Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Canada's military shopping list:

Canada's military is in desperate need of equipment.  Years of tight budgets, cancelled projects and indifferent policy makers has left the Canadian Armed Forces with aging equipment.  At the same time, new technological breakthroughs like UAVs have yet to see widespread deployment in the forces.

To put things in perspective, here are some (not all) of the current replacement and procurement projects underway in the Canadian Armed Forces.

Improved combat uniforms.
SARP II small arms replacement project.
Multiple rocket launcher.
Automatic Grenade Launcher.
Anti-tank guns.
New M777 Howitzers.
New trucks.

Infantry fighting vehicle.

LAV III upgrade.
Stealth Snowmobile (no, really!)
Arctic Patrol Ship.
Joint Support Ship.
Single Class Surface Combatant.
Amphibious Assault Ship (may be part of the SCSC project)
Chinook heavy-lift helicopter.
Still waiting on those Cyclones...
Fixed-wing SAR (search and rescue)
Snowbird replacement.
CP-140 replacement (not yet official, but imminent.)
CF-18 replacement.
DND Headquarters will move into what used to be the Nortel campus .
Some of these projects, like the JUSTAS and UCAV, could easily be amalgamated.  Some new projects, like the Amphibious Assault Ship, may prove to be simply too expensive, while projects like the "Stealth Snowmobile" will prove too frivolous.  Others, like the Snowbird replacement, may face the harsh reality of budget cuts and be disbanded completely.

Some of these projects are hideously expensive.  The standouts here are the CF-18 replacement and the new navy warships.  Canada's National Shipbuilding Strategy will see the Royal Canadian Navy through a much needed modernization, but its cost is estimated to be around $33 billion over the next 30 years.  Much has been said about the CF-18 replacement, with estimates for the F-35 approaching $46 billion.

With military budget cuts now the norm, Canada is going to have to make some very difficult choices when it comes to procurement.  The toughest decisions will be how to do (and buy) more, with less.


  1. Stealth Snowmobile? really??

    And what about observation satellites? submarines? air-defense system?

  2. Why not buy some f-104's from Lockheed. So can we can have more widows to support. Like what happened the last time we bought a jet fighter from Lockheed. No more widows & dead pilots please!