L O I s
Leased UAVs for Afghanistan – MERX – CF
Procurement – February 2008
Project Noctua — a
Leased, Contractor - Maintained UAV System for Use by the CF in Afghanistan — MERX LOI
Update: Canwest reports that a $100M contract has been awarded to
MacDonald Dettwiler to provide IAI
Heron UAVs based at Kandahar Airfield. MND MacKay confirmed this media report but no official
announcements have been made as yet.
One of the strongest recommendations of the Manley Report was
gaining access to more suitable UAVs as soon as possible. The shortcomings of the troubled CF CU-161 Sperwer Tactical UAVs are all too
obvious. And, it seems that DND has lost interest in smaller TUAVs for now in any case. Attention had turned to
larger MALE (Medium-Altitude, Long-Endurance) UAVs as part of the JUSTAS project.
JUSTAS originally focused on UAVs for patrolling Canada's extensive coastlines. But the project was expanded to
include MALE UAVs that could be armed for any overseas
deployments. An attempt to sole-source US General Atomics
Predator B UAVs failed to pass Cabinet approval. A DND attempt to lease new UAVs would
ultimately prove to be equally unsuccessful ( the small budget being insufficiently tempting to potential
contractors). So, the CF muddled on with CU-161 Sperwers.
Project Noctua is born out of the earlier lease attempt. The project scale has been reduced and
interest has already been expressed by one potential contractor. L-3 Communications MAS Canada had previously
teamed with Israel's Elbit Systems to submit the Hermes 900 to DND. That offer is being renewed for Project Noctua.
Other firms expected to submit Letters of Interest are General Dynamics Canada teamed with
General Atomics for Predator B,  MacDonald Dettwiler with Israel Aerospace Industries for the IAI Malat Eagle-1, and Rheinmetall Canada
(which, as Oerlikon Aerospace, was prime contractor for Sperwer). Rheinmetall has yet to announce which
UAV builder it intends to partner with for this new DND project.
Industry interest is encouraging but Project Noctua will still not field a new UAV in Afghanistan this year.
The project is scheduled to close in early July 2008. The winning bidder is expected to achieve "Initial
Operating Capability 180 days after contract award". That puts new the UAV in Kandahar at the start of
 General Atomics has since announced that it will not submit an LOI for Project Noctua citing an unrealistic
timeline and excessive penalties for any late delivery.
Project NOCTUA, leased UAV [ Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle] System – Letters of
Interest ( LOI ) Notice
Reference Number PW-$$BB-213-16693
Solicitation Number W8485-087005/A
Organization Name Public Works and Government Services
Travaux publics et Services gouvernementaux Canada
Associated Components Yes
Closing 2008-03-10 02:00 PM Eastern Standard Time EST
WL1550: UNINHABITED AIR VEHICLE (UAV) - LEASE
Region of Delivery Ontario
Region of Opportunity —
Agreement Type NONE
Tender Type Letter of
Interest ( LOI )
Estimated Value —
Solicitation Method —
Project NOCTUA, leased UAV System
Tendering Procedures: All interested suppliers may submit
Competitive Procurement Strategy: N/A - P&A/LOI Only
Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement: No
Nature of Requirements: Project NOCTUA, leased UAV System
Project NOCTUA, leased UAV System.
On behalf of [the Department of National Defence] DND, a leased and contractor maintained Unmanned Air
Vehicle System to Support Canadian troops in Afghani- stan (Project Noctua). Major Project Milestones,
Contract Award planned for 4 July 2008, Initial Operating Capability [ IOC] 180 days after
contract award. Major requirements: 90% availability, 12 hours on station,
ability of the air vehicle to gather and transmit high quality imagery at from a distance of 100km from
Kanda- har, Afghanistan.
Delivery Date: 10/03/2008
The Crown retains the right to negotiate with suppliers on any procurement.
Documents may be submitted in either official language of Canada.
11 Laurier St. / 11, rue Laurier
8C1, Place du Portage
(819) 956-0486 ( )
Name John Sinkinson
Address 11 Laurier St. / 11, rue Laurier 8C2, Place du Portage, Phase III
State / Province Québec
Postal Code K1A 0S5
Phone (613) 943-3492 ( )
Fax (613) 944-7870