Vanguard Magazine profiles General Dynamics Canada in their article “The Value of an R&D Dollar - Defence industry among leading investor.” The article looks at the industry's top companies providing innovative solutions through internal research and development.

General Dynamics: combat-net radio

General Dynamics Canada has served military clients for over 60 years. According to Chris Pogue, vice-president of land and joint solutions, that long history enables the company to direct R&D to help customers perform better and reduce costs.

General Dynamics provided the Canadian Forces with combat-net radios in the late-1990s. Recognizing the requirement for increased data throughput, the company initiated an R&D project to show a viable upgrade path for the current radio set.

The project led to a solution that will be deployed in 2014. The solution allows simultaneous operation of voice, chat and positional-awareness reporting - capabilities unavailable with the current radios but important for soldier tracking. “The soldier will know where the other soldiers are,” Pogue says. “It goes a long way toward helping them carry out their mission safely.”

According to Pogue, the solution will extend the life of the combat-net radio by a decade and helps the CF avoid a costly replacement program.

“None of this would have been possible if we hadn't developed real trust with the customer through our 60-plus years in that environment,” Pogue says.