Continental Defence and NORAD Modernization

CAF Operations


Despite the fact that threats to North America are increasing, this Government has not made any investments to improve continental defence and modernize NORAD. Why is continental defence not a priority for this government?

  • As outlined in our 2017 defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, this Government is committed to the defence of North America.
  • Since its release, security and defence challenges outlined in this policy, including advances in technology, and great power competition, have accelerated.
  • These realities increase the need for Canada to strengthen its approach to continental defence across all domains, and to modernize NORAD.
  • This remains a high priority.
  • We are already making significant investments in personnel, equipment, and infrastructure that will support continental defence.
  • This includes new fighter jets, Arctic and Offshore Patrol ships, and significant investments in space capabilities.
  • It also includes research and development efforts to produce innovative solutions to surveillance challenges.
  • New capabilities and approaches will also be required to ensure that we can detect, deter, and respond to threats against Canada and North America.
  • We will also continue to seek solutions that maximize economic benefits for Canadians as we make investments to ensure a secure North America.

Quick Facts

  • 1,000 Canadian Armed Forces members support NORAD missions in aerospace warning, aerospace control, and maritime warning missions in defence of North America.
  • Strong, Secure, Engaged made several large investments contributing to continental defence, including commitments to acquire:
    • 15 new Canadian Surface Combatants for the Navy;
    • A fleet of 88 new fighters for the Air Force;
    • A fleet of six Arctic and Offshore Patrol Vessels to provide enhanced naval presence in the North;
    • Remotely piloted systems to enhance surveillance of Canadian territory; and,
    • Space capabilities to improve Arctic surveillance and communications.
  • Other initiatives, such as the All Domain Situational Awareness Program ($133M worth of investments over the last five years), are also supporting these efforts.

Responsible Principals: Director General for Continental Defence, Director General for Strategic Defence Policy

January 18, 2021

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