While the global security environment changes, the Canadian Government is continuously working on the modernization of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) with the tools needed to protect Canada. Defence investments are increasing by over 70% between 2017 and 2026. Additional targeted investments are being made in continental defence and priority areas.

At the Ottawa Conference on Security and Defence hosted by the Conference of Defence Associations Institute, Defence Minister Anita Anand updated industry partners, stakeholders, and defence experts. Anand announced that Canada would acquire Portable Anti-X Missile systems, Counter Uncrewed Aircraft Systems, and Air Defence Systems as Urgent Operational Requirements. The urgent procurement of these capabilities will improve the self-protection of service members deployed in Eastern Europe as part of Operation REASSURANCE.

Some specifications:

Portable Anti-X Missile systems (PAXM) – Urgent Operational Requirement

The project will provide PAXM systems, including missiles, simulators, and associated support, to empower the CAF personnel deployed with the Canada-led multinational NATO-enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group Latvia with training and the capability to destroy main battle tanks. As part of this streamlined procurement process, a Request for Proposal will be issued in the coming months, with a contract award in mid-2023.

Counter Uncrewed Aircraft System – Urgent Operational Requirement (CUAS UOR)

The CUAS UOR project will provide a CUAS capability that will provide protection measures against hostile Class 1 UAS for CAF personnel deployed in the Operation REASSURANCE theatre of operations. A Request for Information was issued on March 2, 2023. The project will be executed with a phased implementation approach. A contract award for Dismounted Equipment and Fixed Site Systems is estimated for Fall 2023. A contract award for Vehicle Mounted, Fully Integrated Systems is estimated for early 2024.

Air Defence – Urgent Operational Requirement (AD UOR)

The AD UOR project will acquire a soldier-portable Very-Short Range Air Defense System (VSHORAD) for the NATO-enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group Latvia to defeat attack aircraft and Class 1 UAS within its area of operations. A Request for Information will be issued in March 2023, and a Request for Proposal is expected during Summer of 2023. The timeframe for contract award is currently estimated for early 2024.

Minister Anand announced that Canada had awarded the Redwing space domain awareness microsatellite project contract. This is valued at $15.8 million.

Through this project, the Department of National Defence is investing in research and development to monitor objects orbiting Earth. They will utilize a new agile microsatellite designed, built, and operated in Canada. The Redwing microsatellite will monitor objects in congested orbits and can record and transmit tracking data from anywhere. This will help reduce Canada’s space infrastructure risk from space debris or human-caused interference. Redwing can also take pictures of nearby space objects and monitor objects performing unexpected maneuvers.

The Redwing project is directed by Defence Research and Development Canada, with design, manufacturing, and operations led by Magellan Aerospace. Ground stations will be located in Inuvik, Northwest Territories, and Happy Valley Goose Bay, Newfoundland, and Labrador. The design phase is expected to be complete in 2024, and the microsatellite is expected to be built and tested by 2026. The launch will follow in late 2026.

“As our world grows more complex, we are making the necessary investments to modernize the Canadian Armed Forces with the equipment that its members need to keep Canadians safe,” says Anita Anand, Minister of National Defense. “Modernization is a team effort, and that is why we are working concurrently to update Canada’s defence policy in consultation with industry partners, experts, and Canadians. We are continuing to build a modern military that can protect our country from a range of new and emerging threats.” (News Release)

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