Canadian electronic firms benefit from Super Hercules purchase

At least three Ontario technology companies will be subcontractors for a purchase of 17 transport airplanes for the Canadian Air Force.

EMS Technologies Inc. of Ottawa, which makes Ethernet, 802.11 and IP/ISDN gateways for airplanes, will make an airborne cabin gateway and network for the C-130J Super Hercules aircraft. The Department of National Defence plans to buy 17 of the planes from Lockheed Martin of Bethesda, Md., with delivery scheduled between 2010 and 2013.

On Friday, Lockheed Martin announced it would sub-contract at least $175 million of the work to companies in Ontario, including EMS and Burlington, Ont.-based WESCAM, which will make imaging systems. WESCAM, a unit of New York-based L-3 Communications, makes cameras that work in both daylight and low light conditions. It also includes forward looking infrared sensors, long focal length lenses and laser range finders.

Telesat Canada of Ottawa will work on Lockheed Martin’s Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) Geostationary Communications and Control Segment (GCCS) Signals in Space Services, which let pilots navigate by satellite.

The C-130 Hercules, which is capable of short takeoffs and landings from unpaved runways, has been used by the Canadian military since 1960.