Government of Canada awards in-service support contract for North Warning System

News release

Today Public Services and Procurement Canada, on behalf of the Department of National Defence, awarded a contract to Nasittuq Corporation, an Inuit owned company, for the operation and maintenance of the North Warning System (NWS).

The NWS is a radar system consisting of a chain of remotely operated radar stations in the Arctic, which provides aerospace surveillance of Canada’s and the United States’ northern approaches. As the effects of climate change make the Arctic more navigable for everyone, and as a strong partner in NORAD, we must maintain and improve our ability to monitor activities in Canada’s North, which enable us to take action when needed.

This new contract is for an initial period of seven years, and is valued at $592 million ($527 million before taxes). The contract also includes four two-year option periods for a total estimated value of $1.3 billion ($1.1 billion before taxes).

Under the contract, Nasittuq will be responsible for preventative and corrective maintenance for the NWS, and ensuring that NWS radar data is always available in support of NORAD and DND/CAF operations. This includes full logistics support, infrastructure and environmental stewardship, engineering and life cycle material management, and general program and project management.

A transition period between the existing contractor, Raytheon Canada Limited, and Nasittuq will begin on April 1, 2022 and is expected to be completed by September 30, 2022.

The NWS has had a long and successful history, in large part due to the involvement of Inuit and Inuit industry. That’s why DND, in conjunction with Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada, Indigenous Services Canada and Public Services and Procurement Canada, has worked diligently to consult, engage, and include Inuit firms throughout this competitive process.  

The Canadian Content Policy and Canada’s obligations under the Comprehensive Land Claims Agreements including the recent Treasury Board of Canada issued Directive on Government Contracts in the Nunavut Settlement Area are being applied to this contract to create jobs, innovation and growth in Canada, with a focus on Inuit benefits and northern communities.

This process reflects the Government of Canada’s commitment to renewing and strengthening its economic relationship with Inuit and ensuring that Inuit communities benefit from federal procurement in Inuit Nunangat.

Nasittuq is expected to begin work on the operation and maintenance contract on April 1, 2022. 


“The operation and maintenance of the NWS is a critical capability in light of the importance of situational awareness in the North. Nasittuq will ensure the operability of the radar sites that are so important to the defence of North America.”

The Honourable Anita Anand, Minister of National Defence

“The Government of Canada is committed to renewing and strengthening its economic relationship with Indigenous entrepreneurs and communities by providing increased economic opportunities to First Nations, Inuit and Métis businesses through the federal procurement process. This contract for the operation and maintenance of the North Warning System will deliver socio-economic benefits to Inuit and northern communities while ensuring our ongoing surveillance of the North.”

The Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister of Public Services and Procurement

“Participation of Inuit and Inuit industry has been and will continue to be essential to the in-service support of the North Warning System. The Government of Canada remains committed to closing economic gaps and supporting collaborative initiatives to benefit Indigenous Peoples and implement the spirit and intent of land claim and self-government agreements.”

The Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Crown–Indigenous Relations

“This long-term contract for in-service support of the North Warning System will mean good jobs, capacity and skills development opportunities, and benefits for Inuit and northern communities across Canada’s North and Arctic – a key objective of the Arctic and Northern Policy Framework. It further recognizes the invaluable traditional knowledge and contribution Indigenous Peoples bring when working in this unique environment.”

The Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs

“An important objective of the Federal Government’s procurement policy is to ensure there are greater opportunities for Indigenous businesses in these processes, and to support local employment and economic development in Indigenous communities. Nasittuq previous experience with this project and relationship with Inuit communities in the North will be an invaluable asset to the ongoing success of the North Warning System initiative.”

The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services

“Today’s announcement demonstrates the Government of Canada’s commitment in providing Indigenous business and companies greater access to government contracts. Our government is working in partnership to build a better, stronger and more inclusive economy, for the benefits of Indigenous Peoples and communities, for Northerners, and for all Canadians.”

Yvonne Jones, Parliamentary Secretary of Northern Affairs

Quick facts

  •  The NWS was constructed between 1986 and 1992, and uses a series of long and short-range air defence radar sites.

  •  Radars are linked by a satellite communications network and are remotely monitored and controlled by NORAD from the Canadian Air Defence Sector, located at 22 Wing, North Bay, Ontario. 

  •  We have been formally engaging with the impacted Land Claim Authorities since April 2018 to develop and chart the future of contracting for the North Warning System. 

  • This contract complies with all regulations, directives and laws required for contracting in the Arctic region.

  • This project directly supports Canada’s defence policy Strong, Secure, Engaged and the ability to anticipate threats, adapt to emerging challenges, and act with decisive military capability to defend Canada. 

  • To assist in the Greening Government operations, the Nasittuq Corporation has committed to implementing a sustainability program using greening initiatives and practices to include opportunities for reducing greenhouse gases, potable water consumption and air-polluting emissions, facility improvements to reduce fuel consumption required for heating, waste management improvements, contaminated site remediation and green procurement practices.

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Daniel Minden
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of National Defence
(613) 996-3100

Media Relations
Department of National Defence

Media Relations
Public Services and Procurement Canada

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