Defence Industry – Industry & Gov't Backgrounder – April/Sept 2010
Canadian Defence Industry – Norway's Kongsberg Gruppen ASA
to develop RWS for medium-calibre cannons in London, Ontario
Update: Kongsberg and erstwhile rival Rheinmetall Canada
(Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, PQ) have joined forces to promote a single RWS family inside and outside of
At the end of March 2010, Prime Minister Stephen Harper (together with Minister of Industry, Tony Clement,
London West Member of Parliament, Ed Holder, and others) announced that the Kongsberg Gruppen ASA
would be opening another Canadian facility, this time in London, ON. Kongsberg already has a number of
subsidiaries in Canada (itemized in a Kongsberg Backgrounder, reproduced below). The purpose of the new London
facility is best described in a PMO Backgrounder (also reproduced below, edited for brevity). There it's made clear
that Kongsberg intends to develop 25mm - 50mm turrets.
Both Backgrounders refer to the Kongsberg RWS
( remote weapon station ) currently in service, the
Protector RWS – used on the CF's RG-31 APVs.
Kongsberg's new MC RWS will enter a crowded medium-calibre remote turret market. But building the MC RWS
in Canada matches requirements for the the upcoming DND projects including LAV III UP and the Close Combat Vehicle.
Indeed, the two vehicles prototyped with the MC RWS are GDLS' LAV-based Wheeled Combat Vehicle Demonstrator and the Piranha Class 5 for CCV.
Another DND project, the APV-replacing Tactical Armoured
Patrol Vehicle or TAPV will require a smaller calibre RWS. Having a subsidiary in London will put Kongsberg on
'level ground' with Rheinmetall Canada, pitting Protector against the Nanuk RWS.
The text of the Kongsberg backgrounder (pdf) and the PMO's backgrounder follows:
25 March 2010
Kongsberg Gruppen ASA is a Norway-based international technology corporation structured in four business areas:
Kongsberg Maritime, Kongsberg Protech Systems, Kongsberg Oil & Gas Technologies and Kongsberg Defence Systems.
The company employs more than 5,400 individuals in 25 countries.
Kongsberg Maritime currently operates three facilities in Canada: Kongsberg Meso- tech located in Port Coquitlam, BC
– which manufactures sonar equipment for the security, oil and gas, and fisheries industries; Kongsberg
Maritime Solutions, based in St. John's, Newfoundland, which produces ship simulators; and a sales, marketing and
technical support office in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, which delivers and services a wide range of systems for
merchant vessels and offshore oil and gas installations. Kongs- berg also operates Gallium Visual Systems, a
subsidiary of Kongsberg Defence Systems, based in Ottawa. Gallium develops commercial off-the-shelf software
components and tools for high performance, mission-critical applications.
A key Kongsberg-product on the defence side the Protector Remote Weapon Station (RWS), a remotely controlled
weapon station for light and medium calibre weapons, which can be mounted on any type of platform. Developed by
Kongsberg's Protech Systems, the Protector RWS family has more than 4500 remote weapons systems in active
The Protector has been in full-scale production since December 2001, and has been involved in a number of
global operations, including Afghanistan. The Protector RWS was designed to protect military personnel inside
armoured vehicles. Mounted on the outside of the vehicle, the operator [gunner] remotely controls the system from a
protected position inside the vehicle.
The Protector has had more than fifteen million hours in combat, and 25 million hours of operation.
Kongsberg also offers logistical support and training for the Protector. As of March 2009, the
Protector has been chosen by 17 nations including the United Kingdom, Australia, France, Ireland, Portugal,
Switzerland, Finland, Norway, the United States, and Canada. The Protector is currently being used in-theatre
by the Canadian Forces in Afghanistan.
Backgrounder: New Kongsberg facility in London, Ontario
25 March 2010
Kongsberg's new investment in Canada is related to a new product within the [M151] Protector family of
products. Kongsberg has identified a need to develop a product with a larger remotely-operated turret
containing a 25[mm]-50 mm cannon. Kongsberg expects to do key aspects of product development in Canada,
including research and development, design, and manufacturing.
Building on the technology developed for the Protector family, this investment will involve the production of
mechanical equipment as well as assembly, testing and de- livery of complex systems, including electromechanical,
optical and software-based parts.
Kongsberg has chosen the London, Ontario, area as the location for its new facility to undertake this project. Phase
1 of the project includes a $30-50 million investment by Kongsberg, involving 25-30 employees. According to
Kongsberg, up to 100 employ- ees will be engaged in this venture when it is fully operational, and up to 500 new
positions could be created through sub-supplier activity. [...]
 The Industrial Technologies Office [ ITO ] is
a special operating agency
[ SOA ] of Industry Canada, with
a mandate to advance leading-edge
research and development ( R&D ) by Canadian industries.