The Department of National Defence (DND) and Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) must be prepared for a future defence and security environment that includes and protects against advanced capabilities based on disruptive quantum technologies. The purpose of this strategy is to ensure that such technologies are available and suited for early adoption by DND/CAF.
The Canadian government has invested heavily in quantum science and technology (S&T) over the last two decades, with Canada now ranking amongst the world leaders in the generation of knowledge in the field. As a result, DND/CAF is in a position to access and influence a deep pool of existing talent without the need to build the extensive, specialized infrastructure required to do the foundational research, or the specialized engineering core to transition quantum technologies into practice. Instead, DND/CAF can focus on key areas of quantum S&T that leverage Canadian expertise and strengths showing the most promise for delivering enhanced defence and security capabilities. This strategy will identify areas that require focused investments and outline how DND/CAF will build appropriate expertise and leverage partnerships in order to accelerate the development of quantum technologies for defence and security needs.
While Canada has strength in quantum S&T, targeted investment by other nations is eroding Canada’s leadership position. Nationally, there are consequences to falling behind, as quantum technologies are expected to be a growth engine in the future world economy. The risk to DND/CAF is that other nations will be able to field a range of quantum-based technologies that give them capabilities that Canada is unable to either match or counter. This risk is especially acute given that potential adversaries are investing heavily in new capabilities across domains to challenge the Western military advantage.
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