Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

November 02, 2011 15:30 ET

Minister Fantino Announces the Award of a Contract to Strengthen Tactical Decision-Making and Disaster Relief Capabilities

RICHMOND, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Nov. 2, 2011) - The Honourable Julian Fantino, Associate Minister of National Defence, and Chris Alexander, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence, today announced the award of a $31.1-million contract to MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (MDA) for the building of two Unclassified Remote-sensing Situational Awareness (URSA) systems.

"Once again, our government is giving our Canadian Forces the capabilities they need to protect our sovereignty, while supporting skilled full-time jobs in places like Richmond," said Minister Fantino. "Today's announcement is the latest demonstration of our action to strengthen resources for our brave men and women that ensure the success of their missions."

"Space continues to be an important part of the global security equation," said Parliamentary Secretary Alexander. "This high-resolution data strengthens the Canadian Forces' resources through access to near-real time satellite imagery for mission planning. It will also allow them to provide further support to civilian agencies' disaster relief efforts."

"The Government of Canada is committed to providing the men and women of the Canadian Forces with the equipment they need to do their jobs," said the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women. "This contract ensures that Canadian aerospace expertise will be used to assist our Canadian Forces in Canada and abroad."

"This is welcome news for Richmond because it supports approximately 23 skilled local jobs and reinforces the value of our technological expertise," said Kerry-Lynne Findlay, Member of Parliament for Delta-Richmond East. "Improving the Canadian Forces' equipment and focusing on the economic recovery are major commitments made by our government, and this announcement is further evidence that we are fulfilling our promises."

The Industrial and Regional Benefits (IRB) Policy will apply to this contract, which means that MDA will be required to re-invest into Canada 100 per cent of the contract value, further expanding the economic benefits from this procurement in regions across the country. This contract is part of over 60 major procurements subject to the IRB policy which represents over $21 billion in IRB commitments from major defence contractors.

The awarded contract, for the implementation phase of the Joint Space Support Project (JSSP) supports approximately 23 skilled full-time jobs in British Columbia. Their work will further strengthen the Canadian Forces' mission planning, support of civilian agencies for disaster relief efforts and tactical decision-making when timing is crucial.

For more information on the Joint Space Support Project and the URSA system, please refer to the following backgrounder: http://www.forces.gc.ca/site/news-nouvelles/news-nouvelles-eng.asp?id=3986

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