"Our new facility being built in London, Ontario will be the most advanced manufacturing plant in Fine Quartz Surface business. We are confident our HanStone Fine Quartz Surface business will grow and be successful in North America with the continued strong support and cooperation from the City of London. We greatly appreciate the community's warm welcome to our company."
LONDON, Ontario - March 25th, 2010. Today, Kongsberg Gruppen AS, announced plans to open a facility in London, Ontario for the PROTECTOR Remote Weapon Stations family, being a part of the business unit Kongsberg Protech Systems. The facility will be capable of undertaking Research & development, manufacturing and service. There will be a significant initial investment and employ 25-30 persons in the initial phase. The venture will grow with the market and it is expected that more than 100 employees to be engaged when fully operational and up to 500 new positions could be created through sub-supplier activity in Canada.
The President of Kongsberg Protech Systems, Mr. Egil Haugsdal, made this announcement with a distinguished list of guests including Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Her Worship Anne Marie DeCicco-Best, Mayor of London and community business leaders.
Mr. Haugsdal was very honoured by the turnout to their announcement held at the London Delta Armouries Hotel in London. "We are excited by the welcome we have received, and the support we have got from Ministry of Economic Department of Trade in Ontario and London Economic Development Corporation. We are looking forward to expanding our business in Canada, which is an important market for us, and we strongly believe this new venture is the right move for our company. Canada offers very competitive conditions for development and production internationally, and London offers a highly skilled and competent workforce."
Kongsberg's investment in Canada is related to a new product within the PROTECTOR remote weapon station family of products. Kongsberg expects to do all aspects of product development in Canada including research, design, and manufacturing. Building on the technology developed for the PROTECTOR family, this investment would involve the production of mechanical equipment as well as assembly, testing and delivery of complex systems, including electromechanical, optical and software-based parts.
"Our government is delighted to see Kongsberg expanding its Canadian operations," said Prime Minister Harper. "Kongsberg's decision to expand its Canadian operations confirms that Canada has the right conditions to attract and nurture the new economy."
"The Kongsberg investment demonstrates strong confidence and commitment to our country and our community," says Mayor Anne Marie DeCicco-Best. "We warmly welcome the company and know it will be successful establishing its operations in London."
Peter White, President and CEO of the London Economic Development Corporation indicated, "London's reputation as a strong manufacturing centre with exceptional research institutes, education facilities and a talented workforce continues to attract top global companies to our community. It has been a pleasure working with Kongsberg executives to support their investment in Canada and we look forward to continuing to work with them to facilitate their integration into the community."
Kongsberg expects to be in their new facility by the Fall, 2010.
For more information, please contact:
Name: Roald Theisen
Title: Vice President Business Development
Kongsberg.Defence & Aerospace
Tel: +47 32 28 80 71
Kongsberg Gruppen AS is a Norway-based international technology corporation structured around two main business areas: Kongsberg Maritime and Kongsberg Defence and Aerospace. The company employs 5,400 individuals in 25 countries.
Kongsberg Maritime currently operates three facilities in Canada: Kongsberg Mesotech located in Port Coquitlam, BC - which manufactures sonar equipment for the security, oil and gas, and fisheries industries; Kongsberg Maritime Solutions, based in St. John's, Newfoundland, which produces ship simulators; and a sales, marketing and technical support office in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, which delivers and services a wide range of systems for merchant vessels and offshore oil and gas installations. Kongsberg also operates Gallium Visual Systems, a subsidiary of Kongsberg Defence and Aerospace, based in Ottawa. Gallium develops commercial off-the-shelf software components and tools for high performance, mission-critical applications.
A key product under Kongsberg's Defence and Aerospace business unit is the production of the PROTECTOR Remote Weapon Station (RWS), a remotely controlled weapon station for light and medium calibre weapons, which can be mounted on any type of platform. Developed by Kongsberg's Protech Systems, the PROTECTOR RWS family has more than 4500 remote weapons systems in active service worldwide.
The PROTECTOR has been in full-scale production since December 2001, and has been involved in a number of global operations, including Afghanistan. The PROTECTOR RWS is designed to protect military personnel inside armoured vehicles. Mounted on the outside of the vehicle, the operator remotely controls the system from a protected position inside the vehicle. The PROTECTOR has had more than fifteen million hours in combat, and 25 million hours of operation. Kongsberg also offers logistical support and training for the PROTECTOR.
As of March 2009, the PROTECTOR has been chosen by 17 nations including the Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, France, Ireland, Portugal, Switzerland, Finland, Norway, the United States. The PROTECTOR is currently being used in theatre by the Canadian Forces in Afghanistan.