The Navy Outlook

Welcome Remarks

April 12th, 08:30, Shaw Centre, Ottawa

Check Against Delivery

Good morning and welcome to the Navy Outlook on this our final day of the CAF Outlooks. You know I am going to say it… “We’ve saved the best for last”.

Regardless of what uniform you wear, it is always an honour for CADSI to welcome you to the CAF Outlooks, more specifically the Navy Outlook, and this year is no different.

Before I get things started, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Louise Mercier, our Navy Outlook Chair, and our DND Navy liaison Lieutenant Commander Gregory Bono. It was all hands on deck for these two and their dedication is reflected in the fact that there will be nothing adrift in this program today of that I am certain.

The Outlooks are the second largest event after CANSEC for our industry. We at CADSI are glad to be able to provide a forum for senior Canadian Armed Forces leaders and industry to connect so we can deepen our knowledge and understanding of what can be done in delivering new capabilities in defence.

I cannot stress enough how critical I believe a strong relationship between industry, government and the military is to the ability to deliver the quality products and services that the Forces need.

These relationships will be even more critical over the coming years if we are to maintain our position as a world leader in several key existing capabilities we are known for, and to position ourselves as innovators of the emerging capabilities of tomorrow.

Over the past two days we’ve discussed the way forward for the government’s new defence policy. For the Navy, Strong, Secure, Engaged means the commitment of the capabilities which require a balanced mix of platforms, including submarines, surface combatants, support ships and patrol vessels. As the proud owner of the title of “country with the longest coastline in the world” – all 243,797 km of saltwater if you count the islands, this is our domain to own.

Underpinning these capabilities will be an emphasis on understanding the environment around us and the ability to anticipate and respond to threats, in close cooperation with our allies, who expect and rely on us for defence of, above all else, that northern coastline. Armed with better awareness and understanding, the government has stressed that the Navy must be able to adapt to an ever-changing maritime environment. This is where our ability to innovate comes into play.

Recent federal budgets have seen the government make significant commitments to innovation initiatives, notably IDEaS and the Innovation Solutions Canada program. Funding in these programs is allocated towards early-stage research and development, adaptable late-stage prototypes and other goods and services from Canadian innovators. As a nation we want to accelerate the introduction of many emerging technologies and capabilities in our industry.

The Navy is in a pivotal stage of innovation. The X-Ship, for example, provides a tangible platform to advance innovative and leading edge naval concepts in all areas of warship deployment, crewing and sustainment.

Major projects ahead for the RCN, like the Canadian Surface Combatant, also provide an enormous opportunity for our industry and the Navy to be involved in developing leading-edge technologies for the longer haul. It is more important than ever that we work in lock step together to ensure that happens.

Let’s turn our attention to today’s agenda. You’ll hear from the Navy’s top leaders, including Vice-Admiral Ron Lloyd, Commander of the RCN, and their honest point of view on needs in both the short and medium term. The information sharing provides us in industry the opportunity to plan and prioritize new technologies and partnerships.

More specifically, our conversation will be around major shipbuilding projects, modernization, training, remotely piloted systems, auxiliary vessels and diving and innovation. I know there are a few major shipbuilding projects on all our minds, so I’m sure those will make their way into many conversations.

Before we move full steam ahead, I have a couple of quick reminders:

All CAF slide decks of the presentations will be available next week via the MY CADSI Portal.

Registration for CANSEC is now open. And in speaking of CANSEC, I would be remiss to not once again remind you that nominations are now open for the Paddy O’Donnell Mentorship Award. If you know of a mentor in the Canadian defence or security business who has provided valuable advice and support to the next generation of industry leaders, please come forward.

Thank you for your attention this morning and enjoy this final and fascinating day of our CAF Outlooks.