(This is an incomplete research note. Because Canada is considering purchase of military drones and the announcement could come at any time, I thought that it was important to start publishing as much relevant material as possible, as soon as possible. This post will be updated as I get time to write up the new material. Anyone with information please be in contact. I will also be considering other aspects of Canada’s impending drone purchase).
Canada has many connections with Israeli drone companies, which are particularly problematic because Israeli’s drone companies are all intimately involved in the ongoing illegal occupation of Palestine by the Israeli state. All of them have numerous worldwide investments, and use foreign suppliers (including Canadian ones) to create the drones that they sell worldwide based their ‘conflict tested’ status.
Presently Canada is considering purchasing drones for the military. This is being evaluated in a programme called Project JUSTAS. As Project JUSTAS nears completion it is worth examining the relationships that Canada and Canadian companies have with the Israeli drones industry.
Rented Heron drones for Afghanistan through Macdonald DettwilerAssociates
Perhaps the most explicit relationship between Canada and Israeli drone companies has been the rental of Heron drones for surveillance purposes by Canadian Forces operating in Afghanistan. Canada rented Heron drones for surveillance purposes and returned them recently when they were no longer required.
Macdonald Dettwiler at Suffield
MDA maintains a Research and Training Centre for drones at Suffield Alberta. The centre began as ‘ARDEA‘, a joint project with Israeli Aerospace industries, but is now identified as an MDA project, the International Training Centre. MDA is making active efforts to sell Israeli technology from Israel Aerospace Industries to commercial buyers in the oil and gas and forestry sectors.
Also involved is militarist training specialist Meggitt Training Systems Canada.
Macdonald Dettwiler and Israel Aerospace Industries provided training for Canadian and Australian pilots to fly drones As part of the rental arrangement for Heron drones used by Canada and Australia in Afghanistan, MDA provided training using Canadian and Israeli instructors. (Some Australians were unhappy with the quality of the training). MDA has morphed this activity into a service for training UAV operators.
Pratt and Whitney(Canada) supplies engines for Heron TP drones.
Pratt and Whitney Canada has a long standing relationship with the Israeli Air Force. Pratt and Whitney Canada is part of a global concern Pratt and Whitney Ltd that is based in Hartford Connecticut. The global company maintains manufacturing facilities around the world, including in Israel.
The Pratt and Whitney (Canada) PT6A is used in Israel’s new Eitan drone, an unmanned aerial vehicle the size of a jet liner that was used for surveillance in the recent Cast Lead attacks on the Gaza Strip, and is said to be capable of spying on, or even attacking Iran.
Pratt and Whitney Canada also supplied the Israeli Air Force with PT6A turboprop engines for IAI Arava STOL aircraft, in an association that went back as far as 1980.
Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A (-27 thru -42, -50), PT6T (series), are listed as exports to Israel by Israeli ‘Homeland Security’. IAI also used Pratt and Whitney Canada PW-306A turbo fan engines in its Galaxy corporate jets in the 1990′s.
In December 2010, Canada’s Industry minister, Tony Clement announced that Canada would be investing $1 Billion Canadian in a Pratt and Whitney Canada project to make a lighter aircraft engine, in a move said to preserve jobs at Pratt and Whitney’s Longeuil, PQ facility, in Lethbridge, AB, and in Mississaugua, ON. Since the research will almost certainly be to improve the Pratt and Whitney Canada mainstay PT 6 engine, can we expect that this will directly benefit future production of Israel’s Eitan drones?
Bet Shemesh Engines Ltd. of Israel advertises that it does casting for Pratt and Whitney Canada’s PW306 and PW307 engines, either at its facilities in Bet Shemesh Israel, or in Serbia. As in many Israeli companies producing arms related items, some of the prinicipal officers are high ranking officers in the Israeli military. Bet Shemesh CEO Avner Shacham owns about 25% of Bet Shemesh, and is a Lieutenant Colonel in the reserves of the Israeli army.
Bet Shemesh is an Israeli town about 20 km west of Jerusalem. It is the site of the former Arab Palestinian village of Beit Natif, and has been a hotbed of support for the Likud Party. The Arab Palestinians were ‘ethnically cleansed’ and are now refugees who cannot return to their homes in Beit Natif. They and their descendants live mostly in refugee camps under occupation in the Bethlehem district.
In July 2009, Israel purchased 20 T-6 Beechcraft aircraft trainers, powered by Pratt and Whitney Canada’s PW6A turbo prop engines.
Canadian Software Company Works with Israeli Drone Company
Presagis, a subsididary of CAE, provides training system for Elbit Systems, Israel’s largest drone company. Elbit Systems has been widely criticised for it’s involvement in Israel’s apartheid wall, and Elbit drones are used to maintain the Israeli occupation of Palestine.
More recently parent company CAE announced it is teaming up with Elbit Systems to create ‘and integrated soldier system’ , which it will try to sell to the Canadian military.
CAE has teamed with Israeli drones firm Aeronautics to demonstrate the civilian uses of its ‘Miskam’ drone. It is being tested and demonstrated at the ‘UAS Centre of Excellence’ at Alma, Quebec, north of Quebec City. ‘Miskam’ is the Canadian version of the Dominator XP. (no doubt ‘Dominator’ was too strong a word for civilian use).(Redo all stuff on CAE and Aeronautics) In early 2012 there were reports that Aeronautics was experiencing financial problems. In past years Aeronautics has received heavy criticism for its business practises.