CATS contract marks milestone for defence procurement

Two RCAF jets fly side by side.
Contracted Airborne Training Services (CATS) will be delivered at multiple locations across Canada and potentially within North America. Photo: ADM (Mat)

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The Government of Canada awarded a 10-year contract for Contracted Airborne Training Services (CATS) to Discovery Air Defence Services on October 30.

CATS provides training through the emulation of hostile aircraft, target detection/tracking, electronic warfare exercises, target towing, radar testing, and communications performance assessments. It allows the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) to provide realistic training to its members in a controlled, live environment.

The contract was a milestone that followed years of hard work by the CATS Program Team. In addition to standard procurement and contracting practices and processes, CATS implemented an extensive industry engagement process. The team also pioneered one of the first performance-based Statements of Work (SOW), which has been used as a model by other major service delivery projects. The SOW provided performance incentives for the contractor to exceed the demands of the contract, and a means for Canada to recoup for non-performance.

CATS broke new ground with the introduction of the new Industrial and Technological Benefits and Value Proposition policy. Under the policy, the contractor has to engage in business in Canada equal to the value of the contract through investment in defence-related goods and services, research and development, and export potential.

CATS was one of the first to apply the Gender-based Analysis Plus (GBA+) analytical tool, which facilitates the assessment of policies, programs, initiatives and services with regard to their potential impact on diverse groups.

The CATS Team is looking forward to continued success in providing CAF with a modern, operationally capable, multipurpose combat force that will be responsive to Canada’s military needs.

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