Canadian Defence Review



Title: Minister Valcourt announces Thales-GDLS deal

Sub-title: The $12 million optronics contract part of LAV III upgrade initiative.


Montreal – Bernard Valcourt, Canada’s associate minister of national defence, was in town last month to announce the awarding of a $12 million optronics contract by General Dynamics Land Systems to Thales Canada, as part of the LAV III upgrade initiative. In all, more than 400 infra-red cameras will be supplied as part of the deal.


According to Mark Halinaty, vice-president and managing director of Thales Inc., the award is great news for the Montreal facility, which will see dozens of jobs protected there during coming years. The company has been selling Canadian developed thermal imaging and vision enhancement solutions to the Department of National Defence for close to 20 years. These included 1,100 of the Thales’s Driver Vision Enhancement units, and 550 Crew Vision Enhancement packages.


Thales has also made significant attempts to build export markets. “Our products are already widely used in by our NATO allies,” said Halinaty. “However the new orders will provide us with a solid base which we can use to step up our efforts in that area.”


General Dynamics Land Systems for its part has been participating in a slew of similar announcements to other companies. As part of the company’s win of the $1.1 billion contract to upgrade 550 Light Armored Vehicles, GDLS committed to spreading industrial and regional benefits sub-contracting work throughout the country, and the announcement was a major part of that initiative.


Yet according to Grant Corey, senior director (North American programs) at GDLS, quality also played a major role in the contract. “We were looking for the best vision enhancement option available and we found it,” said Carey. “Partnering with Thales will add considerable long-term value to the LAV initiative. So I am happy to be a part of it.” 


Photo caption: Grant Corey, senior director (North American programs) at General Dynamics Land Systems, Bernard Valcourt, Canada’s junior defence minister and Mark Halinaty, vice-president and managing director of Thales Inc. photographed at Thales Montreal facility.




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