Back to news

May 26, 2023 | Local, Aerospace

Aerospace executives call on Trudeau to consider Canadian plane for multi-billion dollar military program

Canadian aerospace firms have written Justin Trudeau requesting he allow open competition for a new military surveillance plane

On the same subject

  • Land Sector Opportunities

    April 30, 2020 | Local, Land

    Land Sector Opportunities

    In the coming months, OEMs who have been pre-qualified will be looking for a Canadian supplier in order to optimize their value proposition in order to obtain an important contract with the Canadian Government for the Logistics Vehicle Modernization (LVM) project and the Enhanced Recovery Capability (ERC) project. So there will be business opportunities for Quebec compagnies, especially for those having land vehicle, service support and armor capabilities. If you would like to know more about these opportunities, please contact Mathieu Poirier of Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions at the following email address: For further information : Logistics Vehicle Modernization (LVM Enhanced Recovery Capability (ERC) project

  • Russia’s Arctic Agenda and the Role of Canada

    April 16, 2020 | Local, Naval

    Russia’s Arctic Agenda and the Role of Canada

    Publication: Eurasia Daily Monitor Volume: 17 Issue: 51 By: Sergey Sukhankin April 15, 2020 05:24 PM Age: 14 mins New research (which includes two articles written by Russian experts) published by the prominent think tank the Canadian Global Affairs Institute has spurred interest and hopes in Russia's expert community about the possibility of normalizing ties between Russia and Canada through cooperation in the Arctic region (, April 3;, accessed April 12). This cooperation could potentially be premised on two main pillars. First would be the mutual rejection of “internationalization” of the Arctic. Both Canada and Russia—for whom the Arctic region is an issue of foreign policy (, July 1, 2019) —feel ill at ease with the increasing involvement of non-Arctic states in the region, particularly, China. Russian information outlets noted the level of distress when the Chinese icebreaker Snow Dragon completed its first-ever voyage through the Arctic Ocean off the coast of Canada, accumulating “a wealth of experience for Chinese ships going through the Northwest Passage in the future” (Regnum, September 17, 2017; see EDM, October 3, 2017). Second, Moscow seeks to exploit regional frictions and disagreements between Canada and the United States (, accessed April 10) to boost its own position/influence in the region. Russian sources recall the year 2010, when then–Secretary of State Hillary Clinton publicly challenged Canada's stance on the status of the Northwest Passage, which Ottawa considers part of Canadian territory (, February 20, 2015). In the past, both the Russian tone and general assessment of Canada's role in the Arctic were denigrating, claiming Ottawa lacked agency. Perhaps the clearest expression of this sentiment came from the director of the Institute of Strategic Planning and Forecasting, Professor Alexander Gusev, who, in 2015, declared that “they [Canada] are only performing the role assigned by the US” (, March 30, 2015). After 2016, however, Russia dramatically changed its coverage of the US-Canadian dispute in the Arctic region, with Moscow increasingly employing reconciliatory rhetoric toward Ottawa and employing ever more assertive public diplomacy tools. One notable example of this new approach is Moscow's reliance on pro-Russian experts based in Canada. In 2016, speaking in Sochi, on the margins of that year's Valdai Club session, Professor Piotr Dutkiewicz (a former director of the Institute of European and Russian Studies at Carleton University, in Ottawa) stated, “[T]his area [the Arctic region] will be the first one where we will feel real changes in our relations... Arctic cooperation will become the focal point thanks to which our two sides [Canada and Russia] will be extending their areas of collaboration” (Izvestia, October 28, 2016). Moreover, as repeatedly stated by Federation Council member Igor Chernyshenko (a senator from Murmansk Oblast), the Arctic region could become a “bridge,” helping Canada and Russia overcome the existing difficulties in their bilateral ties. Last May, he announced, “[W]e invited them [the Canadian side] to return to a dialogue. We proposed holding a conference between Russian and Canadian universities in northwest Russia, maybe in Murmansk Oblast. They supported this idea” (TASS, May 25, 2019). Notably, the last such event was held in November 2014, in Canada, hosted by the aforementioned Carleton University. In addition to trying to foster bilateral academic ties, Russia's outreach to Canada on Arctic issues involves sustained information campaigns via RT and similar multi-language information outlets with international reach. In particular, Russian propaganda narratives routinely overemphasize the extent of current US-Canadian disagreements in the Arctic. At the same time, foreign-audience-facing Kremlin-linked media outlets underscore the allegedly negative role of President Donald Trump (and his policies toward Canada) in aggravating the existing disputes. RT widely claimed that “after Trump's inauguration, he began pressing Ottawa on economic issues and extended claims on Canadian possessions in the Arctic region.” It also highlighted US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo's remarks suggesting that “Russia is not the only country with illegitimate claims [in the Arctic] ...the US has a lasting dispute with Canada over its claims on sovereignty over the Northwest Passage. Finally, RT's propaganda reporting also relied on a statement by Pavel Feldman, the deputy director of the Institute for Strategic Studies and Forecasts at the Moscow-based Peoples' Friendship University of Russia (RUDN). Feldman is quoted as saying, “[T]he US and Canada carry on a heated competition over the Arctic region; yet, publicly, these countries are trying to position themselves as partners” (RT, October 16, 2019). In recent months, this increasing Russian attention to Canada as an Arctic power and a key element of regional stability and order has started to be expressed at the highest levels in Moscow. Poignantly, President Vladimir Putin declared in a public address at the start of this year that Russia “is open to cooperation with Canada on the basis of mutual respect and consideration of each other's interest.” Putin added, “[O]ur countries are neighbors in the Arctic region and bear joint responsibility for the development of this vast region, for preservation of the traditional lifestyle of its native populations and the careful treatment of its brittle ecosystem” (Vzglyad, February 5, 2020). Such reconciliatory rhetoric should, however, be taken with a heavy dose of caution in Ottawa: from the earliest days of the Soviet Union, Moscow's stance on the Arctic region has been deliberately flexible and tightly premised on being able to demonstrate its military potential in the High North and to intimidate other regional players. The Russian Federation has increasingly undertaken the same policy course since 2014 (see EDM, April 9). Incidentally, on January 31, 2020, two Russian Tu-160 heavy strategic bombers approached Canadian airspace—maneuvers that the Russian Ministry of Defense explained away as “planned exercises” (, February 3). It is worth pointing out that the US North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) is unable to identify and track Russian bombers of this type until they are close enough to launch missiles at targets on the continent. Furthermore, it is worth keeping in mind that, in fact, Russia (not the US) is Canada's direct competitor when it comes to territorial claims in the Arctic (the Lomonosov Ridge)—a point explicitly corroborated by Russia's Arktika 2007 expedition, which explored this disputed undersea area and famously planted a Russian flag at the North Pole, on the bottom of the Arctic Ocean (Izvestia, August 3, 2007). Lastly, it may be worth keeping an eye on one of the proposed amendments (soon to be officially adopted) to the Russian Constitution on the “prohibition of actions related to the alienation of Russian territory, or the propaganda thereof” (TASS, February 25). This amendment—reportedly drafted with predominantly Kaliningrad and Vladivostok in mind—is likely to also be applied to some Arctic territories that are of equally strategic interest to Canada.

  • Cutting-edge radar system for new frigates never used on warships, must be adapted

    December 2, 2020 | Local, Naval

    Cutting-edge radar system for new frigates never used on warships, must be adapted

    New radar system can also be upgraded to work with ballistic missile defence CBC News · Posted: Dec 01, 2020 4:00 AM ET | Last Updated: December 1 The Canadian navy's new frigates will get a cutting-edge radar system that has never before been installed on a warship — a recent decision that quietly ended a heated debate within the $60 billion warship program. The Lockheed Martin-built AN/SPY-7 radar will be installed on the new warships despite a furious back-room lobbying campaign by elements in the defence industry to convince DND to take a pass on the new system. It was a critical decision — one on which the federal government has been silent, apart from a few scattered social media posts, despite repeatedly promising to be more open and transparent about the multi-billion-dollar decisions it makes on shipbuilding. The choice of a radar system for the frigates has important implications for the military, as well as for the taxpayers who will foot the bill for Ottawa's $60 billion plan to build 15 new surface combat ships for the navy. The BMD option It also has significant political ramifications because Lockheed Martin's AN/SPY-7 radar is easy to upgrade to a ballistic missile defence system — a defence program successive Canadian governments have resisted joining. The contract to install the radar system on the new frigates was awarded in September by the warship's prime contractor, Irving Shipbuilding Inc., and acknowledged publicly by Lockheed Martin Canada earlier this month. Japan purchased a land-based version of the radar to serve as an early warning system for North Korean ballistic missile launches. That plan was rolled back earlier this year in response to fears that the missile batteries — located near the radar installations — would pose a hazard to densely-populated surrounding areas. At the moment, Canada and Spain are the only two countries planning to put the SPY-7 on their warships, although Japan has now also signalled it might equip some of its new warships with the technology. For more than three decades, Canadian governments of both political stripes have turned down U.S. overtures to join its ballistic missile defence (BMD) network. The issue became a diplomatic lightning rod the last time it was discussed over 15 years ago. The new frigates, including their radar systems, are being designed with BMD in mind in case a future government decides to get Canada involved. The potential for a new political brawl over BMD worries leading defence expert Dave Perry less than the technical and budget issues related to the federal government's choice of radar system. New system unproven, says expert In a statement, the Department of National Defence insisted that the cost of adapting the radar to the Canadian frigate design "will be covered as part of the ($140 million) long-lead contract" signed with Irving Shipbuilding in early 2019, after Lockheed Martin was selected to design the new ships. There is another concern, though. The fact that the AN/SPY-7 "has not been marinized and deployed on a ship at sea is significant," said Perry, a defence procurement expert and vice president of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute. "It means on the spectrum of developmental production, it is far closer to the purely developmental end of the spectrum than something that is deployed and has been proven on a couple of different navies around the world," he said. Lockheed Martin officials dispute that assessment, saying all of the components have been used on warships in one way or another, including the cabinets used to house the electronics. "The SPY-7 radar is not in development. It was designed for use as a maritime radar and is based on mature technology that has been thoroughly tested and is being adapted and scaled for a variety of customers in both land-based and at-sea applications," said Gary Fudge, vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin Canada Rotary and Mission Systems. The company officials concede it will take design work to integrate the system into the new Canadian frigates, but insist that would be true of any other new radar system. There are still risks, Perry said. Canada's struggles with new technology "Canada has a lot of problems bringing development technology into service," he said, pointing to auditor general reports on the procurement fiasco involving the CH-148 Cyclone maritime helicopter and the 16-year quest to replace the air force's fixed-wing search plane. "Part of the problem is making sure you understand what it is you actually are buying," Perry added. "So if you are structuring a process to buy something off-the-shelf, you can buy something off-the-shelf. But we generally don't do that." DND said the AN/SPY-7 was pitched as part of Lockheed Martin's bid to design and manage the frigate program, and the navy needs the most up-to-date technology in warships that will be in service for decades. The system represents the "latest generation radar, with capability that surpasses other units fielded today," said DND spokesperson Jessica Lamirande in a media statement. Canada's new frigates could take part in ballistic missile defence — if Ottawa says yes Industry briefing questions Ottawa's choice of guns, defence systems for new frigates PBO pushes up cost estimate for Canada's frigate build by $8 billion DND was targeted by a furious behind-the-scenes lobbying campaign aimed at getting it to drop Lockheed Martin's radar system. An unsolicited defence industry slide deck presentation — obtained and published last year by CBC News — made the rounds within the government and landed on the desks of senior officials and military commanders. It described the AN/SPY-7 as "unproven technology" that will be "costly to support." Lockheed Martin officials pushed back against that assertion recently, saying that the new system will be easier to maintain, relies on existing components and — importantly — doesn't have to be switched off for maintenance work. Lockheed Martin officials were less clear on whether the overall system has yet to be fully certified for use on warships at sea. "SPY-7 technology has been declared Technical Readiness Level 7 by the U.S. government, meaning it has been tested in an operationally relevant environment," said Fudge. "SPY-7 for CSC takes advantage of investments across multiple shore and sea based programs as well as internal funding for its development and testing. Canada has agreed to pay for the CSC-specific requirements and integration of SPY-7 into the CSC platform, which is required for any radar selected."

All news