Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

April 11, 2007 14:48 ET

Defence Minister Announces Acquisition of New Technology to Enhance Troop Safety and Security

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - April 11, 2007) - The Honorable Gordon O'Connor, Minister of National Defence, today announced the awarding of a contract to General Dynamics Canada to provide the Canadian Forces with a Vital Point Biological Agent Detection, Sampling and Identification (VP Bio Sentry) system. The system will be capable of operating in various extreme climatic conditions and be easily transported to operational areas.

"This announcement is a further example of how Canada's New Government is providing the men and women of the Canadian Forces with the equipment they need to meet their respective missions," said Minister O'Connor. "It also demonstrates the Canadian Forces' continuing quest to adapt to and operate effectively in a modern threat environment."

"The awarding of this contract is another example of how the Government of Canada has taken steps to procure critical operational equipment as quickly as possible for the Canadian Forces in an open, fair and transparent manner," said the Honourable Michael Fortier, Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada.

"This announcement is a win-win-win: a win for the Canadian Forces in getting the equipment they need, a win for General Dynamics Canada, and a win for the entire Canadian defence industry, which will gain new opportunities as a result of the industrial benefits," said the Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of Industry.

"Our soldiers face diverse and challenging situations on a daily basis in today's operational context," said General Rick Hillier, Chief of Defence Staff. "So gaining technology that can alert commanders of the presence of airborne biological warfare agents increases the safety and security of our troops."

Initial delivery of the equipment will commence in 2008, with final delivery anticipated for 2010. In total, the project will provide the Canadian Forces with six full and 23 partial systems. A full system includes multiple detectors and an alarming, sampling and identification capability. A partial system provides sampling, alarming and identification capability, using one detector, for ships and for training purposes. Funding will also be provided for technical support, training, documentation and the first two years of operation and maintenance support.

The contract awarded to General Dynamics Canada is worth $30 million.

The Industrial and Regional Benefits Policy applies to this procurement, meaning that the company will generate one dollar of economic activity in Canada for every dollar it receives from this contract. This policy applies regardless of whether the successful bidder is a foreign company or, as in this case, a Canadian company.

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