Canada awards a $48.5 Million contract to MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Systems Limited

Harjit Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, announced Friday that the Government of Canada has awarded a $48.5 million contract to MacDonald, Detailer and Associates Systems Ltd. (MDA) to deliver a wide-area global maritime and arctic surveillance system, entitled the Polar Epsilon 2.

“The Government of Canada is committed to ensuring the Canadian Armed Forces remain a modern, combat-effective, multi-role military able to conduct the missions the Government asks of it. The Polar Epsilon 2 project positions Canada as a world leader in space-based remote sensing for arctic and maritime domain awareness, and provides our women and men in uniform with the data and information needed to respond to domestic and international crises and events,” stated Sajjan.

Under the contract, MDA will provide the ground receiving stations on the East and West coasts of Canada, designed to detect ships from Radar imagery provided by the RADARSAT Constellation Mission (RCM). Launching in 2018, the RCM, also being built by MDA, will enhance the capacity of the Polar Epsilon 1, linked to RADARSAT 2 Satellite.

“This is a critical program that includes three areas where both Canada as well as MDA possess global technology leadership. First, is radar imaging from space; second, is the ability to extract vital information to provide actionable intelligence; and third, long term operations and in-service support of the entire network,” said Howard Lance, CEO and President of MDA.

The contract includes two years of in-service support to operate and maintain the systems.

The Polar Epsilon 2 ground systems will include the ability to receive, as well as process data from the RCM. The RCM is, initially, a fleet of three satellites that will provide repeat imaging several times a day.

“For Canada repeat imaging means a dramatically improved ability to monitor our coastal zones, northern territories, arctic waterways and other areas of strategic and defence interest. The RCM Satellites will the be the first radar satellites that simultaneously collect automated identification system data, further increasing the value in maritime surveillance,” added Lance.

The RCM can expand in the future to include three more satellites.

Sajjan noted that the new systems will increase Canada’s ability to better protect its borders and monitor remote locations.

“Communication, search and rescue, and wide area of surveillance all benefit form space age technology. These functions are important to the defence of Canada and Canadians. And yet our geography makes it a challenge to deliver them. We have learned over the last few decades that space enabled technology is the key to our success,” said Sajjan.

MDA, a global information and technology company, has been providing in-service support to the Department of National Defence for the last 25 years.

“Together the radar satellites and Polar Epsilon ground structure provide Canada with the world’s most advanced wide-area maritime surveillance system,” said Lance


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Mishall Rehman

Originally from Atlanta, GA, Mishall is a freelance journalist pursuing her passion for writing in her new homeland Canada. She currently lives in Trenton, ON with her husband.

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