July 12, 2023 By Helicopters Staff
François-Philippe Champagne, Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, announced on July 11 that the Government of Canada will support the General Dynamics Mission Systems–Canada Centre of Excellence for Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS), located in Sherbrooke, Quebec.
With this $10 million investment, General Dynamics will undertake mission system integration, testing and demonstration on the LX300 helicopter, a Canadian-made Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) produced by Quebec-based Laflamme Aero. The investment is expected to create more than 100 jobs in Sherbrooke.
“The deal with General Dynamics will also make us an innovative force for Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems,” said Champagne. “Thanks to this investment and the joint work of General Dynamics and Laflamme Aero, an innovative Quebec-based company, we are solidifying our global leadership in the aerospace sector, strengthening our economy and creating well-paying, high-value jobs for the people of the Eastern Townships.”
Additionally, on July 7, Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions announced a $2.5 million investment, through the Aerospace Regional Recovery Initiative, for Laflamme Aero to produce the LX300, described as the first Canadian-made RPAS in its class.
“Through these investments, we aim to leverage our world class intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance technology with leading-edge aerospace capabilities across the country and make Canada a leader in RPAS innovation,” said Joel Houde, Vice President and General Manager, General Dynamics Mission Systems–International. “We see RPAS as the future of aerospace, and we believe that Quebec, with its impressive aerospace hub, is the perfect place to be the foundation for this new and exciting initiative. Canada’s contribution to support General Dynamics’ Centre of Excellence in Sherbrooke, Quebec, is a testament to our aerospace expertise and its ability to transform the RPAS market on a global scale.”
In Budget 2021, the government announced that $1.75 billion in Strategic Innovation Fund, where this new funding for the LX300 is coming from, support will be targeted to the aerospace sector for projects that anchor production mandates and jobs in Canada and support industrial transformation to grow Canada’s global leadership in sustainable aviation.