BURLINGTON, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - March 23, 2015) - Industry Minister James Moore today announced an important investment that will help keep Canadians safe. Minister Moore made the announcement at L-3 WESCAM headquarters in Burlington, Ontario, where he was joined by representatives from partner suppliers and universities. This meaningful investment in the company will support its R&D of new high-tech air, land and sea surveillance cameras and sensors that are essential to Canada's defence, security, and search and rescue operations.

The Harper Government's investment will lead to the creation of new high-paying, high-tech jobs across southern Ontario's defence manufacturing supply chain, in addition to maintaining 200 existing positions in Burlington and Don Mills.

WESCAM will invest $2 million in collaborating with Canadian universities and colleges to help train Canada's future security and defence technology workforce.

The company will partner with over 60 suppliers from across Ontario for this project.

Quick facts

  • L-3 WESCAM is Canada's largest manufacturing defence company for advanced airborne imaging and sensors, and it is a leader in defence, surveillance, and search and rescue applications.
  • WESCAM's cameras have played a significant role in countering insurgency in Afghanistan and Iraq since 2005.
  • In 2014, a Transport Canada aircraft equipped with a WESCAM heat sensor was instrumental in the capture of the gunman responsible for the death of three members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Moncton, New Brunswick.
  • WESCAM surveillance equipment has also been used along Canada's border with the United States to intercept drug traffickers attempting to cross between the two countries.
  • Through the Strategic Aerospace and Defence Initiative (SADI), the Government of Canada is making a repayable contribution of $75 million to L-3 WESCAM to support its R&D.
  • The Harper Government's investment will leverage an additional $113-million investment in Canada's economy from WESCAM.
  • In 2013, Canada's aerospace and defence industry was responsible for more than 172,000 jobs and contributed $28 billion to the economy. The defence component of that industry employs more than 63,000 highly skilled workers and generates more than $9.4 billion in revenue each year.


"WESCAM surveillance and targeting technology has been used to help police forces conduct manhunts and track marijuana grow ops here in Canada. Abroad, Canadian armed forces have used similar aerial systems during Canada's 10-year mission in Afghanistan to capture high-value targets. Today, Canadian forces continue to support the fight against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant insurgents using WESCAM technology. Our government is proud to invest in a renowned defence, security and public safety company that will continue to develop new technology needed to help counter terrorism and keep Canadians safe."

- Industry Minister James Moore

"This is great news for our community. By supporting WESCAM's R&D, our government is helping the company expand its market reach, partner with talented researchers and create high-quality jobs. This investment means new economic opportunities in Burlington and across southern Ontario."

- Mike Wallace, Member of Parliament for Burlington

"L-3 WESCAM is very proud to be selected for this key investment by the Government of Canada. We plan to use the contribution to grow our defence, security and public safety products across air, land and sea domains."

- John Dehne, President, L-3 WESCAM

"Canadian aerospace companies like WESCAM are on the cutting edge of technologies that are key to our security, safety and sovereignty. We are very pleased to see programs such as SADI supporting the important work our industry is doing. AIAC congratulates L-3 WESCAM on this investment and thanks the Government for its ongoing support of the Canadian aerospace and defence industry."

- Jim Quick, President and CEO, Aerospace Industries Association of Canada (AIAC)

"Camera and sensor technologies are an integral part of Canadian command, control and communications capabilities and are essential to the defence and security of our country. These technologies also advance science and technology for civilian and commercial applications to the benefit of all Canadians. CADSI congratulates L-3 WESCAM and the Government on this significant investment in research and development. These investments demonstrate a healthy partnership between industry and government that fuels Canadian innovation, creates high-value Canadian jobs, and leverages the strength of the Canadian defence and security industrial sector."

- Christyn Cianfarani, President, Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries (CADSI)

Related product

  • Backgrounder: L-3 WESCAM's Product Line

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L-3 WESCAM's Product Line

L-3 WESCAM's current product line consists of mobile cameras and sensors for surveillance (and targeting of laser-guided munitions) across airborne, land-based and naval platforms.

L-3 WESCAM has provided the following examples of how its technology is being used:

SEOSS-The SEOSS EO/IR system is installed on the Royal Canadian Navy's Halifax-class frigates, primarily for Arctic operation. The night vision capability afforded by the thermal sensors aids in navigation and collision avoidance, man overboard recovery, covert operations, threat detection, and search and rescue.

CP-140-The CP-140 is a maritime patrol aircraft operated by the Royal Canadian Air Force. They are used primarily for coastal surveillance and sovereignty patrols. Overseas deployments include the Persian Gulf region, the Caribbean (for counter-narcotics operations) and the Pacific. Two CP-140 aircraft were also used to help enforce the no-fly zone over Libya.

CH-147-The CH-147 is a medium-to-heavy lift helicopter employed by the Canadian Armed Forces. It's used to transport equipment and personnel for both domestic and international operations. It has an advanced self-protection capability, including the EO/IR system that is used to detect threats and to aid flight operations in poor visibility conditions.

Ingress-The CH-146 Griffon in service with the Canadian Armed Forces is equipped with the MX-15. The CH-146 is primarily used for tactical transport of troops and material, search and rescue, reconnaissance and surveillance, casualty evacuation and counter-narcotics operations. The MX-15 turret is used for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) gathering, as well as target detection and verification in the tactical defence role. These aircraft were deployed to Afghanistan as armed escorts to the CH-147 transport aircraft and others. As well, they were used for security during the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games.

DOT-Transport Canada Dash 8 aircraft are equipped with WESCAM's MX-15. These aircraft are primarily used for border surveillance to detect illegal immigration and smuggling activities along the Canada-U.S. border. The EO/IR sensor enables the detection of activity at night and increases the visual reach of operators during the day for patrols that are more effective and economical.

Police forces-A number of police forces have rotorcraft equipped with WESCAM systems, including the Toronto, Calgary, York Regional and Durham Regional services. Civilian police forces use the cameras for detecting illegal activity (especially at night), tracking vehicles or suspects on foot, and detecting narcotic grow houses.

Contact Information:

Jake Enwright
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Industry

Media Relations
Industry Canada