Defence technologies and sustainment

With the acquisition of new and modernized equipment by the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), maintaining existing and future fleets comes with a heavy financial and environmental burden, as well as impact on aircraft readiness levels. The Defence Technologies and Sustainment – Strategic Client Services aims to address the required defence technologies by the RCAF to increase air platform availability, reduce the cost of RCAF operations while simultaneously minimizing their environmental footprint.

Our Strategic Client Services offer access to technology development, demonstration at various technology readiness levels (TRLs) and airworthiness certification facilities and expertise that will help to reduce fuel burn, CO2 emissions and the life-cycle costs of ongoing RCAF operations as well as increase platform availability. It also aims to transfer to market a selection of its developed technologies directly or through various other NRC programs as a way to provide the civilian aerospace industry with cutting-edge tools and modern methodologies for air platform sustainment.

Collaborate with us

Collaborate with us on strategic research projects to help de-risk your innovative ideas, reduce your start-up costs and accelerate your commercial development timelines.

Collaboration opportunities

The NRC is actively seeking partners and collaborators in the military and civil aerospace industry to help transfer the technologies developed. Our current research priorities are: transferring the Defence Technologies and Sustainment – Strategic Client Services sustainment technologies important to the maintenance, repair and Overhaul (MRO) or sustainment sector; and developing and testing alternative fuels that can be utilized by the military, airlines and the general aviation industry resulting in a reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Potential partners include:

  • other government departments (OGDs), who will provide strategic air vehicle research and engineering support
  • original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) for the military sector, including MRO service providers, who will further collaborate in strategic sustainment R&D and technical services
  • sustainment industry for the military sector, who will help increase the Canadian aerospace industry's competitiveness and enable partner companies to sustain advanced aircraft systems including integrated vehicle health management (IVHM) which includes physics-based degradation models, sensors, big data analytics and artificial intelligence

Working with partners and collaborators, the NRC's key objectives for the next 5 years are to:

  • enhance the RCAF capability of platforms (aircraft, rotorcraft & UAVs) for protecting Canada and Canadians
  • ensure platform availability by enhancing readiness
  • support the RCAF Smart Buyer/Intelligent Client initiative, as well as introduce life cycle cost (LCC) saving measures for improved fleet affordability
  • increase environmental sustainability of RCAF platforms
  • promote the civilian use of dual-use defence technologies in order to improve competitiveness of Canadian aerospace industries, increase wealth and provide employment to Canadians

Key impacts:

  • advancing RCAF S&T goals in maximizing air vehicle capability (sensors, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR)) and future concept solutions
  • minimizing RCAF platform failure and minimize air vehicle downtime
  • assist Canadian industry with adopting new emerging and innovative technologies in order to provide the RCAF with the lowest possible operational cost
  • reduce environmental footprint of defence suppliers as well as RCAF operations
Collaborator benefits

The NRC collaborators will play a significant role in increasing Canada's economic impact by working to reduce life cycle costs; researching environmental impacts and emerging technologies; exploring safe and effective airborne assets; and providing integrated aircraft engine health management.

In addition, our partners realize the following benefits:

  • Access to a world-class research infrastructure and unique expertise in structures, materials, manufacturing, aerodynamics, gas turbines and flight research combined with competitive rates, customized service options and high ethical standards
  • Technology validation and airworthiness certification facilities
  • Access to the expertise required to bring technologies to market
  • Maximal opportunities and connections between Canadian companies at all levels of the supply chain, including upper tier suppliers and OEMs
  • Access to new and emerging technologies and processes that enable enhanced competitive market position, both in the manufacturing and sustainment segments
  • A foot in the door for opportunities related to the recapitalization and sustainment of the Canadian government's aircraft fleets
Technical and advisory services

The NRC has a full suite of competencies and resources that make us a one-stop shop for today's technologically advanced, time-sensitive air defence market. Our proven track record of successful research and technology development, as well as our finely honed expertise and multi-disciplinary array of technical capabilities, make us ideally positioned to bridge a critical innovation gap in the air defence industry. The NRC's technical advisory services include:

  • aero-acoustics and structural dynamics
  • airworthiness certification
  • alternative fuels research
  • avionics
  • flight vehicle aerodynamics
  • gas turbine engine certification
  • gas turbine engine research
  • lifecycle assessment
  • materials and structures
  • modelling and simulation
  • data analytics/physics-based modelling
  • sensors

We offer a number of research and technical services that include fee-for-service testing, certification and consultation.

Research facilities

Partners and clients have access to our world-class facilities, which contribute to the development and demonstration of technologies that will reduce fuel burn, CO2 emissions and the costs of defence aircraft sustainment. Our Ottawa facilities include:

Contact us

To discuss your project or find out more about how we can support your business, contact:

Business Development Team
Aerospace Research Centre

Targeted industries

Aerospace and Defence, Manufacturing and Sustainment