Sunday, 18 March 2012

Canada ends NATO surveillance drone deal

(L-R) NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh

(L-R) NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Canadian defense minister Peter Gordon MacKay, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Advisor, speak with Afghanistan's Defence Minister, General Abdul Rahim Wardak on the second day of talks on February 3, 2012.

On March 17, 2012 David Pugliese of The Vancouver Sun reported that "Canadian Forces hope to save $90 million a year by pulling out of NATO programs operating unmanned aerial vehicles as well as airborne early warning planes. Defence Minister Peter MacKay said it will free up 142 Canadians assigned to NATO for new jobs."
"The shutdown of Canada’s contribution to NATO’s airborne warning aircraft, known as AWACS, will save about $50 million a year. Another $40 million a year will be saved as a result of Canada’s withdrawal from NATO’s Alliance Ground Surveillance Program. Canada has been involved in NATO’s AWACS program for more than 25 years and the aircraft were seen as key to the alliance’s success during the recent war in Libya."

(Heron 1 UAV, Canada)

"U.S. unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs as they are known in military parlance, were also used to gather intelligence information during the Libyan conflict. NATO wants to ease the strain on the U.S. UAVs by having a pool of Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicles at the alliance’s disposal.
Canada’s pull out from the UAV program will be done by the end of April, the Defence Department confirmed."
I think this is some amazing technology and it's too bad that we are ending our contribution with NATO and the Countries we have previously had partnerships with.

(Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle, U.S.)


  1. This just goes to show how far technology has come. Blows my mind that airplanes can be unmanned. Its also good that this will hopefully save Canada $90 million.

  2. Yeah, I'm kind of torn here...It blows my mind that 90 million will be saved, making me say 'GREAT, put it towards something in our own country'. At the same time, I was always the guy in Call of Duty to pull out the UAV calls, raising my K/D ratio to 1.14.

  3. I do make the effort to follow politics, but find myself frustrated with the convolutions of it. So many decisions are made and we are made aware after the fact. I do thank those who try to make sense of it and keep the rest of us in the loop.

  4. Drones always remind my of something sci-fi——like Terminator 2 or Star Wars. I think they're both terrifying and useful. Why send men and women into combat if you can just send robots and drones? I think the next 50 years will bring a very different military landscape.

    With regard to Canada, generally I think it's advised to play nice with the rest of the world, but really, what has NATO done for anyone recently? (say, since 1997)

  5. The $90 million can be put to better use in my opinion. I think it's a good decision.