A Secure and Sovereign Arctic

By Blair Shaw, 2 May 2023

The House of Commons Standing Committee on National Defence issued a report in April entitled “A Secure and Sovereign Arctic.” The report gives an overview on areas of defence that are under-funded or not present but also gives a few statements about how to rectify this situation and discusses current programs that are ongoing.

One key note for the navy mentioned by Dr Perry is the submarines. He states: “We need to broadly be looking at replacing those submarines with either new submarines themselves or a system of underwater vehicles that could be operated remotely—perhaps working in conjunction—as well as additional sensing capability to be able to detect other people's submarines that could be working in Canadian coastal waters and approaches.”

He also mentions an underwater sensor network that can detect offshore submerged threats. He says: “underwater sensors would be an area that I think we should focus on, so likely acoustical devices,” which could be “put in the water at a place where you want to listen ... to have an idea of who is operating there, even if you don't have your own ship or submarine” at that location.

This report should highlight the need not only to replace the submarine fleet with some haste but, also the idea of an underwater network of hydrophones to secure the region allowing a multi layered defence of the region. Using a combined surface, sub-surface and air assets in conjunction with the network it would undoubtedly make it harder for potential adversary states to operate within our waters.

The Broadsides forum may find this report interesting. Find it at https://www.ourcommons.ca/Content/Committee/441/NDDN/Reports/RP12342748/nddnrp03/nddnrp03-e.pdf


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