Are SSN’s essential to ensure Canada’s arctic sovereignty? (III)

The latest go around about submarine replacement was, as I understand it, the result of political direction to include a nuclear-powered submarine in the mix for an Oberon-class replacement option.  Service personnel were very wary of this project for the infrastructure reasons noted as well as other concerns, especially about technology transfer.

Regarding Brian Wentzell's remarks concerning the Aurora/Arcturus patrol aircraft, I would draw reader’s attention to my article in the summer edition of Canadian Naval Review, “New Era or False Dawn: AIMP Aurora and the Canada First Defence Strategy” [download available here].  Suffice it to say, what is critically missing, despite all the huffing and puffing from Parliament Hill, is a National Marine Surveillance Policy and Plan drawn from the National Security Policy, which would spell out what we need to be aware of, in which geographic area, to what level of confidence, and by whom and to whom the refined product is to be provided.  Until this is done, there is no requirement and, without a requirement, nothing can be achieved.

The air force faces a dilemma with the Aurora.  The Aurora Incremental Modernization Project (AIMP) is funded but the companion service life extension is not.  The liability for this latter project approaches $ 1 B (mainly for re-winging the airframe) although it could be stretched out and reduced in scope.  Something will likely have to be given up to re-wing the Aurora and although the AIMP capability is impressive, it is being installed in an 'old' airframe.

I agree with Brian that until a political push is put behind the policy aspects, the question of Canada's national interests remains unaddressed.  How about a Canada First Defence Policy?

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