Canada plans to spend $5 billion on military drones armed with missiles and laser-guided bombs

Published by Brent Patterson on

Photo: Canada could spend $5 billion on SkyGuardian drones, the successor to the Reaper drone, that could be equipped with missiles and laser-guided bombs.

On May 5, the Canadian Press reported: “Canada is inching closer to the purchase of armed drones for its military as details around how the controversial weapons will be used are starting to come together after nearly two decades of delays and discussion.”

That article adds: “A formal request for bids from the two dronemakers shortlisted for the competition – worth up to $5-billion – is set to kick off in the fall.”

It further notes: “The government and military say the unmanned aircraft will be used for surveillance and intelligence gathering as well as delivering pinpoint strikes from the air on enemy forces in places where the use of force has been approved.”

This builds on a news report by Justin Ling in Vice in August 2020.

Vice reported: “In 2015, not long after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was elected, Ottawa signalled interest in purchasing armed drones.”

It would also appear that around that time: “In a briefing for industry players, a representative from the procurement arm of the Canadian government laid out Canada’s desire for its long-range, medium-altitude drone.”

That article concluded that in 2019 the Canadian government announced two possible suppliers: L3 Technologies and General Atomics Aeronautical Systems.

– “L3 Technologies is working with Israel Aerospace Industries to pitch a modified version of its Heron drone, which has become a favourite of the Israeli Defence Forces (Canada has actually leased these systems from Israel).”

– “General Atomics is proposing Canada buy the MQ-9B SkyGuardian—a successor to the MQ-9 Reaper and the MQ-1 Predator, which became synonymous with the Obama administration’s overseas drone operations.”

In 2016, Ling had also reported: “In December [2015], government memos obtained by VICE News show that the government was looking into the infamous American Reaper and Predator drones as a possibility for its air force.”

That article suggested Canada could buy up to 12 drones.

Overall, the Canadian government has committed to increase spending on the military from $18.9 billion in 2016-17 to $32.7 billion in 2026-27, with total spending over a 20-year period of $553 billion on a cash basis.

Categories: News Updates

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Webinar: Militarizing the Sky: Opposing Canada’s Armed Drone Purchase - Just Peace Advocates · September 15, 2022 at 12:40 am

[…] Canada plans to spend $5 billion on military drones armed with missiles and laser-guided bombs […]

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