Author Topic: Report of the SC on National Defence: "Canada and the Defence of North America"  (Read 16273 times)

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Online 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:

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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)?

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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:

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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

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

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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:

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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

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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

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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):

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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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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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