Author Topic: Report of the SC on National Defence: "Canada and the Defence of North America"  (Read 22635 times)

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Offline MarkOttawa

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Vital capability for RCAF in NORAD vs Russkie ALCMs if we get F-35 (Hornets now?); also for USAF F-35s in lower forty eight with NORAD role vs both ALCMs and Russkie SLCMs from North Atlantic (would be nice if RCN's CSC had good capability vs cruise missiles:

Quote
F-35 can identify and destroy cruise missiles - Lockheed Martin
AESA radar can intercept low-flying high-speed airborne threats

Amid concerns that Iran may attack Israel with cruise missiles, a senior Lockheed Martin representative revealed on Tuesday that the stealth F-35 Adir fighter jet can detect and intercept such threats.

Gary North, vice president for customer requirements and aeronautics, told reporters that the AN/APG-81 AESA radar allows the advanced jet to identify and intercept airborne threats flying at a low altitude and at high speeds, like cruise missiles.

IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have warned in recent weeks of the threat posed by the Islamic Republic, which they say is getting bolder and more willing to respond to IAF attacks on Iran and Iranian-backed militias and infrastructure.

Tehran has several rockets that can reach Israel, including the Khoramshahr 2 with a range of 2,000 km. Thousands more rockets are positioned in Syria and Iraq. Israel is defended from this missile threat by a multi-level protective umbrella which is continuously being upgraded. The Iron Dome is designed to shoot down short-range rockets; the Arrow-2 and Arrow-3 system intercepts ballistic missiles outside of the Earth’s atmosphere; and David’s Sling intercepts tactical ballistic missiles and medium- to long-range rockets, as well as cruise missiles fired at ranges between 40 and 300 km...

The IAF is leaning to a mix of the F-35 and F-15i, allowing the air force to carry out complex operations, including any confrontation with Iran.
https://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/F-35-can-identify-and-destroy-cruise-missiles-Lockheed-Martin-611214

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Matthew Fisher on Canada and NORAD--will money be there for North Warning System upgrades, FOLs, maybe missile defence (and what about new tankers)?

Quote
COMMENTARY: An opportunity to remember that NORAD tracks more than just Santa Claus

NORAD is once again using its use its high-powered radars to track Santa Claus’s circuitous journey from the North Pole to southern climes, with millions of chimney stops in Canada and the United States along the way.

Coverage of the Christmas mission is a perennial favourite with young kids across Canada and the U.S.

It is also a gentle reminder to the greater public that the North American Aerospace Defense Command is tasked with tracking not only St. Nicholas but airborne threats to the continent from manned bombers, hard-to-detect cruise missiles, and higher-flying ballistic missiles.

What the annual Santa videos only hint at is that it’s NORAD, not the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, that is Canada’s most important and by far its most integrated military alliance...

Not many Canadians have ever gone to remote North Warning System early-warning radar outposts in the high Arctic such as Tuktoyaktuk or Cape Hall, nor to RCAF Forward Operating Location airfields such as Rankin Inlet, which are equipped to handle front-line fighter jets tasked with intercepting airborne intruders.

Nor do many Canadians see top-secret airspace surveillance command and control centres in Colorado, Alaska, and North Bay, where American and Canadian military personnel stand watch together over the continent’s Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic approaches.

Canada and the U.S. have been publicly wrangling since long before Donald Trump and Barack Obama over how little Canada spends on NATO, despite many pledges to do better. But the big money involved to get Canada to pay its fair share for NATO may be the same or less than what NORAD upgrades will cost Ottawa [emphasis added].

The U.S. expects Canada to pony up billions of new dollars to help fund a replacement for the 30-year-old NWS, which has limitations because it was designed chiefly to deal with threats from manned bombers, to continue work to improve new forward operating bases and perhaps join a U.S. push to have more and more capable fighters based further north.

There is also the question of whether Ottawa will partner with Washington on a hugely expensive Ballistic Missile Defence Program
[emphasis added] that the Harper and Trudeau governments have both been reluctant to sign on to...

Among a long list of issues that he [NORAD’s deputy commander, Canadian Lt. Gen. Chris Coates] and NORAD colleagues raised were modernized Russian Bear bombers which frequently probe NORAD defences for vulnerabilities, Russian advances in supersonic cruise missiles, maneuverable Mach 5 hypersonic glide vehicles and hypersonic cruise missiles, North Korean ballistic missiles that have been acquiring greater range, and a newish concern posed by Chinese missiles, including hypersonic cruise missiles and Russian submarine-launched missiles that can operate closer to North America...

Given that essential improvements to NORAD will cost Canada many billions of dollars and affect our relations not only with the U.S. but with Russia and China, Canadian voters, media and politicians must begin to pay a lot more attention to the far more serious side of defending the country’s three maritime approaches from nuclear war, too.
https://globalnews.ca/news/6316491/norad-canada-defence/

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New way to deal with those increasingly more than pesky Russkie cruise missiles:

Quote
Air Force Tests Laser Guided Rockets In The Air-To-Air Role To Shoot Down Cruise Missiles
A recent test was a proof of concept for using these air-to-ground weapons to knock down cruise missiles, but they could also take out small drones.

A U.S. Air Force F-16C Viper recently shot down a target drone using a laser-guided 70mm rocket typically used for air-to-ground strikes during a test. The service ostensibly conducted the experiment to determine the weapon's suitability for shooting down incoming cruise missiles, but it could also be useful for destroying small unmanned aircraft, including suicide drones.

The F-16C, assigned to the 85th Test and Evaluation Squadron, part of the 53rd Wing at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, conducted the test over a range off the coast of the state on Dec. 19, 2019. A BQM-167 target drone served as the simulated cruise missile threat.

"The test was unprecedented and will shape the future of how the Air Force executes CMD [cruise missile defense]," U.S. Air Force Colonel Ryan Messer, commander of the 53rd Wing, said in a statement. “This is a prime example of how the 53rd Wing is using resources readily available to establish innovative ways that enhance combat capabilities for our combat units."

The Marine Corps first fielded the laser-guided Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System II (APKWS II) 70mm rocket, also known as the AGR-20A, in 2008 and the weapon's use has since expanded dramatically across the use military on both fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters. The core of the system is a laser seeker system that slots in between the standard 70mm rocket motor and the warhead, allowing for the rapid conversion of existing Hydra 70 unguided rockets into low-cost precision-guided munitions.

The Air Force did not say what warhead and fuze combination it used during the test. An inert training warhead might have been enough to turn the rocket into a hit-to-kill air-to-air weapon that would have destroyed the target by physically smashing into it. A high explosive type combined with a proximity fuze would have been another option. Images that the Air Force released show that the aircraft taking part in the test were carrying rockets with yellow bands at the front, which would point to a live warhead.

The service did say that the F-16C had targeted the drone using an onboard targeting pod. Pictures show that the plane was carrying an AN/AAQ-33 Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod (ATP) during the test. The Sniper ATP's long-range, gyro-stabilized optics and laser designator can be slaved to an aircraft's radar, but it's unclear if this was the case during this particular experiment.

The Air Force has been upgrading a number of F-16C/D Vipers, including those in the Air National Guard, with Northrop Grumman's AN/APG-83 Scalable Agile Beam Radar (SABR), which is an active electronically scanned array type, and just awarded that company a new contract to install these on hundreds of additional F-16 aircraft in the USAF's stable. These will allow these aircraft to spot and track targets at greater ranges and with increased precision, especially low flying targets with small radar cross-sections. The Sniper ATP linked to an AESA radar would significantly enhance the ability of the Viper to engage targets with its laser-guided rockets. Fighter jets conducting homeland defense missions already fly with Sniper ATPs for long-range identification of aircraft.

The Air Force says that using the AGR-20A in the air-to-air role was the result of an effort to develop a low-cost weapon for aircraft to use in the cruise missile defense role. This was the number two proposal, out of 76 in total, to come out of an internal Weapons and Tactics Conference (WEPTAC) in January 2019. At present, the service trains to use AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM) and AIM-9X Sidewinders to engage cruise missile threats.

The unit price for the latest AIM-120D variant is just over $1.3 million, according to the Pentagon's budget request for the 2020 Fiscal Year. Older AIM-120Cs still cost around $1.16 million per shot. Each guidance and control section for the AGR-20A, which, as noted, can be used to convert existing Hydra 70 rocket stocks into laser-guided versions, is just around $25,000 [emphasis added].

In addition, the Air Force says that the laser-guided rockets are faster to load than AIM-120s. Above all else, these weapons also give the launching aircraft far greater magazine depth since they get loaded into 7- and 19-shot pods on a single station that would hold a single AIM-120.

The threat cruise missiles pose to U.S. forces deployed overseas, as well as to the United States itself, has been a growing concern for years now within the U.S. military... [read on]
https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/31615/air-force-tests-laser-guided-rockets-in-the-air-to-air-role-to-shoot-down-cruise-missiles

Mark
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Offline MarkOttawa

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What might happen if Justin Trudeau's gov't fails to get serious about NORAD, at CGAI:

Mark
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Good, looks like radar for new RCN frigates will have missile defence capability, and ships could deploy necessary missiles if a gov't decides to do so:

Quote
Canada's new frigates could take part in ballistic missile defence - if Ottawa says yes
Defence expert says the frigates' design shows Ottawa is keeping 'the door open' to BMD

Canada's new frigates are being designed with ballistic missile defence in mind, even though successive federal governments have avoided taking part in the U.S. program.

When they slip into the water some time in the mid-to-late 2020s, the new warships probably won't have the direct capability to shoot down incoming intercontinental rockets.

But the decisions made in their design allow them to be converted to that role, should the federal government ever change course.

The warships are based upon the British Type 26 layout and are about to hit the drawing board. Their radar has been chosen and selected missile launchers have been configured to make them easy and cost-effective to upgrade.

Vice-Admiral Art McDonald said the Lockheed Martin-built AN/SPY-7 radar system to be installed on the new frigates is cutting-edge. It's also being used on land now by the U.S. and Japan for detecting ballistic missiles.

"It's a great piece and that is what we were looking for in terms of specification," McDonald told CBC News in a year-end interview.

Selecting the radar system for the new frigates was seen as one of the more important decisions facing naval planners because it has to stay operational and relevant for decades to come — even as new military threats and technologies emerge.

McDonald said positive feedback from elsewhere in the defence industry convinced federal officials that they had made the right choice.

"Even from those that weren't producing an advanced kind of radar, they said this is the capability you need," he said.

The whole concept of ballistic missile defence (BMD) remains a politically touchy topic [so CBC hammers on at that issue trying to stir things up, not on anything serious about the frigates' missile defence capabilities--which US would very much like for NORAD]...
https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/frigate-ballistic-missile-defence-canada-1.5407226

Mark
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Offline MarkOttawa

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Radarsat Constellation the key--one wonders how much government involvement behind the scenes was involved in this:
Quote
Canadarm maker to be acquired by Canadian investors in $1B deal
MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates being sold to consortium led by Northern Private Capital

A Toronto-based investment firm has signed a $1-billion deal to buy the Canadian space technology company behind Radarsat Earth-observation satellites and the Canadarm robotic mechanisms on the International Space Station.

A consortium led by Northern Private Capital with financial backing from former BlackBerry co-chief executive Jim Balsillie will acquire all Canadian and U.K. operations of MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates.

The group says MDA's corporate headquarters will return to Canada, where it employs more than 1,900 people.

MDA's headquarters and largest operations had been in the Vancouver area until Maxar Technologies was created to allow MDA's acquisition of Colorado-based DigitalGlobe, a producer of high-resolution Earth-imagery products.

The deal to repatriate MDA's Canadian operations will be financed by a number of sources including NPC, which is led by John Risley and Andrew Lapham, as well as Balsillie, Scotiabank, Bank of Montreal, and Senvest Capital, an investment firm based in Montreal.

Basillie is the former co-CEO of Canadian technology firm Research In Motion responsible for the development of BlackBerry.

The acquisition of MDA will be financed through a combination of equity and debt.

The group sees significant growth potential for MDA under its new ownership.

Ownership returns to Canada

"Over its 50-year history, MDA has grown from a B.C.-based start-up into a world-class space technology company and an anchor of Canada's space program," said Risley said in a statement. "As a Canadian, I am so proud this iconic Canadian company will once again be owned and controlled in Canada."

Northern Private Capital says the acquisition of MDA is expected to close in 2020 following regulatory approvals.

Maxar Technologies said it is selling its Canadian unit in a bid to ease its debt. As of September, Maxar had a total debt of $3.1 billion US.

"This transaction combined with the recently completed sale of real estate in Palo Alto [Calif.] reduces Maxar's overall debt by more than $1 billion," said chief financial officer Biggs Porter.

The company's shares were up 16.2 per cent in premarket trading.
https://www.cbc.ca/news/SOMNIA-1.5410492

Mark
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Offline MarkOttawa

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Time for Canada and its gov't to wake up and do something about NORAD/North Warning System--two excerpt (p. 4, 6 PDF) from major piece by Prof. James Fergusson of U. of Manitoba (colleague of Prof. Andea Charron):

Quote
Missed Opportunities: Why Canada’s North Warning System is Overdue for an Overhaul
...
Currently, one unofficial estimate places NWS modernization (or replacement) at roughly $11 billion, although it is unclear whether this estimate is in American or Canadian dollars. Assuming the latter, under the current cost-sharing arrangement (originally established with the NWS), Canada will be responsible for 40 percent (Canada 1985), or $4.4 billion (this does not include any infrastructure on US territory, which is entirely the responsibility of the US). Notwithstanding the likelihood that costs will significantly grow over time, for the US its share is not problematic, given the size of the American defence budget. For Canada, its share places a significant burden on Canadian defence spending, even if it is amortized over many years...

Today  and  in  the  future,  however,  the  need  to  expand  NORAD’s  mission  suite  to  include  maritime  control/defence is pressing. Alongside the new ALCM/GLCM [from Russia with end of INF Treaty], Canada and North America face a significant sea-launched cruise missile threat (SLCMs) that can come from both surface ships and submarines. Once launched from their platforms, they become an air-breathing threat, insofar as cruise missiles travel on a similar trajectory – through the air rather than space – as an aircraft. And this falls under NORAD’s existing air control mission. Moreover, defence against this threat extends beyond land-based capabilities, and includes possible naval air defence assets.

At a minimum, significant coordination between NORAD and  Canada-US  naval  air  defence  assets  is  vital.  Such  coordination lays the foundation, in turn, for establishing a binational maritime command, and NORAD is the obvious choice for such a command. In effect, the same functional logic  that  led  to  the  creation  of  NORAD  is  at  play  in  the  maritime domain...
https://macdonaldlaurier.ca/files/pdf/20191219_NORAD_Fergusson_COMMENTARY_FWeb.pdf

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Offline MarkOttawa

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Time for Canada and its gov't to wake up and do something about NORAD/North Warning System--two excerpt (p. 4, 6 PDF) from major piece by Prof. James Fergusson of U. of Manitoba (colleague of Prof. Andea Charron):

Mark
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Story based on above:

Quote
Defence expert slams Ottawa for ignoring North Warning System upgrade
Federal government hasn’t budgeted for NWS modernization, professor says

In a scathing article published on Jan. 14, James Fergusson, a defence expert, says the federal government is dodging the need to replace the aging North Warning System, which is near the end of its lifespan.

“A failure on Canada’s part to move forward relatively quickly could prove disastrous,” said Fergusson, the deputy director of the Centre for Defence and Security Studies at the University of Manitoba.

He made his remarks in a commentary published by the Ottawa-based Macdonald-Laurier Institute, a think tank.

The North Warning System is a string of 47 long– and short–range radar stations that stretch across the Arctic from Labrador to Alaska. It was planned and built between 1985 and 1992 to replace the DEW line, with a lifespan that expires in 2025.

This radome holds radar equipment for the Cam Main North Warning System station in Cambridge Bay. (Photo by Jane George)

Canada and the United States operate the system through the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD. Canada pays 40 per cent of its operating costs, while the U.S. pays the other 60 per cent.

Fergusson said replacing the NWS is likely to cost roughly $11 billion, based on an unofficial estimate he’s seen.

That means, based on the current formula, that Canada’s share of the bill could amount to about $4.4 billion.

But at the same time, it appears as if the Department of National Defence has not provided for the replacement of the NWS in its spending plans for the future.

A DND document called the Defence Investment Plan lists projects like the Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships project and the troubled plan to replace Canada’s fleet of F-18 fighter jets.

But it contains no reference to the North Warning System...


This map shows the extent of the North Warning System, as it was envisioned by Canada and the United States in 1987. The U.S. pays 60 per cent of the cost of the NWS, while Canada pays the other 40 per cent. (DND image)
https://nunatsiaq.com/stories/article/defence-expert-slams-ottawa-for-ignoring-north-warning-system-upgrade/

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Story on "Modernization of North American Defence", Jan. 29 conference in Ottawa by Canadian Global Affairs Institute:

Quote
Senior officer warns Norad can't detect Russian bombers in time, needs upgrades

The aging early-warning system charged with detecting incoming threats to North America cannot identify and track long-range Russian bombers before they are close enough to launch missiles at the continent, according to a senior Canadian military officer.

Commodore Jamie Clarke, deputy director of strategy at the North American Aerospace Defence Command, revealed the system’s shortcoming in an address on Wednesday as he pressed on the need to upgrade Norad to face a growing array of modern threats.

Those include everything from incoming ballistic missiles and bombers, which Norad was created to spot, as well as cruise and hypersonic missiles, drones, submarines and other naval vessels as well as space-based and cyber weapons.

Clarke became the latest in a line of Canadian and American military officers to warn that the technology underpinning Norad, including a chain of 1980s-era radars in Canada’s Arctic called the North Warning System, is becoming obsolete.

“Currently, the North Warning System cannot identify and track Russian long-range bombers prior to their missile-launch points or their overflights of the Arctic region,” he said during a conference on the future of Norad hosted by the Canadian Global Affairs Institute.

“Yet this system, entering its fourth decade of service, is the system we rely on each and every day.”

Created in the 1950s in response to the threat of a Soviet attack by bombers or ballistic missiles over the Arctic, Norad is unique in the world as a joint operation between the U.S. and Canada.

Its technology was last upgraded in the 1980s, before the end of the Cold War, though the U.S. did incorporate the ability to shoot down incoming missiles in the mid-2000s. Canada famously decided in 2005 against joining what is now known as ballistic-missile defence.

The Liberal government’s 2017 defence policy included plans to upgrade or modernize Norad to defend against the threats of today and tomorrow, but offered few specific details because discussions with the U.S. had not started in earnest.

Three years later, it’s difficult to say what progress has been made. The U.S. and Canadian governments have held consultations with industry, Clarke said when asked when Norad modernization will happen. But he could not offer a schedule for moving on the project, saying: “It’s longer than any of us would like, but I can’t even give you a timeline.”

And he suggested that as long as Canada and the U.S. remain behind the curve, it leaves the continent vulnerable.

“We cannot deter what we cannot defeat and we cannot defeat what we cannot detect,” he said. “We have to recognize that we are not just trying to prevent a military attack, but in fact we are defending our entire way of life.”

Even if discussions were further ahead, it remains unclear how Canada will pay for its portion of the new system as the Liberal defence policy did not set aside money for upgrading Norad. The government at the time blamed the many questions around its design and schedule.

Some analysts have worried that the government will dip into the tens of billions of dollars earmarked in the defence policy for new warships, fighter jets and other equipment.

The Department of National Defence’s top civil servant, deputy minister Jody Thomas, told the conference during a roundtable discussion that “whatever funding we’re envisioning for Norad modernization is new money” and not taken from other defence procurement projects.

“I don’t think we should presume that we are going to do more with the same,” she added. “That’s been the history of the department, and we can’t possibly do that. Not with the amount of money that is required for (the defence policy) and the money that is required for Norad.”

Many defence analysts, industry representatives and others speaking during Wednesday’s conference lamented what they saw as apathy by decision-makers — and citizens — in Canada and the U.S. when it came to what they saw as the biggest threat to North America.

“It is in my view the No. 1 defence priority for Canada as well as the United States, and that is homeland defence,” said James Fergusson, director of the University of Manitoba’s Centre for Defence and Security Studies and a leading expert on Norad.

“Unfortunately, in the world of politics in Canada, particularly with a minority government right now, everyone will tell you this is really not on their radar at all. They are going to be obsessed for the next several years with domestic and internal policy priorities.”
https://nationalpost.com/pmn/news-pmn/canada-news-pmn/senior-officer-warns-norad-cant-detect-russian-bombers-in-time-needs-upgrades

Plus program for the conference,
https://www.cgai.ca/modernization_of_north_american_defence

and video of the whole meeting:
https://www.pscp.tv/CAGlobalAffairs/1yNGaQapAdQGj

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Meanwhile Norways sending F-35As to Iceland for NATO air policing:

Quote
Norway Will Solve Missions on Iceland with the Brand New F-35 Fighter Aircraft
"Participation has a high symbolic effect, both for Norway and the rest of NATO," says colonel Ståle Nymoen.

Norway is now ready to solve missions both in Norway and abroad with the new fighter aircraft, the F-35, the Norwegian Armed Forces says in a press release.

In March, Norway will solve missions in the international operation Iceland Air Policing (IAP) with F-35. This is the first foreign mission to the 332 Squadron after the F-35 was declared initially operational in November.

NATO country Iceland does not have its own defense and thus no capacity to meet the country's need for sovereignty and airspace surveillance. NATO therefore rolls with periodic air defense presence in peacetime.

"The fact that the F-35 can show operational capability in such an operation is an important milestone towards full operational capability in 2025," says Chief of the Air Force, Major General Tonje Skinnarland.

The tasks are similar to those carried out by the Norwegian F-16 from Bodø (QRA), call-out to identify unknown aircraft. Norway, on behalf of NATO, will be responsible for this for a period of 3 weeks. The detachment consists of 130 soldiers, commanders, officers and civilians.

High symbolic effect

Colonel Ståle "Steel" Nymoen, commander of the 332 Squadron, has been appointed as head of the Norwegian contribution, called Detachment Commander.

"The fact that Norway fulfills the mission of Iceland Air Policing shows that we are a reliable, high quality allied partner. Participation has a high symbolic effect, both for Norway and the rest of NATO," says Nymoen.

He adds that the personnel are now in the preparation phase at the Orland fighter jet base before departure.

"The F-35 is now in daily use in Norway, and we have come so far with the phasing in that we can now also solve missions for NATO. Thus, one of the milestones in phasing in the F-35 has been reached," he adds.

Lots of experience

The QRA mission engages Norway on a daily basis. At one time there are two F-16 on 15 minutes of standby time in Bodø. The air defense is therefore well acquainted with the mission. In addition, the Air Force has performed Air Policing missions in the past, both in Lithuania and several times in Iceland. Both of these missions have been solved with the F-16.

Now it is the F-35 that will take over the baton. For the Armed Forces, the F-35 is an important part of the total defense, which will protect Norway and assert both our and NATO's borders in the north.

"The F-35 has proven to be a very good tool and works better than expected," concludes colonel Nymoen.
https://www.highnorthnews.com/en/norway-will-solve-missions-iceland-brand-new-f-35-fighter-aircraft


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Offline Colin P

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Vital capability for RCAF in NORAD vs Russkie ALCMs if we get F-35 (Hornets now?); also for USAF F-35s in lower forty eight with NORAD role vs both ALCMs and Russkie SLCMs from North Atlantic (would be nice if RCN's CSC had good capability vs cruise missiles:

Mark
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let me guess they fly alongside and then tip the wing?

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Story on "Modernization of North American Defence", Jan. 29 conference in Ottawa by Canadian Global Affairs Institute:

Plus program for the conference,
https://www.cgai.ca/modernization_of_north_american_defence

and video of the whole meeting:
https://www.pscp.tv/CAGlobalAffairs/1yNGaQapAdQGj

Mark
Ottawa

Audio of first speaker at CGAI north american defence modernization conference noted at quote above, RCN commodore at NORAD:

Quote
The CGAI Podcast Network
Defence Deconstructed: Cmdre Jamie Clarke on “The Strategic Outlook and Threats to North America”
https://soundcloud.com/user-609485369/defence-deconstructed-cmdre-jamie-clarke-on-the-strategic-outlook-and-threats-to-north-america

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Now two Tu-160s in CADIZ:

Quote
Two long-range Russian bombers buzzed Canadian airspace, NORAD says

Two long-range Russian bombers capable of carrying nuclear missiles buzzed Canadian airspace on Friday morning, the North American Aerospace Defence Command said, days after a senior military officer warned that North America’s early-warning system is outdated.

The two TU-160 Blackjack bombers crossed the North Pole and approached Canada from western Russia, but remained in international airspace before departing, according to NORAD.

NORAD said it tracked the supersonic bombers as they flew through Canada’s air defence identification zone, which is an area of international airspace the military monitors to protect against any possible attack, but did not scramble fighters to intercept the Russians [emphasis added].

It was the first time Russian bombers have been detected approaching North America since August, when Russia conducted a number of bomber flights in the Arctic, the Baltics and other places [emphasis added].

“Our adversaries continue to flex their long-range weapons systems and engage in increasingly aggressive efforts, to include the approaches to the United States and Canada,” Gen. Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy, the U.S. commander of NORAD, said in a statement on Friday.

“NORAD is driven by a single unyielding priority: defending the U.S. and Canada, our homelands, from attack.”

This most recent flight follows increased warnings from Canadian and U.S. military officers, including O’Shaughnessy, that the technology underpinning the NORAD system is obsolete.

The most recent officer to voice such concerns was Commodore Jamie Clarke, a Canadian who is Norad’s deputy director of strategy. He said this week [at CGAI conference noted above] that NORAD cannot identify and track long-range Russian bombers before they are close enough to launch missiles at the continent.

The federal government has said it is committed to modernizing the system, but talks with the U.S. have been minimal and no money has been set aside for what is expected to be a multibillion-dollar project
[emphasis added].

Norad’s technology was last upgraded in the 1980s, before the end of the Cold War, though the U.S. did incorporate the ability to shoot down incoming missiles in the mid-2000s. Canada decided in 2005 against joining what is now known as ballistic-missile defence.

Since then, Russia and China have been developing and building new weapons that can strike North America from afar, including cruise and hypersonic missiles, drones, along with more advanced submarines and other naval vessels as well as space-based and cyber weapons.
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-two-long-range-russian-bombers-buzzed-canadian-airspace-norad-says/

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Now two Tu-160s in CADIZ:

Mark
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Shot across our North Warning System bows from NORAD commander:
Quote
Canada, U.S. have lost military edge over Russia in the Arctic: Norad commander

The commander of North America’s aging early-warning system says the United States and Canada have lost their military advantage in the Arctic to Russia.

U.S. Gen. Terrence O’Shaughnessy shared his assessment with a U.S. Senate committee this morning, where the commander of the North American Aerospace Defence Command painted a gloomy picture about the growing number of threats to the continent.

O’Shaughnessy says Russia has steadily expanded its military presence in the Arctic, which includes upgrading its long-range bombers, naval fleet and fielding land-based cruise missiles capable of striking the U.S. and Canada.

He says that means the Arctic is now an avenue through which Russia can quickly attack against North American targets, rather than a place to guard against that possibility.

O’Shaughnessy says China has also been developing more advanced weapons that put North America at risk and is increasingly flexing its muscles in the Arctic, while concerns remain about Iran and North Korea acquiring the technology capable of hitting the continent.

The Norad commander says the myriad threats underscore the need to modernize North America’s defensive systems, which were last upgraded in the 1980s, to properly detect and deter attacks from Russia and other potential adversaries.
https://lethbridgenewsnow.com/2020/02/13/canada-u-s-have-lost-military-edge-over-russia-in-the-arctic-norad-commander/

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Ça explique, mais ça n'excuse pas.

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From bottom of p. 8 and top p. 9 of 12-page statement--almost no mention of NORAD, no mention of RCAF, no mention of close cooperation with Canada in Arctic to defend vs Russia (even though on p. 1 first para: "China and Russia present real and growing threats to the national security of the United States and our allies") and no specific mention of North Warning System. Almost as if Canada irrelevant. Note F-15EX homeland security role:

Quote
United States Air Force Posture Statement
Fiscal Year 2021
United States Air Force Presentation to the Armed Services Committeeof the United States Senate
2nd Session, 116th Congress

...
HOMELAND DEFENSE

Our ready forces that support the homeland defense mission include radars and early warning systems, alert aircraft and aircrew, and supporting infrastructure.  This FY21 budget invests across all these areas.  The centerpiece of the overall Department of Defense budget, Joint All-Domain Command and Control, is the most essential investment we can make to enable the Commander USNORTHCOM/NORAD to have the situational awareness and the ability to bring joint all-domain capabilities to bear.  We continue to partner with this team daily on the number one mission in the NDS: defense of the homeland.

Defense of the homeland includes defeating malicious threats online, where we must counter direct aggression as well as indirect sources of influence.  Air Force cyber warriors are constantly at work, under the newly-reactivated 16th Air Force, to “Defend Forward” with actions to deter adverse action and defend friendly networks and information.  We are also closely examining all friendly systems and capabilities to identify and mitigate potential cyber vulnerabilities and reduce the potential for adversary exploitation.

To successfully execute the Homeland Defense mission, the Air Force will continue upgrading limited numbers of existing aircraft to include modernizing the radars in some F-16s.  These updated legacy aircraft will be complemented by new-build F-15EX aircraft which are significantly more capable and cost-effective than the F-15Cs they will replace, aircraft already many years past their designed specifications and no longer candidates for service life extensions.  The F-15EX will help eliminate the gap between the fighter aircraft we have and the fighter aircraft we need while leveraging other nations’ investments in updating the F-15 program.  Ultimately, the Air Force must field a robust fighter force, anchored by the F-35, able to detect and defeat threats across a wide spectrum.  Homeland defense requires a mix of 4th- and 5th-generation capabilities, and we are investing to achieve that future force [emphasis added].

Engagement across the globe also contributes to the Homeland Defense mission.  As we build a network of partners, allies, and emerging security partners, we enlist help in deterring aggression and containing threats.  We will continue to provide training and assistance to foreign nations through military equipment sales, training programs, and personnel exchanges.  The Air Force remains committed to collaboration with key allies and partners, and we have accelerated and expanded combined participation in air and space operations, exercises, wargames, and education.

Residing at the intersection between the U.S. Homeland and two critical regions—Indo-Pacific and Europe—the Arctic is an increasingly vital region for U.S. national security interests.  The Air Force has more missions and investments in this region than any other U.S. military service.  We are a cornerstone of the Nation’s defense in this region with installations positioned across Alaska, Canada, and Greenland and composed of large air bases, training complexes, and a constellation of more than 50 early-warning radars and missile defense facilities [emphasis added].  We are continuing our investments to include the upcoming beddown of the F-35 at Eielson AFB, placing more 5th-generation aircraft in Alaska than anywhere else in the world.  In addition to modernizing the world-class Joint Pacific Range Complex, we continue to build interoperability with Arctic allies and partners.  Sustained future investment in modernized missile defense, enhanced space capabilities, and improved domain awareness will ensure the Joint Force can respond to contingencies in, and from, the Arctic [emphasis added]...
https://www.govexec.com/media/gbc/docs/pdfs_edit/secaf_barrett_cos_goldfein.pdf

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Post based on what CDS Gen. Vance and NORAD Deputy Commander Lt.-Gen. Coates said Feb. 4 at CDAI's Ottawa Conference on Defence and Security:

Quote
So Will the Canadian Government Put Some Big Bucks into Modernizing NORAD's North Warning System?
https://mark3ds.wordpress.com/2020/03/05/so-will-the-canadian-government-put-some-big-bucks-into-modernizing-norads-north-warning-system/

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Post based on what CDS Gen. Vance and NORAD Deputy Commander Lt.-Gen. Coates said Feb. 4 at CDAI's Ottawa Conference on Defence and Security:

Mark
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Piece in early January by the estimable Prof. Andrea Charron of Univ. of Manitoba (http://umanitoba.ca/centres/cdss/) on need to modernize/replace NORAD's North Warning System:

Quote
Face to Face: Is the North Warning System obsolete?

Andrea Charron says "YES":

ANDREA CHARRON is associate professor and director of the Centre for Defence and Security Studies at the University of Manitoba.

The North Warning System (NWS) is a series of ground-based, unmanned (but contractor-maintained), short- and long-range radar stations arrayed from Alaska to Greenland.

The system has always suffered from an identity crisis. Its ability to provide adequate warning—restricted to the air domain only—has long been an issue. And its 1980s-era communications system is modest. It remains, however, Norad’s main early-warning radar system for the air defence of North America.

It is now inadequate, given its location, growing geopolitical tensions, new technologies and multi-domain threats, not to mention environmental concerns. The system’s capability must be reimagined. What new combination of systems and capabilities it should have, however, is a political and operational quandary.

The world is in the midst of a redistribution of geostrategic power that is not in Canada’s favour. Emboldened states—Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iran, India, Brazil—are resorting to power politics to challenge the long-held, rules-based, United States-led order. The potential for conflict and confrontation is growing and the risk of miscalculation is rising.

The Western alliance certainly needs to shoulder some of the responsibility, especially for its lack of attention to credible and persistent deterrence. There has never been a greater need to be able to warn of aggressive action as early as possible, but the NWS is simply not designed for such a task.

We are also witnessing rapid development in technology. The NWS, designed as a tripwire to warn of Soviet-era Tupolev Tu-95 (Bear) bombers travelling at a specific speed and altitude, is not suited to detect drones or hypersonic weapons travelling at various speeds and altitudes. The 1980s architecture leaves the system vulnerable to new methods of data exploitation and too old for parts to be easily accessed.

There is an opportunity here for a reimagined system, for thinking beyond simply “defence” threats. A new NWS could be multifunctional, supporting other departments and agencies, addressing security challenges, monitoring environmental change and aiding in safety scenarios.

Canada must be able to detect, deter and defend against threats emanating from all domains: air, space, land, maritime and cyber. And from more than just a north-south axis. Currently, the NWS is a passive defensive tool that lacks the range to identify, track and, most problematic, do anything to counter unconventional threats. It does not “see” as far as the Canadian Air Defence Identification Zone, which leaves Canada and the U.S. unable to monitor air traffic adequately and blind to unorthodox or non-state threats.

Finally, the system, whether replaced or not, is an environmental challenge. Arctic weather contributes to metal fatigue, which causes the radar sites to erode and possibly leach toxic chemicals into the ground and atmosphere. With a reimagined NWS combining space, land and cyber systems, Canada would demonstrate responsible stewardship, involve local communities, fulfil its Norad commitments and advance its radar and communication technology. All of this would contribute to situational awareness, show that Canada has command and control over its northern reaches and improve the protection of North America.
https://legionmagazine.com/en/2020/01/face-to-face-is-the-north-warning-system-obsolete/

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USAF joining the US military's Arctic party--pressure on Canada to do something soon and real about North Warning System? Defending against help?

Department of the Air Force to Debut Its First Arctic Strategy

Quote
Air Force Secretary Barbara M. Barrett, Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein, and Chief of Space Operations Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond will launch the Department of the Air Force’s first-ever Arctic Strategy on July 21 during a virtual event with the Atlantic Council.

Despite a long history of Arctic operations, USAF has never had its own strategy for operating in the region. The White House first released a National Strategy for the Arctic in 2013 under the Obama Administration, and the Department of Defense soon followed suit with its own Arctic Strategy. That strategy was updated in 2016 and then again in 2019.

During her keynote address at AFA’s Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Fla., in February, Barrett stressed the growing importance of the Arctic, calling it a “central mission” for the Air Force. “As in space, America is resolute in defending and protecting international norms of access and navigation as Arctic resources and sea routes gain importance,” she said. “That’s why maintaining strong defense relationships with Arctic nations who are willing to cooperate is critical. We stand with Canada, Iceland, Norway, Finland, Sweden, and Greenland via Denmark. We are stronger together.”

The rollout will come roughly two weeks after Barrett toured USAF Arctic locations, including Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, which will soon be home to Pacific Air Forces’ first two F-35A strike fighter squadrons. The base—located some 100 miles south of the Arctic Circle and home to the Defense Department’s northern-most fighter wing—already has received its first six F-35s, and is on track to receive all 54 jets by December 2021, 354th Fighter Wing Commander Col. Shawn E. Anger told Air Force Magazine. Once beddown is complete, Alaska will have more fifth-generation combat power than any other place in the world. This includes F-22 Raptors based at nearby Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska.

“The Total Force team at Eielson plays a pivotal role that extends throughout Alaska and projects into the Arctic,” Barrett said in a release. “Today, as competitors like China and Russia endeavor to expand their influence, the U.S. relies on our Air and Space Forces to protect our nation.”

Though Russia regularly flexes its military muscle in the region, such operations ramped up once the new coronavirus pandemic hit the United States. North American Aerospace Defense Command fighters have intercepted Russian bombers, fighters, and maritime patrol aircraft at least 10 times this year off the coast of Alaska, with the majority of those encounters taking place in June, NORAD and U.S. Northern Command boss Gen. Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy has said, noting that Russia is testing the U.S. military to see if the new coronavirus has created any weaknesses. However, O’Shaughnessy maintains the U.S. remains ready, “24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.”

“If you go back in history, Russia has always operated with long-range aviation, and out of area flights that come into our Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ), and we were seeing that as a continuation of those efforts in the past,” Lt. Gen. David A. Krumm told Air Force Magazine. “I don’t see anything dramatically different in the Russians aspect. We have been intercepting them when they enter our ADIZ, and we are conducting safe professional intercepts, and we expect to see them doing the same.”

Although O’Shaughnessy says adversaries such as Russia and China want to avoid direct military conflict, he told Senate legislators in February “their growing assertiveness increases the risk of miscalculation and gives rise to a threat environment more complex and dynamic than we have seen since the end of the Cold War.”

During her visit Barrett also visited Clear Air Force Station in central Alaska, whose primary purpose is to provide surveillance and tracking of intercontinental ballistic missiles, as well as even more remote sites such as Utqiagvik and Kotzebue, which could play a bigger role in USAF operations as focus shifts to the Arctic.

“Secretary Barrett’s visit to Alaska highlights the strategic importance of the Arctic. The Department of the Air Force maintains the majority of forces in the region, with fighters, tankers, and surveillance aircraft, as well as systems and infrastructure to support our nation’s and allies’ interests while respecting the Alaska Native community and their environment,” Krumm said in the release. “As human activity in the Arctic increases, the Air Force has shown that it is and will continue to be a leader in operating in this challenging and austere environment.”
https://www.airforcemag.com/department-of-the-air-force-to-debut-its-first-arctic-strategy/

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USAF joining the US military's Arctic party--pressure on Canada to do something soon and real about North Warning System? Defending against help?

Department of the Air Force to Debut Its First Arctic Strategy

Mark
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Dept. of Air Force, USAF and Space Force Arctic Strategy is out--I couldn't see any specific reference to modernizing the North Warning System or anything on need for Canada to make a substantial financial contribution thereto:

Quote
New Air Force Arctic Strategy May Update Planes For Polar Ops
"Historically the Arctic, like space, was characterized as a predominantly peaceful domain," the Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett said. "This is changing."

As part of its new Arctic Strategy released today [July 21 https://www.af.mil/Portals/1/documents/2020SAF/July/ArcticStrategy.pdf], the Air Force is eyeing how to modernize mobility aircraft capable of polar operations, improve existing bases, and expand allied cooperation as it gears up to face increased challenges in the region from Russia and China — as well as the changing environment.

“Historically the Arctic, like space, was characterized as a predominantly peaceful domain,” Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett told the Atlantic Council Tuesday afternoon. “This is changing with expanded maritime access, newly discovered resources, and competing sovereign interests.”

The new Air Force strategy document, which follows from Department of Defense’s 2019 Arctic strategy [https://media.defense.gov/2019/Jun/06/2002141657/-1/-1/1/2019-DOD-ARCTIC-STRATEGY.PDF], touts the service’s extensive northern network of airbases and radar stations. The study even says that the service is responsible for “close to 80% of DoD resourcing to the Arctic region.”

Now, that surprising figure is sourced to a single DoD paper from 2016, and the Navy submarine force, which regularly sails under the ice and holds an annual ICEX, might challenge that contention. As Breaking Defense readers are well aware, the Navy has been ramping up efforts in the Arctic over the past year, and new Navy Secretary Kenneth Braithwaite is a former ambassador to key regional ally Norway. [Note North Warning System in image below.]



In Tuesday’s event, the Air Force Chief of Staff, Gen. David Goldfein, was politic enough to emphasize that the service is working closely with the other services, especially the Navy, and with the joint Combatant Commanders to ensure “seamless” joint operations in the region.

In particular, he referred to the ongoing series of Global Integration Exercises — launched by former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford — that are designed to allow more fluid operations across and between Combatant Commands. Indo-Pacific Command, European Command, and Northern Command (which covers North America) all have jurisdiction over pieces of the Arctic.

Sec. Barrett cited DoD’s familiar litany of concern with Russian and Chinese aspirations and activities in the far north.

“No other country has a permanent military presence above the Arctic Circle comparable to Russia’s. Recent Russian investments in the Arctic include a network of offensive air assets and coastal missile systems,” she said. (Of course, no country has as long an Arctic coastline as Russia, either, and Russian leaders remember the US and other Western powers staged a desultory intervention in Siberia in 1918-1920).

China, she added, is setting potentially “predatory” eyes on newly opened access to natural resources, including oil.

“China is not an Arctic nation by geography, but through its One Belt, One Road initiative It has laid the claim to an Arctic role, and has become an observer to the Arctic Council,” she said. “We’re perfectly prepared to accept fair and benevolent action there and having China as a participant, but we will be attentive to overreaching.”

The strategy, signed by Barrett, Goldfein, and Space Force/Space Command head Gen. Jay Raymond, lays out four lines of effort along with the sub-elements of each: “Vigilance in All Domains; Projecting Power through a Combat-Credible Force; Cooperation with Allies & Partners; and, Preparation for Arctic Operations.”

Barrett said that the “vigilance encompasses everything from weather forecasting and consistent communications to threat detection and tracking.” The strategy document further notes that missile defense and space capabilities — including intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) and all-domain awareness — also are key to the mission [emphasis added].

As for power projection in the region, Barrett mentioned in particular the Air Force’s deployment of F-35 stealth fighters to Alaska as critical in enhancing capabilities. The service is in the process of moving some 54 F-35s to Eielson AFB in Fairbanks.

“When the full complement of planned F-35s arrive at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska’s unparalleled concentration of fifth-generation fighters will project unmistakable influence,” Barrett said.

She also noted that the service is looking at recapitalization of Lockheed Martin’s LC-130, the ski-equipped polar version of the C-130 Hercules transport plane. The Air National Guard currently has 10 operational LC-130H aircraft, according to the service’s 2021 budget documents.

“The LC-130s have been pivotal to getting access to terrain that otherwise would be inaccessible,” Barrett said. “So the LC-130 is very important, and recapitalizing is a significant issue to us.”

“The Air Force will advance recapitalization and explore modernization of existing and emergent polar mobility platforms that are critical for reaching remote areas,” the new strategy says.

In addition, the strategy emphasizes efforts to sustain and modernize bases in Alaska and at Thule, Greenland to allow regional power projection. As Breaking D readers know, Gen. Terrence O’Shaughnessy, head of Northern Command, is particularly interested in upgrading command, control and communications (C3) capabilities in the Arctic [emphasis added].

Raymond told the Atlantic Council webinar that one of the new challenges for Arctic infrastructure is dealing with new challenges cropping up due to the warming climate.

“What has changed is the thawing and the melting of the permafrost,” he said. “It can have significant challenges on our infrastructure. It can cause foundations of buildings and equipment to shift. It can impact the structural integrity of those facilities .. for example cause increase runway maintenance,” he said.

Goldfein stressed the strategy’s high priority to enhance operations with NATO and regional allies, including Canada, Denmark and Norway. “You know only through cooperation with our allies will be be strong in Arctic or any other location in the globe [emphasis added],” he said.

But he also said DoD and the Air Force should be making an effort to establish rules of the road and norms of behavior in the Arctic, and reaching out to Russia to identify mutual interests.

“So, the question is: are there areas of common interest we can find above the 66th parallel that perhaps we’re not able to find below?” Goldfein said. “There has to be a few areas of common interest that we can find where we can be better together than we are separately.”
https://breakingdefense.com/2020/07/new-air-force-arctic-strategy-may-update-planes-for-polar-ops/

Mark
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Offline IN ARDUA NITOR

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Mark,

On Page Seven - it is a short liner note, but it is there.

"The Department of the Air Force will enhance
its missile defense surveillance system in the
northern tier while continuing to work with
Canada to identify materiel and non-materiel
solutions to the North Warning System."

Materiel and non-materiel solutions = $$$$

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IN ARDUA NITOR: Thanks--but a very soft mention indeed.

Mark
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