Canada set to award contract for armed drones in 2022-23

Published by Brent Patterson on

Image from Democracy Now report.

The Canadian government will reportedly request bids this fall from two consortiums for a contract of up to $5 billion for armed drones.

The Calgary Herald reports: “The contract is expected to be awarded in 2022-23, with the first system delivery anticipated in 2024-25.”

The two bidders are expected to being General Atomics and its MQ-9B SkyGuardian drones (like the Reaper drone) and L3 Technologies and its Heron drone.

The Canadian Press adds: “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.”

Vice has also noted that the Royal Canadian Air Force has developed a hypothetical mission in which a drone could scope out an insurgent base in Afghanistan and fire a Hellfire missile and two laser-guided bombs from the drone on a target.

It is in that context that we share this article from The Guardian that reports the US mistakenly killed an aid worker and nine others, including seven children, when a Reaper drone fired a Hellfire missile at his car on August 29 in Kabul, Afghanistan.

ABC News reports: “Days after the drone strike Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, had labeled the strike as ‘righteous’ because it had followed protocols intended to prevent civilian casualties.”

While US military officials say their targets were plotting an attack on the Kabul airport, the New York Times reports that what was believed to be “explosives” in their car were actually water jugs the worker had taken home to his family.

The US Department of Defense is now investigating this drone strike.

Last month, World Beyond War released this fact sheet calling for a ban on armed drones.

That fact sheet notes: “Despite the U.S. government’s lack of transparency and frequent denials of civilian casualties, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism has documented an estimated 910 to 2,200 civilian deaths from U.S. drone strikes between 2010 and 2020, including attacks on entire families.”

It also highlights: “Drones violate human rights.”

With the Canadian government set to award a contract for armed drones as soon as next year, these are crucial concerns for the anti-war movement to amplify.

Categories: News Updates


Leave a Reply

Avatar placeholder

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *