Improving Land Forces capabilities for airspace coordination and monitoring
March 14, 2022 – Ottawa, ON – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces
Situational awareness across air, land and sea, is key to successful military operations and supporting the safety and security of our land forces while on operations. It helps alert troops to any incoming direct or indirect fire, monitor unmanned aerial systems and other enemy aircraft, and prevent friendly fire incidents. That’s why, through the Airspace Coordination Centre Modernization (ASCCM) project, we are improving land forces capabilities for airspace monitoring and coordination.
To this end, the Government of Canada has now completed the final significant acquisition under the ASCCM project. In December 2021, Canada signed an $8.6 million (USD) acquisition and in-service support contract with Elbit Systems UK. The contract will deliver the last software required for the complete modernization of CAF’s Airspace Coordination Centres (ASCC). Delivery of these remaining software components is expect by June 2022.
Once fully modernized, the ASCCs – which can either be integrated into land vehicles or be set-up remotely in various infrastructure spaces – will be a digitally based, information-sharing system that is interoperable with allies and integrated with military and civilian airspace control systems.
Under the ASCCM project, a total estimated value of $44 million, we have also augmented the current ASCC capabilities by delivering:
- Five upgraded Light Armoured Vehicles (LAV) 6.0 configured as new Airspace Coordination Centres;
- Five Medium Support Vehicle System Specially Equipped Vehicle Shelters (ISO container-based workspaces) specially equipped as new ASCCs
- New data link radios (to maintain digital communications between ground, air, and navy systems), laptops, and Land Command Support Systems applications for use in the LAV and mobile shelters;
- New airspace coordination software; and
- Simulation and training tools.
Initial Operational Capability of the ASCCs is expected in November 2022, with Full Operational Capability in November 2023.
“Coordination between activities happening on the ground with those in the air is important to keep our soldiers safe and effective while on operations. I am pleased that we are taking another step towards delivering the tools and equipment the Canadian Armed Forces needs to improve their capabilities for airspace coordination and monitoring.”
The Honourable Anita Anand, Minister of National Defence
Canadian Army airspace coordination is done through Airspace Coordination Centres (ASCC). ASCCs are primarily staffed by members of 4th Artillery Regiment (General Support), Royal Canadian Artillery at CFB Gagetown.
The ASCCs are generally operated out of converted Light Armoured Vehicles 6.0, or mobile shelters (container-based workspaces) fitted for the purpose as ASCCs.
The current capability consists of five ASCC mounted in Light Armoured Vehicle II Bison vehicles as well as the components to make five portable ASCCs that, if necessary, can be set up in buildings or trucks. The equipment was originally purchased in the early 2000s, and was due to be upgraded.
The software being delivered by Elbit Systems UK will ensure a fully integrated picture of the regional airspace.
ASCCs are mainly used on international deployments – for example one was deployed to Haiti to support disaster relief operations following an earthquake. However, they can also be used domestically to support security efforts such as the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, and the G8 and G20 Summits in Ontario.
Office of the Minister of National Defence
Department of National Defence
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