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Is Canada Doing Anything about Hypersonic Weapons?

By Dr. Ann Griffiths, 2 December 2021

Admiral Gorshkov testfires Zircon hypersonic cruise missile on or around 12 November 2020 in the White Sea. Credit: Screenshot from video posted by Russian Ministry of Defence

Both Russia and China have been hard at work developing and now testing hypersonic weapons. They both claim success in their recent tests. Russia in particular is deep into the game, and already mounting hypersonic missiles on its navy ships. According to the Russian Defence Ministry, in November the Russian frigate Admiral Gorshkov launched a Zircon hypersonic cruise missile in the White Sea, the latest in a series of tests of the Zircon, which is supposed to enter service in 2022. When the NORAD commander visited Canada recently, he noted that a US missile defence review is looking at the technology, and the United States is developing systems to detect, track and destroy hypersonic missiles. Canada is not conducting a similar review and hasn’t laid out a position on what it would do to defend Canada from hypersonic weapons. 

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Latest CNR issue

Volume 17, Number 2 (2021)

Summer has ended and fall has begun. We are now dealing with the fourth wave of this never-ending pandemic saga. But the show must go on and thus we continue to produce new issues of Canadian Naval Review.

I’m happy to announce that the Fall issue is here. The issue begins with an Editorial examining the topic of military training and exercises, an issue that has come into the spotlight with the collapse of the Afghan National Army and the country’s fall to the Taliban. Then we have five articles, all of which are timely and interesting. 

The first article examines a topic that was in the news for weeks this summer – the blockage of the Suez Canal by a huge container ship. What happened and what will be the implications? Read the article and find out. The second article takes a look at the maritime warning function in NORAD. The third article examines incident at sea agreements, using the US-Soviet INCSEA Agreement as a point of discussion, and examining recent agreements and negotiations in Asia. The fourth article discusses submarines, and explains how they are useful and why Canada needs them. And the final article discusses the use of ‘loitering munitions’ – i.e., “optionally recoverable unmanned aerial vehicles, capable of self-propelled and self-controlled flight, with a built-in reconnaissance and explosive payload that can be detonated on target” – in the maritime environment. These articles are all excellent.

We also have a selection of interesting commentaries. Contributors discuss delays in the construction of icebreakers, a plan to create a Canadian maritime tactical helicopter squadron, the ‘northern bridge’ to Europe, and a possible future for global maritime forces. As well, we have a commentary on how the new Arctic Fisheries Agreement will affect the Canadian Coast Guard. The good material just never ends! In other words, as usual the issue is full of amazing material – illustrated with beautiful photos.

If you don’t have a subscription yet, you should get one so you don’t miss anything.

The issue is now available – keep your eyes on the CNR Twitter account for details (@CdnNavalReview). And see the full table of contents below.

Table of Contents - Vol. 17, No. 2 (2021)

  • Editorial: Training in the Spotlight - by Ann Griffiths
  • Suez Canal Blockage - by Heinz Gohlish and Michael Moon
  • NORAD’s Maritime Warning Role: Origins and Future - by Andrea Charron and James Fergusson
  • Towards Multilateral Arrangements Regarding Incidents at Sea in Europe - by David F. Winkler
  • Why Canada Needs Submarines - by James Brun
  • Exploring the Impact of Loitering Munitions in the Maritime Environment - by Christopher Verklan
  • Making waves
    • The Ongoing Delays of Building a New Heavy Icebreaker - by Jeff G. Gilmour
    • It is Time for a Maritime Tactical Helicopter Squadron - by Major (Ret’d) Les Mader
    • Canada’s Northern Bridge to Iceland - by Steven Bright
    • Global Naval Forces are Key to the World’s Future - by Mikael Perron
    • Impacts of the Arctic Fisheries Agreement on the Canadian Coast Guard - by Nicole Covey

Previous CNR issue

Volume 17, Number 1 (2021)


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