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06 Feb 14. The Canadian Department of National Defence (DND) has released a notice for the acquisition of 30 Land Force Portable Satcom Terminals (LFPSTs) to provide a rapidly deployable satellite communications capability for employment across all deployed fields of operation. This bid solicitation cancels and supersedes previous bid solicitation number W8476-133876/A dated 19 July 2013 with a closing of 25 September 2013. The notice lists out various roles and LFPSTs. In domestic operations the LFPSTs will give the Army the capability to extend Land Command Support System (LCSS) services to a small headquarters as primary means in a disaster relief scenario when there is no commercial infrastructure. In smaller scale missions such as Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) or Noncombatant Evacuation Operation (NEO) this capability will link the LCSS back to Canada, and provide the communications throughput to support up to 20 staff in a small mission headquarters. The Canadian Army currently has a fleet of portable satellite communications terminals consisting of six different models. These terminals are used by the Communication Reserve, Division Headquarters, Brigade Signal Squadrons and reconnaissance elements to provide beyond line of sight (BLOS) communications in scenarios such as Disaster Assistance Relief Team (DART), Non-combatant Evacuation Operations (NEO) and domestic operations.
Equipment Deliverables according to the procurement notice:
• 30 LFPSTs (military Ka-band)
• 5 LFPST Ku-band Feed Kits
• Licenses and software required to operate, configure, control and monitor all LFPSTs
• 3 Spare Modem (unit or swappable card)
• 3 Spare Military Ka Band BUC/SSPB
• 1 Spare Ku Band BUC/SSPB
• 3 Spare Military Ka Band LNB
• 1 Spare Ku Band LNB
• 3 Spare Reflector/antenna
The contract will also include provision of training, technical support and maintenance. The DND will request on-site support on an “as and when required” basis. (Source: MPI – Hawk Information)

03 Feb 14. Multiple stories in the Czech media have reported that the country’s new Defence Minister Martin Stropnicky wants to make a decision on the extension of the lease of Saab Gripen fighters by the end of March. The extension would also include a proposed upgrade of the aircraft’s capabilities. The Czech Defence Ministry plans to extend the lease for 12 years for a total of CZK16.8bn, which is about CZK3bn lesser than it paid under the previous contract. From 2004 through 2014, the Czech Republic paid about CZK19.6bn for the lease of 14 fighters. The extension would see the Gripens continue their role from October 2015 through October 2027. There is also an option for a further extension by two years from 2027 for CZK2.8bn [USD1.4bn]. This decision by the Czech Republic raises the possibility that Slovakia would also consider leasing Gripen fighters. In January 2014, MPI reported that the Slovak Defence Ministry may consider a lease of Saab JAS 39 Gripen fighters from Sweden to replace ageing Mig-29s. Slovakia may lease up to eight Gripens from Sweden. A common aircraft would increase the interoperability of the two countries allowing for easy integration into any potential joint squadron formation. (Source: MPI – Hawk Information)

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