Canada announces multi-billion spend to upgrade continental defense

(Xinhua) 13:55, June 21, 2022

OTTAWA, June 20 (Xinhua) -- Canada will spend 3.8 billion U.S. dollars over six years to modernize its continental defense as part of its alliance with the United States through the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and "to protect Canadians from new and emerging threats," Canadian Defense Minister Anita Anand announced on Monday.

"The threat environment has changed. As our threats evolve, so must our defensive capabilities," she told reporters at a Canadian Armed Forces base. "What we aim to do with this announcement today is to ensure that we -- across the board are engaging in the most significant and relevant upgrade to Canadian NORAD capabilities in almost four decades."

As part of the upgrade, Canada will build a new radar-warning system to detect "who and what is entering Canadian aerospace from the North," according to a National Defense news release.

Canada will also establish a "Crossbow" system across the country to detect incoming threats, and acquire advanced air-to-air missiles that can engage threats from short, medium and long ranges.

A space-based surveillance system that can detect threats from around the world is included in the NORAD overhaul as well.

The Canadian government will spend nearly 31 billion dollars over the next two decades to bolster its continental and northern defense systems, according to the defense minister.

"NORAD has continually adapted and evolved in response to new threats. Today we turn another page and begin NORAD's next chapter," Anand said. 

(Web editor: Liang Jun, Bianji)