General Atomics Aeronautical Systems and Toronto-based software designer OMX have signed a two-year agreement. The deal will support GA-AS’s industrial regional benefit efforts to identify additional Canadian suppliers as part of a program to offer its Predator B and/or Predator C Avenger for the government’s Joint Unmanned Surveillance and Target Acquisition System (JUSTAS) requirements.

In May 2011, GA-AS and Montreal-based CAE formalized a teaming arrangement to develop solutions for Canada’s Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition, and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) needs.

In December 2012, OMX launched an amalgamated, serachable database of over 50,000 Canadian defence, aerospace, and security companies. OMX uses a series of proprietary algorithms to gather and manage information available on the Internet. The database also allows companies to manage their own data. GA-AS said it would work with OMX to develop “a back-end to the supplier-managed database that will enable GA-AS to have a single location to submit and annotate its own data fields, including contact histories, validation comments, and internal reviews, for companies that are coupled with it. In addition, the future OMX IRB tracking platform will be used to monitor GA-AS’s successful efforts to create jobs and opportunities in Canada.”

San Diego-based GA-AS said the system would help identify “new opportunities for GA-ASI to partner with Canadian suppliers that otherwise might be missed through traditional channels,” especially small and medium enterprises that can be overlooked in a large acquisition program.

“We want every Canadian supplier to have the opportunity to determine its own fate,” said Frank Pace, president of GA-AS’s Aircraft Systems Group. “Suppliers should be able to manage their own data and its availability to our company and other primes without the need to rely on others.”