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Voyageur Aviation Lands Big Contract

Manned Airborne Surveillance and Reconnaissance Project

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The Royal Canadian Airforce will use the King Air 350ER aircraft to identify potential threats to Canadian security and sovereignty, both at home and abroad. Photo Credit: Integrated Mission Systems, L3Harris Technologies.

Voyageur Aviation’s latest contract with Canada’s Department of National Defence, announced in May 2021, is a feather in the cap for the North Bay subsidiary of Chorus Aviation. General Dynamics Mission Systems–Canada and Voyageur Aviation – as Team CERTAS – were awarded the contract.

As part of the deal, Voyageur will provide in-service support and maintenance of three King Air 350ER aircraft purchased by Canada from Textron Aviation through the Foreign Military Sales program of the U.S. Government. The eight-year contract, valued at $72 million, will create or maintain up to 40 well paying aerospace jobs.

“It’s one of our largest military contracts and helps to bring defence work into Northern Ontario,” said Carl Kumpic, Vice-President of Marketing and Sales, Chorus Aviation. “It’s all part of our corporate strategy and demonstrates the capabilities of our excellent team at Voyageur.”

Under Canada’s Industrial and Technological Benefits (ITB) Policy, companies that are awarded defence procurement contracts are required to undertake business activity in Canada equal to the value of the contracts they have won.

In Northern Ontario, FedNor is actively engaged in leveraging benefits from the ITB Policy by raising awareness of the defence and security sector, and helping its stakeholders become part of the supply chain. General Dynamics regularly works with Regional Development Agencies and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada to engage with the best of Canadian suppliers from coast to coast to coast. As part of these ongoing partnerships, FedNor was important in sharing information about Voyageur Aviation and other suppliers in Northern Ontario that have become instrumental in the Team CERTAS winning bid.  FedNor has been working with and will continue to serve as a resource for Voyageur to meet its ITB contractual obligations.

Performing Aircraft Modifications

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Two Voyageur Aviation technicians in North Bay are refurbishing the interior of an aircraft. Photo Credit: Voyageur Aviation Corporation.

The aircraft, which are part of Canada’s Manned Airborne Surveillance and Reconnaissance (MAISR) project, will be used to identify potential threats to Canadian security and sovereignty, both at home and abroad. General Dynamics will bring its strength in program management and mission systems, providing maintenance of electronic surveillance and sophisticated communications equipment; Voyageur will manage aircraft maintenance, logistics, technical support and training from its base in North Bay. Maintenance operations will take place in a dedicated facility located at CFB Trenton.

“We’re a year out right now so we’re in the planning stages with General Dynamics to ensure that we will have the appropriate resources and materials available,” explained Kumpic. “The experience that Voyageur has in providing special missions support around the world was a big factor in Team CERTAS’ success.”

This latest contract comes on the heels of a three-year deal it secured with Transport Canada in April 2021 to upgrade Canada’s National Aerial Surveillance Program fleet with new surveillance equipment. Fitted with specialized sensors, the aircraft will be used to detect and prevent pollution in Canadian waters, monitor ice flow, migratory whales, amongst other things.

Based on successful In Service Support performance, this contract could be extended to a total of 23 years.

This project illustrates some of the services that FedNor offers to assist small and medium-sized enterprises in their sector to innovate, develop and expand their markets, and grow.

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