Ontario’s defence industry is comprised of companies across several sectors developing products and services for military and security customers, including aerospace/space, naval, combat vehicles, munitions/weapons, soldier systems and C4ISR (Command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance).

Ontario Defence Industry by the Numbers

in revenues, annually
of the world’s top 5 defence companies
universities offering diverse engineering programs
companies providing defence products and services
More than 50%
of revenues from exports

Who’s here

  • Armatec
  • Babcock Canada
  • BMT Fleet
  • Collins Aerospace
  • Colt Canada
  • Curtiss Wright
  • DEW Engineering and Development
  • Fellfab
  • Field Aviation
  • General Dynamics Land Systems Canada
  • General Dynamics Mission Systems
  • Heddle Shipyards
  • Honeywell
  • IMT Defence
  • L-3 Harris Technologies
  • Leonardo DRS Technologies
  • Lockheed Martin Canada
  • Magellan Aerospace
  • NP Aerospace
  • Precision Castparts – Noranco, Centra Industries
  • Raytheon Canada
  • Rheinmetall
  • Rolls-Royce
  • Teledyne FLIR
  • Thales

We win big contracts

  • General Dynamics Mission Systems–Canada (GDMS) of Ottawa secured a contract to play a lead role in strengthening the Canadian Armed Forces’ command and control capabilities, and is providing the Canadian Army with sophisticated communication and information systems that will help inform and direct land operations.
  • Heddle Shipyards of Hamilton was awarded a contract to complete vessel life extension work on the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Terry Fox.
  • Wheatley-based company Hike Metal secured a contract from the Canadian Coast Guard for coast guard vessel refurbishment.
  • BCS Automation of Belleville is providing Canada’s new Offshore Oceanographic Science Vessel (OOSV) with a ship control and monitoring system to provide ship personnel with immediate information on ship operations.
  • NP Aerospace of Burlington has been awarded a contract with the Department of National Defence to provide engineering technical support services to the Canadian Army’s Land Equipment Program, in addition to a contract with the UK Ministry of Defence to support its fleet of 2,200 Protected Mobility Vehicles.

Ontario centres of academic-industry collaboration

The defence industry has been increasingly shifting towards more collaborative and externalized R&D.

Ontario’s defence industry is an innovative ecosystem that delivers the solutions to tomorrow’s defence challenges.
Ontario’s defence industry is an innovative ecosystem that delivers the solutions to tomorrow’s defence challenges.

Many small and medium-sized Ontario defence companies are heavily engaged in R&D in niche technology areas such as remotely piloted aircraft systems, advanced sensor systems, electronic warfare and cybersecurity.

Ontario is home to leading government research centres, including the National Research Council’s Aerospace Research Centre, the Canadian Space Agency’s David Florida Laboratory, the Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) facilities in Ottawa and Toronto and the Fraunhofer Project Centre for Composites Research in London. Other specialized centres, such as the Ontario Centre of Innovation and the province’s network of Regional Innovation Centres, offer resources such as commercialization and advisory support along with R&D matchmaking. They work with companies in various industries such as communications and IT, energy, aerospace, manufacturing, and life sciences.

A researcher from the Aviation Centre of Excellence, Confederation College, in Thunder Bay, Ontario working with equipment.
A researcher from the Aviation Centre of Excellence, Confederation College, in Thunder Bay, Ontario, working with equipment.

The federally-run Defence Research and Development Canada operates seven research centres across Canada, each with a unique combination of expertise and facilities to carry out world-class science and technology research. Four of these centres are right here in Ontario:

  • The Toronto Research Centre
  • The Ottawa Research Centre
  • The Centre for Security Science
  • The Centre for Operational Research and Analysis

The DRDC Toronto Research Centre

DRDC Toronto is a research and development establishment for defence and national security focusing on human effectiveness, science and technology. They research individual and team performance, human-to-technology interaction, and the social and psychological factors that affect the resolution of conflict.