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QinetiQ secures C$51m contract to support CAF UAS program

QinetiQ has been awarded a C$51 million contract to deliver unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) that will drive enhanced situational awareness for the Canadian Armed Forces.

The vertical take-off UAS will provide intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance (ISTAR) services to the Royal Canadian Navy and Special Operations Forces Command, for both domestic and international operations.


The system, based on the UMS SKELDAR V-200 UAS, will be equipped with a number of sensors, including an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar and electro-optic infrared (EO/IR) camera. 

Robert Aube, managing director of QinetiQ in Canada welcomed the announcement, saying, "We are delighted with this contract win to deliver critical over-the-horizon situation awareness to the Royal Canadian Navy and Special Operations Forces Command. This generates tactical advantages for commanders while minimising the risk to manned helicopters and personnel."

"As a result of the contract, we will be pleased to see a large number of jobs created in the Southern Alberta region where UAS repair and overhaul services will be carried out."

Iain Farley, managing director international business at QinetiQ, said, "International growth is a core part of QinetiQ’s strategy and to facilitate this, we continue to make significant investments in our subsidiary businesses and complementary acquisitions. This contract provides an important proof point that this strategy is delivering.



"The investment we have made in Canada has helped secure our largest Canadian contract to date and provides us with a solid foundation for delivering further QinetiQ products and services into the Canadian market and beyond."

QinetiQ will work with four principal partners to deliver the ISTAR services: Canadian UAVs, Leonardo, UMS SKELDAR and L3 WESCAM. 

Axel Cavalli-Björkman, CEO of UMS SKELDAR, the UAV joint venture between Sweden’s Saab and UMS AERO GROUP of Switzerland, explained, "This is an important contract win for us alongside our partners including QinetiQ and confirms our stated strategic commitment to working with global navies following our announcement last year with the German Navy."

This was echoed by Cameron McKenzie, vice president, global sales and business development of L3 WESCAM: "L3 WESCAM is proud to have been chosen by QinetiQ, as it confirms our role as a trusted global supplier of advanced imaging technologies to the UAS market. In fact, this order marks many strategic firsts for WESCAM in the Canadian marketplace, including a first for our MX Series turrets to be used by the Royal Canadian Navy, a first order for our MX-8 and MX-10D in Canada and our first contract with QinetiQ in Canada."

Canadian UAVs is a Calgary-based solutions provider focused on safety-first data acquisition for unmanned aerial vehicle applications. CUAVs provides a range of custom UAV solutions for industrial environments where advanced imaging is necessary for surveying on an iterative or fixed point basis.

Leonardo, a global high-technology company and has a significant industrial presence in Italy, the UK, Poland and the US, where it also operates through subsidiaries such as Leonardo DRS (defence electronics), and joint ventures and partnerships: ATR, MBDA, Telespazio, Thales Alenia Space and Avio. 

UMS SKELDAR, a joint venture between Saab and UMS AERO Group, is Europe’s leading provider of rotary UAV platforms including the NATO-compliant rotary SKELDAR V-200 and the ITAR-free light-tactical R-350.

Incorporating the Sentient Vision Systems ViDAR (Visual identification Detection and Ranging) payload into its vertical take-off and landing fleet, UMS SKELDAR is engaged in a highly active research and development program, and provides solutions to a wide variety of defence, civil security and maritime sectors globally. 



QinetiQ secures C$51m contract to support CAF UAS program
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