DRS Technologies Canada Ltd (DRS TCL) is a wholly owned subsidiary of DRS Technologies Inc., which is a leading supplier of integrated products, services and support to military forces, intelligence agencies and prime contractors worldwide. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Leonardo S.p.A. which employs approximately 70,000 people worldwide. DRS TCL manufactures and supports a broad range of military communications, electro-optics, surveillance, and sensor signal processing systems for naval and ground applications as well as electronic warfare threat simulation and training systems ranging from computer-based training to high-power threat simulators. DRS TCL is also an experienced provider of turnkey state-of-the-art electronics manufacturing, integration and test services for various aerospace, defence and space applications.
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Steve Zuber, Vice-President and General Manager of DRS Technologies Canada Ltd.
Can you give us a brief overview of DRS Technologies Canada Ltd?
DRS TCL is a subsidiary of DRS Technologies Inc, a US Defence contractor based in Arlington, VA. It is an all-service, fully certified Canadian-based operation with a legacy of over 40 years of service to the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF). DRS TCL designs, manufactures and supports mission-critical systems and products for naval, ground and airborne platforms.
The company’s experience spans naval integrated communications networks, Electro-Optics/Infrared (EO/IR) and Infrared Search and Tracking (IRST) Systems, Integrated Soldier Systems (ISS) and Electronic Warfare (EW) training and simulation systems. Additionally, the company is a Transport Canada certified manufacturer of cockpit voice recorders, flight data recorders and emergency locator beacons (CV/FDR/ELB) for fixed and rotary wing aircraft. The company also provides high-quality manufacturing services for defense, aerospace (AS-9100) and space sectors, and is well situated for optimizing build-to-print or build-to-specification offset requirements.
On the C-27J Spartan team, DRS TCL will be handling the long-term training for the program. Can you speak to your company’s capabilities in this area?
DRS TCL has a long history of providing exceptional training solutions to all three elements of the Canadian Armed Forces. We will be partnering with capable and respected Canadian companies to provide an end-to-end synthetic training solution for both aircrew and maintenance personnel. DRS TCL will use a highly experienced training development team to design, oversee and manage the development and maintenance of the courseware and training aids for the duration of the contract. The training will support the operational mandate of the FWSAR fleet by making maximum use of electronic learning and simulation to optimize availability of the FWSAR aircraft for operational employment. This approach will minimize long-term training costs, optimize training effectiveness and reduce the number of C-27J aircraft required to achieve the mission.
How do you think the C-27J will fit into Canada’s force structure?
The C-27J was designed to be a complementary asset for air forces, like the RCAF, already flying the larger C-130J Hercules. The aircraft’s major components are common with the C-130J including the most complex systems — engines and avionics. In practice this means that maintenance and air crews trained to maintain and fly the C-130J require only a minimal amount of conversion training for the C-27J. When significantly reduced training costs are combined with the direct operating costs of the C-27J, at one-third the operating costs of the current C-130H fleet, it becomes obvious that the C-27J is the most cost effective airplane for the job.
What kinds of infrastructure will your company be adding to help it carry out its part of the FWSAR mission?
A modern, state-of-the-art synthetic training system will require equally modern support infrastructure, including simulator bays, classrooms, briefing rooms and workspaces for the students. The made-in Canada training solution and the infrastructure provided by DRS TCL will provide high quality aerospace jobs for Canadians and, more importantly, will ensure Canada’s Search and Rescue crews will be ready for the demanding job of keeping Canadians safe. In selecting DRS Technologies Canada Ltd. as the synthetic training systems provider, Team Spartan is adding significant strength and diversity to the “Training” pillar of Canada’s Key Industrial Capabilities.