Defence Investment Plan 2018 | Part I: Investing in Canada's defence

1.3 Investing in Canada’s defence: ensuring capability and capacity

Strong, Secure, Engaged consists of 281 projects previously approved in Defence Investment Plan 2014 and 52 new projects for a total of $108 billion. Defence Investment Plan 2018 lists the 200+ capital equipment and infrastructure projects over $5 million and support contracts valued over $20 million that are expected to be awarded in the coming years. The difference in the number of projects shown in these documents is explained by the fact that Defence Investment Plan 2018 does not include completed projects, and service contracts that have been either awarded, or are already underway.

As future capabilities are developed and investment projects put forward, they undergo a stringent governance review in order to select the best solutions for National Defence, review costing, and provide oversight on project delivery and management.

The new defence policy integrates additional funding flexibilities with respect to mission costs. While some operations can be managed from within the existing defence budget, for others National Defence will seek additional funding. This will help preserve the integrity of the defence budget and ensure that other important priorities, such as investments in defence capabilities and caring for and supporting Canadian Armed Forces personnel and their families, are not compromised by the costs of operations.

1.3.1 The case for investment

Today’s highly complex and unpredictable security environment underlines the need to arm the Canadian Armed Forces with the best available tools and resources. The Canadian Armed Forces needs to develop sophisticated awareness of its operating environment to better predict and respond to crises, such as increasingly severe natural disasters at home. It must be ready to address threats stemming from the actions of violent extremist organizations, from within North America and beyond.  Growing threats in the cyber domain also demand robust capacity. All these forces affecting Canadian Armed Forces operations require that military personnel are properly equipped and empowered to succeed in their missions, both domestically and abroad.

The Defence Team must have next generation technologies and modern methods to boost its surveillance and reconnaissance capacity and to maximize its defence intelligence expertise. It is particularly vital that the Canadian Armed Forces has the necessary advanced capabilities to work side by side with its allies in NORAD, NATO, and Five Eyes partners (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States) to stay ahead of global adversaries.

Preparing for the fluid environment confronting Canadian service women and men is one crucial element of the Forces’ operational success. It is equally essential that they be ready to act decisively, in multiple theatres, when called on by the Government of Canada.

Strong, Secure, Engaged identified priority areas for increased defence spending over the immediate and longer term to rebuild the Forces’ core capabilities; increase emerging capabilities in cyber, space, and remotely piloted vehicles; and enhance intelligence, satellite communications, surveillance, and logistics activities. It also recognized the need to reinvest in defence infrastructure.

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