Planned results: Program 5.0: Defence Capability Development and Research

Program 5.0: Defence Capability Development and Research


The Defence Capability Development and Research Program seeks to provide the analytical bases and knowledge to anticipate foreseeable changes in the threat and security environment and to determine the associated demand for Defence capabilities across near- and long-term time horizons in order to enable evidence-based strategic decisions that align the introduction, modification and divestment of Defence capabilities and guide the application of existing capabilities with an acceptable levels of risk.

Results are achieved by: establishing and monitoring the fulfillment of near-term targets for readying force elements and conducting Defence operations; identifying lessons from past operations; assessing defence and security trends; developing and integrating new knowledge and systems/methods for conducting operations; developing approaches and conducting Defence capability analyses at strategic, operational and tactical levels; present to future capability assessments; designing and assessing defence alternatives; providing Defence capability oversight and expertise; and Defence capability use planning for sustainable Defence capabilities in future time horizons.

As such, this Program sustains Defence by providing key products and services to the Defence Capability Element Production Program, the Defence Ready Force Element Production Program and parts of the Defence Combat and Support Operations, and Defence Services and Contributions to Government programs.

This Program also directly enables the management and oversight of Defence as a whole.

Planning highlights

Plan the future force

Force planning is a long-term and continuous activity that helps us prepare for unknown and unexpected events threatening the security of Canada and its interests.

The new defence policy will provide a vision for Canadian defence that is both credible and relevant and responds to the wide array of emerging challenges. It is expected that it will announce several key new initiatives that will affect the Department. Consequently, we will develop an implementation plan to ensure that these defence policy initiatives are prioritized and synchronized in accordance with government direction.

We will refine the CAF Force Posture and Readiness Directive which articulates the target readiness levels for all force elements to ensure assigned tasks are aligned.

To assist our leadership assess and prioritize capital investment, we will continue to use the Capital Investment Program Plan Review process to refresh our portfolio of investments. The new portfolio, based on the new defence policy and government direction, will be used to develop the 2017 Investment Plan and the Force Capability Plan. It will further support a significant update to the Defence Acquisition Guide whose purpose is to inform Canadian industry of potential capital investment areas.

In addition, Enterprise Business Intelligence and Analytics will be further explored to enhance decision support as a critical aspect of readiness management.

Develop new capabilities – cyber and space

Cyber and space are increasingly prominent among the security and defence challenges facing Canada and its allies. Our CAF depend heavily on the cyber environment and space-based capabilities are becoming an increasingly critical component of military operations.

In accordance with the Minister’s mandate letter, we will continue to work closely with the Public Safety to inform and advance a new Cyber Security Strategy. Together, in collaboration with other government departments, we will continue to develop and refine a security framework for cyber threats. We will advance our research in the future of cyberwarfare to improve and strengthen both our defensive and offensive capabilities. Through our science and technology projects, we will focus on cyber and space operations.

With new capabilities, comes the need for employees with special skill sets. In 2017, a Cyber Operator military occupation will be created. The introduction of this new occupation will improve recruiting, individual training and career management for cyber specialists.

Looking to the long-term time horizon, our space program will remain focused on space capabilities that are aligned with Canada’s future requirements and that make substantial contributions to combined space operations with our allies and closest partners. Future space related projects include those focused on global satellite communications and surveillance.

Focus on surveillance and control of Canadian territory - Canadian Rangers

Our Canadian Rangers are integral to northern surveillance and regularly provide support to ground search and rescue. They are our eyes and ears in the sparsely settled northern, coastal and isolated areas of Canada. In response to the Minister’s mandate letter, we will continue to focus on surveillance and control of Canadian territory, which includes consideration to increasing the size of the Canadian Rangers and other capability enhancements. Following consultations held in 2016, specific options with respect to increasing the size and capability of the Canadian Rangers were developed. Possible courses of action will be refined and presented for decision in the fall of 2017. Thereafter, an implementation plan will be developed.

Innovation through defence research and development

Through our defence capability development and research, we will identify risks pertaining to the introduction, preparation, application, modification and divestment of Defence capabilities in both the near- and long-term horizons.

Defence development and research help to define operational needs and aid in prioritizing investment decisions. Through innovation, we will aim to gain new knowledge and awareness while addressing capability gaps.

In 2017-18, we will implement several research and development improvements to advance force development, generation, readiness and employment in support of CAF operations. Initiatives include:

  • Analysis to support policy and strategy to better understand the strategic environment;
  • Analysis of enterprise resource management to enhance efficiency and effectiveness;
  • Intelligence projects to ensure information superiority and enhanced situational awareness;
  • Enhancing our ability to prevent and reduce immediate and long-term health effects of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear materials, and emerging and infectious diseases;
  • Strengthening maritime, land, and air capabilities through targeted science and technology investments; and
  • Science and technology projects focused to directly support priority areas such as All Domain Situational Awareness, joint targeting, cyber and space operations, personnel readiness, personnel and family support.
Incorporate gender perspectives into Defence planning

We are taking steps to ensure gender perspectives are included among key considerations when the CAF deploys to operations throughout the world. Armed conflict, natural disasters and humanitarian crises affect men, women, boys and girls in different ways. Incorporating gender perspectives into the planning, execution and evaluation of operations will increase effectiveness and enhance the understanding of the challenges faced by populations in these areas. This will also support broader national and international initiatives related to women, peace and security.

In Canada, the incorporation of gender perspectives or gender mainstreaming is carried out through the commitment to Gender Based Analysis (GBA)+. GBA+ is an analytical competency used to assess the potential impacts of policies, programs, services and other initiatives on diverse groups of women and men, and taking into account gender and other intersecting identity factors.

It is our intent to have fully integrated guidance provided from United Nations Security Council Resolutions (UNSCR), the Canadian National Action Plan on UNSCR 1325 and Government of Canada direction on GBA+ into CAF planning and operations by summer 2017 and into the wider CAF institution by 2019.

Planned results

Expected results Performance indicators Target Date to achieve target 2013-14
Defence stakeholders are aware of risks pertaining to the introduction, preparation, application, modification and divestment of Defence capabilities in both the near - and long-term horizons. Percentage of score on the Defence Capability Development and Research Evaluation Index. 81 - 100% March 2018 N/A* 90% 85%

*Note: A new Program Alignment Architecture and Performance Measurement Framework were introduced in fiscal year 2014-15. Results for 2013-14 are not available. For more information on previous year results, see the applicable Departmental Performance Report available on our Reports and Publications 38 web page.

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)

Main Estimates
Planned spending
Planned spending
Planned spending
395,158,296 395,158,296 409,054,794 415,793,336

Human resources (full-time equivalents)

Planned full-time equivalents
Planned full-time equivalents
Planned full-time equivalents
Military – Regular Force 1,038 1,055 1,056
Civilian 1,410 1,410 1,410
TOTAL 2,448 2,465 2,466

Information on the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces’ lower-level programs is available on our website 39 and in the TBS InfoBase 40.

Surveillance in the Arctic

“Renew Canada’s focus on surveillance and control of Canadian territory and approaches, particularly our Arctic regions” (Minister’s mandate letter, November 2015)

A picture of a surveillance satelite in the Arctic

Photo: MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates (MDA) and Canadian Space Agency

In order to improve awareness of the potential challenges posed by foreign military and commercial activities in the increasingly accessible Canadian North, National Defence is implementing the All Domain Situational Awareness (ADSA) program, spending $133M over five years for new technologies to enhance surveillance in the Arctic.

This supports Canada’s long-term commitment to Arctic sovereignty as well as the CAF’s ability to exercise sovereignty in the North, while providing a greater whole-of-government awareness of Northern safety and security issues.

Through partnerships with industry, academia, allies and other stakeholders, ADSA aims to deliver technology options that will improve activity monitoring and threat detection capability.

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