second day, Simon Jacques, Airbus Defence and Space Canada, President, gave us an update of his Company priorities, six months after having won the Royal Canadian Air Force Fixed-Wing Search and Rescue Aircraft Replacement Project (FWSAR-ARSVF) with its C-295W. Last year, at the same event, he shed a light on Airbus Defence and Space Canada top three priorities.
A graduate of the Royal Military College of Canada, Kingston, Ontario, Mr. Jacques spent 11 years with the Canadian Armed Forces to become a lieutenant. He served as a naval engineer and combat systems engineer at naval bases as well as frigates Toronto, Montreal and Ville de Québec. In 2001, he joined MacDonald Dettwiler & Associates (MDA) in Halifax, Nova Scotia and then in Ottawa, Ontario, as assistant director and then director of business development. In 2009, he joined Airbus Defense and Space Canada.
Established in Canada in 1987, Airbus employs 2,000 people in seven provinces in its Canadian subsidiaries: Airbus Helicopters in Fort Erie, Ontario, Stelia in Mirabel, Québec, Vector Aerospace in Langley, British Columbia, Airbus DS Communications in Gatineau, Quebec and recently Navtech in Quebec City.
In starting, Mr. Simon Jacques reminded us of Airbus’ footprint in Canada, pointing out that the European company is buying every year for 1.2 billion Canadian dollars worth of goods and services from 570 companies.
In 2016, worldwide, Airbus Defense and Space is the seventh largest defense group with sales of 12,7 billion US dollars, or about 18% of the Airbus Group’s total sales. Airbus Defense & Space employs 40,000 people worldwide in four divisions: Military Aircraft, Space Systems, Communication, Intelligence & Security (CIS) and Electronics.
As for Lockheed Martin, it ranks first with sales of 40 billion US dollars, followed by Boeing Defense Space & Security, BAE Systems, Raytheon, General Dynamics and NorthropGrumman, all American firms except BAE Systems.
Simon Jacques underlined that his top priority now is to deliver on time the first C-295W at the Royal Canadian Air Force in December 2019.
‘Having won the FWSAR is a real game changer for Airbus’ said Mr. Jacques. With a value of up to 3.6 billions Canadian dollars over the life of the program, it represent the largest military order for Airbus in Canada.
In the first portion of the contract with a value of 2,4 billion dollars, Airbus will have to deliver the first aircraft in December 2019 and a total of sixteen aircraft in the three following years as well as the the training system and the in-service support.
For Simon Jacques, ‘So this is fantastic because this aircraft is truly a Canadian aircraft from the beginning in spite of the fact that it is flying all over the world’. Already twenty-four 24 operators around the world are flying the C-295.
‘The project is going well, It is a top priority and so far, we are on schedule and we do not expect any delays’ according to Airbus Defense and Space Canada president.
Twice during its speech given at noon before the members of CADSI, Steven MacKinnon, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement, underlined the satisfaction of his department with Airbus in regard of the FWSAR contract.
Airbus Defense and Space Canada second priority according to Mr. Jacques is the next campaign for the replacement of the Royal Canadian Air Force five Airbus A310 CC-150 Polaris acquired from Canadian International Airlines in the early 1990 and later modified in Germany by EADS. One of them is used for VIP transportation including the Prime Minister, two others for troop and cargo transport and the final two as flying tankers.
As recalled by Simon Jacques, ‘the CC-150 are due to be replaced’ but no decision have been made yet if the RCAF will extent their life or start the replacement process. Some clues will be maybe included in the Department of National Defence (DND) Defense Policy Review (DFR) to made public on June, the 7th, in Ottawa by Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan
For the time being, excluding the US market, the A330 MRTT (Multi Role Tanker Transport) is, by far the front runner tanker. It has been chosen by the air forces of United Kingdom, Australia, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, France, Netherlands. As of last November, 27 of the 49 ordered A330MRTT had been delivered.
As done before with the FWSAR, Airbus Defense & Space Canada is ramping up its effort, putting together a Canadian team together and seeing if it makes sense to Canada to buy this A3330MRTT. The unveiling of the DRP on June, the 7th, will tell if the replacement of the CC-150 will go ahead
The DND has to decide this year or next year, according to Mr. Jacques, to be able to start the transition from the CC-150 to the new tanker in 2020-2022: ‘The DND has to decide now the options and to see what will be the best scenario for them, how many tankers they need and how they will use them’. In service since June, 1st, 2011, the Airbus A330 MRTT will face Boeing Defense, Space and Security in flight testing 767-based KC-46A Pegasus selected by the US Air Force and the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF).
As third priority, Airbus Defense and Security Canada is looking after two other markets.
The first is space because as said Simon Jacques, Airbus is more than commercial jetliner and helicopters: ‘it is the second largest space company in the world.
Airbus Defense and Security Canada is interested in supplying Canada earth observation satellites (EOS) and military communications satellites (MilSatCom).
‘We bring a lot of expertise in earth observation and telecom satellites’ affirmed Simon Jacques. His goal is that Canada opens the door to a company like Airbus Defense and Security with its massive background in intellectual property (IP) and research and development (R&D) could find the partners to team up with and bid for contracts in Canada as well as abroad.
On the space civil market, Airbus Defense and Space Canada is interested in bidding as prime contractor with local Canadian companies on the next generation of earth observation RADARSAT constellation satellites.
On the military space market, the Company is aiming at the Department of National Defense ‘Enhanced Satellite Communications Project – Polar’ or ESCP-P (pronounced Escape) that will address broad Canadian priorities in the Arctic for high northern communications. The ESCP-P Project will provide a unique, narrowband and wideband communications capability to Canada and Canadian Armed Forces (CAF).
‘Competition means innovation and it is exactly what the Canadian government wants’ underlined Mr. Jacques, ‘and the only to do innovation is to reach out and open the door to competition’. He sees the Canada-Europe Trade Agreement or CETA as a unique opportunity to get access to a 500 million people market.
Airbus Defense and Security Canada fourth priority according to Mr. Jacques is cybersecurity. Having developed expertise in cybersecurity in Europe, Airbus Defense and Security is eager to go after Canada’s cybersecurity market. For this goal, the European company is looking for local partners in Canada, bring the technology developed in Europe in order to fulfill the needs for cybersecurity in Canada and in the longer run outside Canada.
The Department of National Defense as well as agencies like the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) and Communications Security Establishment (CSE) and ministers could be interested in Airbus cybersecurity offering.
‘We have 2000 employees in Canada and we are ramping up’ reminded Simon Jacques ‘We have the formula to find local Canadian partners and the appetite to look for compatible companies able to work with us’.
According to him, ‘the momentum is very positive for Aibus Defense and Security in Canada’.
Diplômé universitaire en histoire, journalisme et relations publiques, en 1993, Philippe Cauchi amorce une carrière de journalisme, analyste et consultant en aérospatiale. En 2013, il fonde avec Daniel Bordeleau, le site d’information aérospatial Info Aéro Québec.