First Nation-owned armour technology company delivering on military contracts
NP Aerospace CEO James Kempston, left, is shown with other company and British Army officials. (Handout/ NP Aerospace)
Published Thursday, November 7, 2019 11:36AM EST
TORONTO - An armour technology manufacturer that is majority owned by a First Nation community in Saskatchewan is delivering on large defence contracts with Canada and the U.K.
NP Aerospace, jointly owned by the Pasqua First Nation and company CEO James Kempston, won a $106-million contract with the U.K. Ministry of Defence in January, to maintain and upgrade a fleet of armoured vehicles.
It is a five-year deal covering a British Army fleet of 2,200 protected mobility vehicles which provide protection from mine and ballistic threats as they move troops, equipment and supplies in battle zones.
According to an NP Aerospace press release issued Thursday, the contract ensures the vehicles “are upgraded to the highest standards and remain ready for combat.”
“The protected mobility fleet has been hugely important for defence over the last 15 years, saving numerous lives on operations,” said Major General Colin McClean, director land equipment for the British Army.
“It is vital that we continue to invest in our battle-winning capabilities, ensuring that they are always ready for training or operational purposes. Given its significant role now and in the future, I am pleased we are partnering with NP Aerospace to deliver this contract.”
The company, which has locations in Coventry, U.K., and Burlington, Ont., is the lead engineering authority on the upgrade program, and is working with vehicle manufacturers and other partners.
“Having NP Aerospace centrally managing the collaborative program and the full fleet of vehicles creates efficiency through component and system commonality,” said Kempston. “We look forward to applying this experience to our future innovative work with MoD and our other customers around the world.”
NP Aerospace has also secured a $33 million contract with Canada’s Department of National Defence for lightweight ballistic helmets and spare components over a seven-year period. That deal was announced in May. The helmets feature advanced composite technology that delivers improved protection against bullets and fragments.
NP Aerospace has supplied combat helmets to the Canadian DND since 2015.
Pasqua First Nations, through a company called PFN Group of Companies, acquired NP Aerospace from Morgan Advanced Materials in 2018. It manufactures helmets and suits, explosive disposal suits, and body armour plates and composite armour for vehicles, vessels and aircraft. The company says it has worked on more than 2,000 military vehicles and supplied one million combat helmets to troops in Canada, the U.K., Italy and other NATO allies.
Pasqua First Nations has approximately 2,000 band members and a reserve covering almost 9,000 hectares about 65 kilometres northeast of Regina.