Canada’s defense minister said Thursday she’s close to offering a “robust” plan to modernize continental defenses under North American Aerospace Defense Command, something the U.S. wants in response to the complex hypersonic missile threat.
“I have been entrusted to lead Canada’s efforts to strengthen continental defense and to deliver a robust plan on modernize NORAD, in collaboration with our American allies. And we will have more to say on this in the short term,” Canadian Defence Minister Anita Anand said after meeting with U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin at the Pentagon.
The Canadian government will spend $1 billion for a new radar system to protect major population centres in North America, this newspaper has confirmed.
Defence industry officials were briefed about the project April 7 in Ottawa by Royal Canadian Air Force officers.
The radar system would be built in southern Canada, according to the briefing. But the system would keep watch on Arctic airspace to detect threats against major U.S. or Canadian cities.
The Arctic Over-the-Horizon Radar would “provide long-range surveillance of northern approaches to the major population centers in North America by establishing a northward-aimed high frequency over-the-horizon radar system in southern Canada,” according to the briefing provided to this newspaper.
The radar would start operating in 2028. The preliminary cost estimate for the system is $1 billion, but military officials say that could go higher.
Earlier this week, U.S. Air Force Gen. Glen VanHerck, the chief of NORAD, said the binational command faces increasing threats from Russia and China, including hypersonic missiles, whose maneuverability in flight make them difficult to detect and track.
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