After our look last week at how the Australian defence industry is coping with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, let’s now look at how some of the world’s defence companies are managing their operations in the respective countries. As usual, this list will be progressively updated as new information becomes available.

CAE (Canada)

CAE announced today that it has recalled all remaining temporarily laid-off employees in Canada. Between recalls of employees providing essential services and recalls through the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) program, approximately 1,500 employees will be back on the payroll this week; the vast majority are based in Montreal and will work from home. The temporary layoffs were part of a series of measures CAE announced on April 6 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

CAE also announced that it has signed a contract with the Government of Canada on April 10 to manufacture and supply 10,000 ventilators which will be used to help save lives of COVID-19 patients. The company is finalizing the design and testing of its CAE Air1 ventilator and is preparing for production. The first unit is expected to be delivered in early May to health authorities for certification.

In addition, CAE announced that it is leveraging its global supply chain to source scarce N95 masks for humanitarian purposes in support of front-line health workers. To date, CAE has secured 100,000 N95 masks which will be delivered to the Quebec government.

IAI (Israel)

by Amira Sharon, Ph.D. VP of Strategy and R&D at Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI)

Faced with the COVID—19 pandemic, IAI began evaluating various assistance scenarios that could be beneficial at the national level in Israel. We worked on two channels: collaborating with the defense and healthcare ministries and working with the Israeli Corporations Authority to understand the healthcare needs from the field. The new connection and forum, which was created between defense and healthcare agencies, has led to a joint platform to which the hospitals bring forth their needs while we work to devise solutions.

The new forum allows a 2 way flow of information and feedback which is productive for both parties. We ventured into profound need identification, established contact with the hospitals and toured their premises. We then worked on focused solutions addressing the needs of medical professionals. Those same professionals are committed to this process despite the immense workload they shoulder. Those needs were communicated to IAI R&D and innovation leaders, who then set about finding solutions and helping the world during this crisis.

This orchestrated effort has resulted in a range of technological solutions: ventilators, sanitation, diagnostic, protective and even disease predictive systems. These solutions are being developed following prioritization of medical needs, demonstrating the unique value of IAI: a combination of innovation, technology and fast, exceptional solutions.

This week, for example, we inaugurated an assembly line for ventilators at IAI’s missile division, in collaboration with the Ministry of Defense and Inovytec, which specializes in emergency medical systems. The first shipments comprising dozens of ventilators have already been delivered to the Health Ministry.

Shortly, we will be able to manufacture hundreds of ventilators per week. The turbine-based Ventway Sparrow Ventilator is lightweight, easy to use and provides invasive or non-invasive ventilation to children or adults. It complies with the strictest medical standards and is used by hospitals and emergency care centers in Israel and abroad. It provides life-supporting respiratory treatment in a wide range of medical scenarios, including the Coronavirus.

Another unique solution, developed within only a week, involves sanitation of medical rooms with UVC technology. IAI engineers developed their solution following consultation with the staff of Shamir Medical Center where it is currently undergoing test and evaluation. Once test results have been assessed, IAI will be able to build hands-free sanitation systems capable of disinfecting a room within 30 minutes.

Yet another development allows remote measurement of physiological parameters. This system, which was developed in collaboration with the Directorate of Defense Research and Development (DDR&D) at the Israel Ministry of Defense and the Technion, uses radar, Electro Optic, and AI data analysis to measure pulse, temperature, saturation and breathing rate. It is being tested now at hospitals in Israel.

Based upon our commitment to provide our best capabilities and people to fight the Coronavirus, IAI is partnering in dozens of other ventures that help fight the pandemic. We send our appreciation and gratitude to the medical teams in Israel and abroad, who are heroically fighting the virus. Now is the time to join forces, work, and overcome the challenges!

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