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Information Technology (IT) Pioneers

Retirees and former employees of Unisys, Lockheed Martin, and their heritage companies

 Canadian Legacy, Chapter 38

1. Introduction

The Defense Systems Division of Sperry established a manufacturing facility in Winnipeg in 1977. The history of this facility is captured in 'Our Winnipeg Story' by Glen Johnson with a David Saxerud {BEE UofMN, 1966} addendum.

This chapter is part of our Legacy for several reasons:

  1. The initial management personnel came from St. Paul,
  2. The initial production of printed circuit cards, power supplies, and chassis were shipped back to St. Paul for use in Defense Systems products, and
  3. Several Canadian engineers had temporary transfers to St. Paul for 'training' in manufacturing, quality control, and design engineering.

Although the last Winnipeg facility closed in 1997; the ‘company’ continues in Canada per this 2013 Club newsletter item:Back here on the east coast, DND Canada has assigned the 8th ship; HMCS St. John’s, to proceed for retrofit, along with Provisional Acceptance slated for HMCS HFX on Sept 15th and First Article Acceptance (FAA) of same on Dec 15th."

 "So we at Lockheed Martin Canada have our work cut out for us. Once we achieve FAA hopefully then we can treat the other ships as a production line and simplify the acceptance criteria." by Ed Pogorzelec, P. Eng. - Conseiller Assurance Qualité [Quality Assurance Advisor]

The last Frigate upgrade was completed in 2016 per this article.

2. 2012 Reunion

A Sperry Winnipeg Reunion Committee put together a great event at the Sunova Centre located at 40 Holland Rd., West St Paul, Manitoba, on August 11th 2012. 

Ed Pogorzelec led the committee; anyone who wants to renew old friendships with our Winnipeg Operations 'veterans' may contact him at: Ed has put together a PowerPoint summary of that reunion; for browser download speed, the web editor has split it into three segments.

Updated 4/12/2021, a tribute to the Winnipeg facility and its' people

Pogo 'Ed Pogorzelec' has provided several items for a tribute to the Winnipeg Operations, we've decided to use the two slide sets as Our Stories for June and July 2021. 

3. People

This Sperry Winnipeg photo was taken in the summer of 1984. It was donated by Dave Saxerud, kneeling third from the right in the front row. At Dave's left is Glen Johnson.

{Editor's note: In the early 80's; I, Lowell Benson, was an engineering manager in St. Paul responsible for small computer support. Reporting to me at that time were Dan Holste, supervising engineer; Bob Beljeski, super tech; and Don Shore, mechanical engineer - we made many trips to Winnipeg to transition the AN/UYK-502 computer from a St. Paul prototype to a Canadian production line. So many people have been and continue to be part of our Legacy!}

4. Facilities

Halifax, Ottawa, ... The home base for the Sperry/Unisys Defense Systems/Paramax Canadian Patrol Frigate systems engineering and management program. 
Dave Kolling was the 'Top Guy' there for a few years.  The Legacy Committee welcomes contributions to this chapter of our history, email the webmaster.

5. Products

Tom Wilson has provided insight regarding our AN/AYK-23 digital Computer Processor Memory Unit (CPMU), the last S-3B Viking squadron was decommissioned in 2009, but in June 2010, several S-3B Vikings were re-activated to patrol the Pacific Missile Test Center's range areas off the coast of California.

For the Marine Air Traffic Control And Landing Systems incorporating our SDB SHINPADS, several MATCALS shelters were deployed world-wide in conflict zones, and Lockheed Martin Canada has received extension service contracts to support our Direct Fire Target Systems on Canadian weapon ranges.

From the 2013 Naval standpoint, seven Halifax Class frigates are in refit with HMCS Halifax completing three of her weapon certifications with the new Combat Management System. The Multi-Function Workstations and Mission Critical Enclosures (AN/UYQ-70x) developed by LM Eagan and manufactured by LM Kanata are impressive and the new system capabilities are a 1000-fold superior to the legacy SHINPADS. It is almost information overload.
But that being said the fleet still has five frigates and three destroyers with the legacy SHINPADS and UYK-507s that continue to play a major role in many cases as Command Task Group. The sustainment plan is to eventually replace all SHINPADS and UYKs by yr 2024. This speaks volumes on the great engineering design, reliability and manufacturing capability developed by the Winnipeg team. Who knows we may see some of our great work in naval museums. I have suggested that HMCS Chippewa receive at least a working SHINPADS system along with UYKs.

Regarding MATCALS, it is my understanding that there are MATCALS shelters still being deployed which was the land-based version of SHINPADS. Sure brings back memories.

This speaks volumes on the products that were designed, developed, manufactured and services provided from our Winnipeg plant.
All the best and take care! By Ed P.

In this Chapter

  1. Introduction
  2. , 2012 Reunion
  3. People
  4. Facilities
  5. Products

Chapter 31 edited 4/8/2022.