Canadian Radar Satellite Contract for MDA

Press Release
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Radarsat Constellation: Image credit MDA

MacDonald, Dettwiler & Associates Ltd. win Canadian Space Agency $706 million contract to build, launch & provide initial operations for the RADARSAT Constellation Mission (RCM).

The RCM is designed for three main uses: maritime surveillance (ice, wind, oil pollution and ship monitoring); disaster management (mitigation, warning, response and recovery) and ecosystem monitoring (forestry, agriculture, wetlands and coastal change monitoring).

The contract is expected to extend over a period of seven years and brings MDA’s current backlog to approximately $2.9 billion.

RCM is a constellation of three satellites providing around-the-clock coverage. Information obtained from RCM can include repeat imaging of the same area at different times of day, dramatically improving the frequency of monitoring coastal zones, northern territories, Arctic waterways and other areas of strategic and defence interest. RCM will also incorporate automated identification system technology, which when combined with the powerful radar images, supports the immediate detection and identification of ships worldwide.

“This is exciting news,” said Daniel Friedmann, MDA’s president and CEO. “RCM builds on the world-leading geospatial and radar surveillance capabilities that MDA has developed through the RADARSAT-1 and RADARSAT-2 missions. We are now greatly expanding these capabilities with benefits for Canada and for MDA.”

Already a leading supplier of radar-based surveillance and security, MDA’s service offering is expected to expand as it leverages RCM’s repeat imaging capabilities. The information provided by the RCM satellites will enable MDA to meet a larger range of recurring monitoring needs in growing market segments such as oil and gas, mining, defence and security, well into the next decade.

“Demands in these operational segments are driven by the ability to provide frequent, reliable information. RCM’s all-weather, day-and-night satellites will help us meet this demand,” said Friedmann.

“This is a major step forward for MDA as a leader in the growing global surveillance and intelligence market” said Friedmann. “With this contract, MDA has a strong foundation for continued development of its space missions, satellite ground systems, radar payload and geospatial services businesses.”


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