The Vanguard Podcast

Welcome to the Vanguard Podcast, a weekly radio show discussing news, trends, and event coverage for the Canadian Defence Industry. Vanguard is Canada’s oldest trade journal of record that provides a forum for Canada’s security and defence community, discussing strategic perspectives and overviews of government and military policy and practice, through interviews with leading practitioners and contributions from renowned experts, including representatives from industry. Intersecting strategy, technology and policy, Vanguard explores emerging trends and best practices to help enhance Canada’s holistic approach to defence and security, both domestically and internationally.
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Dec 20, 2018

Since 2008, Babcock has been operating in Canada in working with committed experts to design, build, manage, operate and maintain assets vital to the delivery of critical public services. Globally, the company is a 35,000-strong organization, which helps customers around the world to improve the capability, reliability and availability of their most critical assets within the key market sectors of Marine, Land, Aviation, and Nuclear.

Recently, Babcock was awarded a contract for aerial firefighting by the Government of Manitoba. This Wildfire Suppression Services contract is for a period of ten years. 

In this episode of Vanguard Radio, J. Richard Jones talks with Mike Whalley, President of Babcock Canada and Jake Jacobson, Vice-President of Babcock Canada about this contract and the operation of Babcock in Canada. 

Hear an update on the Victoria-class submarine program, lessons gleaned from this program that can be applied to future naval in-service support programs, lessons from working in the United Kingdom and the Australasia regions in incorporating those in Canada, some of the services they provide in the different sectors, the recent contract by the Manitoba government for aerial firefighting services and the future for Babcock Canada.

To learn more about Babcock Canada, go to

Dec 19, 2018

In this episode of Vanguard Radio, J. Richard Jones talks with Astrid Neuland, Business Development Executive at Thales Canada. Astrid is an active volunteer at Wounded Warriors Canada, an organization that is dedicated to honour and support Canada’s ill and injured Canadian Armed Forces members, veterans, first responders and their families.

Hear about the upcoming bike ride programs that Wounded Warriors is organizing to raise funds to increase awareness of PTSD issues and for mental health programs. Astrid shares her experience of participating in these bike rides at home and overseas and the camaraderie and support from fellow riders and the public.

To learn more about Wounded Warriors and how you can support, go to

Dec 6, 2018

Calian, a provider of business and technology services and solutions to industry, public and government in the health, training, engineering and IT services domains and also in satellite networks, recently announced that it has been selected to deliver a significant training contract for the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Army Simulation Centre. The Training and Support Services Contract is valued about $170 million, running over a full nine-year period. 

In this episode, J. Richard Jones talks with Kevin Ford, President and Chief Executive Officer of Calian about this re-win for the company and what it means to Calian. Hear about where Calian fit into Strong, Secure, Engaged, their innovation agenda, their #DontLetGoCanada space campaign and what we can expect from the company in the future.

To learn more, go to

Thanks for listening.

Nov 23, 2018

In the show today, J. Richard Jones talks with Simon Olsen, Director of Business Development for Strategy and Partnerships at Sentient Vision. Hear about Simon’s perspective on the future of marine search and rescue for Canadians, the challenges officers are facing when it comes to water defence and marine SAR and new technologies to consider.

He also shares his insight on new approaches and technologies that the US Coast Guard, the UK Royal Navy and the Royal Australian Navy are using that Canada should consider adopting and the world’s first Optical Radar - ViDAR. This is an airborne persistent wide-area maritime search system that autonomously detects objects on the ocean surface and provides the operator with a detailed image of objects that other search methods often miss. A "game-changing" system for search and rescue!

As the Director of Business Development, strategy and Partnerships at Sentient, Simon has extensive networks within the aviation, unmanned systems, general aircraft integration, sensors and exploitation markets both in Australia and around the world. He is also a former member of the board for the Australian Association of Unmanned Systems.

To learn more, go to:

Aug 7, 2018

Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) technology has evolved significantly over the past decade, with innovative new drones hitting the enterprise and consumer market regularly. While the focus has been primarily on how drones can be used to enhance enterprise applications -- everything from Public Safety applications, to military deployments, hydro and telecom infrastructure inspections, and even to agriculture -- there are some security risks that are inherent with drone availability.

In this episode, J. Richard Jones talks with Marc Bouvrette, President of Gap Wireless, a stocking distributor of mobile broadband and wireless solutions including one of the most impressive suites of vendor partner UAV solutions in North America. Marc delves into the security aspects of the UAV market and how the latest technology is enabling protection from rogue drones and their pilots.

Jul 20, 2018
Nigel Stewart, BAE Systems talks about the significant benefits of the Type 26
In this episode, J. Richard Jones talks with Nigel Stewart, BAE Systems, Managing Director for SEA 5000 Bid. Nigel led BAE Systems’ successful bid for Australia’s SEA 5000 Hunter-class frigate program. Hear more about BAE’s Type 26 for its Hunter-class frigate and the connection to the Canadian Surface Combatant program.
Show Notes
Hear more about the Type 26 that is currently under construction in the UK and the takeaways that can apply to Canada. Nigel talks about the recent selection of the Type 26 for the Australian frigate program and some of the unique capabilities that position the Type 26 above the rest in that competition. He also addresses what critics have termed a paper ship design and more.
Jul 6, 2018

In this episode of Vanguard Radio, J. Richard Jones interviews Astrid Neuland, Business Development, Thales Canada Defense & Security, about her participation in the Highway of Heroes Ontario Bike Ride 2018. Listen and learn about her experiences on the road, the rewards and lessons learned, as well as why this is such an important event to support.

May 25, 2018

In this episode, J. Richard Jones talks with Lee Obst, President and Managing Director of Rockwell Collins in Canada.

Since 2011, Lee has been serving in his current role in overseeing the Canadian operations and production facilities. Prior to joining Rockwell Collins in 2000, Lee served for 21 years as a test pilot and fighter pilot in the Royal Canadian Air Force, and three years as a program manager/business director with Spar Aerospace, Canada.

In this Vanguard Radio podcast, hear about the future growth strategy of Rockwell Collins in Canada and what they are doing to align investment with the mandates of the new Defence Procurement Strategy. Learn about Wideband HF and the role the Canadian subsidiary of Rockwell Collins played in its development.

Also, Rockwell Collins Canada will be at CANSEC this year. Hear more about their ‘Made in Canada’ NSS offering and how it will be represented at CANSEC, and other capabilities that they will be exhibiting at the event.

Rockwell Collins Canada will be exhibiting at Booth 1103 at CANSEC 2018 at the EY Centre in Ottawa on May 30-31. 

Thanks for listening.

May 2, 2018

In this episode of Vanguard Radio,  J. Richard Jones chats with Brent Perrot, President of Hunter Communications.  They discuss the challenges of satellite communications and how technology is winning the battle,  what satellite communications are doing to help the defence industry and Hunter Communications participation at CANSEC 2018.  All this and more on this episode of Vanguard Radio.

Mar 28, 2018

In this episode, J. Richard Jones guest hosts Vanguard radio. He interviews Mathew Overton, Executive Director, Conference of Defence Associations and CDA Institute about the need to understand AI technology and its impact, upcoming events and projects that are being worked on. All this and more, on this episode of Vanguard radio.

Mar 27, 2018

In this episode of Vanguard radio, J. Richard Jones joins the show as guest host. He discusses Towed Reelable Active-Passive Sonar, (TRAPS) a new program for reservists and Canada’s role in the Iraq mission. All this and more, in this episode of Vanguard radio.

Mar 26, 2018

In this episode, Uber self-driving car killed a woman in Arizona recently, was that accident avoidable? There are many calls coming from different quarters to quite Facebook and streaming is taking over the music industry, so what's next?


Show Notes


Last Sunday, in the city of Tempe, Arizona, Elaine Herzberg who was 49 years old, attempted to cross a busy road. She was pushing a bicycle across the road about 100 meters from the closest pedestrian crosswalk when she was hit by a vehicle, which was travelling at 38 miles per hour in a 35 mile-per-hour zone.


The Police Chief of Tempe said the crash may have been unavoidable.


One analyst who follows autonomous vehicles, said laser and radar systems can see in the dark much better than humans or cameras and that the victim was well within the range.


He said, “It absolutely should have been able to pick her up. From what I see in the video it sure looks like the car is at fault, not the pedestrian.”


Delete Facebook


How often do you post on Facebook? A lot of people are calling for others to quit Facebook. Even the hashtag #DeleteFacebook is trending.


Many are wondering if it is time to say goodbye to Facebook.


At its best, Facebook is a nice way to stay in touch with friends around the world, in business to learn what’s important to the people we serve and to share the work we’re doing. But there’s a concern to all of this. The very data that make it work so well, have power, power that can be used for good or evil.


And because of this, many are now waking up to the concerns over privacy and how our personal information is being shared.


Streaming Music


Over the years we have seen the evolution of the way music is consumed. From cassettes to cds, then onto digital downloads. For a little while now streaming is the main way of getting our music.


Streaming music is taking over the music industry, and that can be seen with digital download sales which have fallen so much in the past few years that they’re now smaller than sales of CDs, vinyl, and other physical media.


A recent report shows that digital downloads fell to $1.3 billion last year, whereas physical media, while also falling, only declined to $1.5 billion.

Mar 16, 2018

An overview of the Shipbuilding Technology Forum 2018 

In this episode of Vanguard Radio, Marcello Sukhdeo gives an overview of the Shipbuilding Technology Forum 2018 that was held recently in Ottawa. 

On March 1st, over 150 attendees from the military and industry gathered at the Shaw Centre for Vanguard's fifth annual Shipbuilding Technology Forum. This event is a one-day conference with the aim to showcase emerging technologies, presentations on marine and shipbuilding issues and ship repair. 

Vanguard has been working with industry, government and military over the years to provide a platform to create an environment for the different parties to share lessons and showcase cutting-edge technologies. 

This year's event was built on the theme: Agility through Technology.   

Hear an overview about presentations on:  

Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security program, (IDEaS),  

Build in Canada Innovation Program (BCIP),  

Keynote by Andy Smith, Deputy Commissioner - Strategy and Shipbuilding, Canadian Coast Guard 

Naval Infra-Red Search and Track Systems (IRST),  

Decarbonization and Marine Propulsion Systems 

Well, that was an overview of the event. I found it to be quite interesting, hearing about the different technologies currently available and what we can look forward to in the future. Especially, what can be done with autonomous technology and AI? 

To learn more about the Shipbuilding Technology Forum, go to, and click on the SHIPTECH 2018 tab. 

Vanguard will be hosting the 2019 version of this event at the same time next year. Please stay tuned for more details.  

Mar 6, 2018

CF-18 replacement suppliers shortlisted and marijuana legalization in the CAF

In this episode, Canada issues a shortlist of suppliers for CF-18 replacement competition. The Canadian military is trying to decide how to handle marijuana legalization and a look at an interview with Andy Smith, Deputy Commissioner of the Canadian Coast Guard.

Show Notes:

The Government of Canada has released a list of eligible suppliers who would be invited to submit bids for the country’s future fighter aircraft fleet competition. The Royal Canadian Air Force plans to purchase a total of 88 advanced fighter jets. These jets will replace the current CF-18 aircraft fleet, which has been serving Canada for more than 30 years.

The companies shortlisted to submit bids are:

· Boeing Super Hornet

· Lockheed Martin F-35

· Eurofighter Typhoon

· Dassault Rafale

· Saab Gripen

Speaking about the release of the suppliers, Canada Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains said, “The Government of Canada is leveraging procurement to create jobs, drive innovation, and grow small businesses. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to drive investment in innovation and research across all sectors of our economy, including with post-secondary institutions.”

The contract for the aircraft development program is expected to be awarded in 2021 or 2022.

Canadian military trying to decide how to handle marijuana legalization

With the legalization of marijuana being a topical issue in Canada, the military is looking at how to apply this to members of the CAF. Chief of defence staff Gen. Jonathan Vance said, “We’re going to try to be smart about it. But in the end, this is dangerous duty, this is serious duty for the country, and we don’t want people doing it stoned.”

Gen Vance made these comments during an appearance before the Senate defence committee.

“We are looking at it,” Vance told the committee. “I am very soon to make decisions on the specific and unique circumstances associated with military service that would preclude someone from using cannabis at a particular point in time.”


Vanguard recently conducted an interview with Andy Smith, Deputy Commissioner, Strategy and Shipbuilding, Canadian Coast Guard. In that interview, we asked him what are his top 3 short-term goals? Where he sees the future of shipbuilding for the Coast Guard given the average age of the fleet –

can it be done within the service lives of the current fleet or do you see a reduction in fleet capability/capacity? If he sees a long-term fleet capital investment program similar to the Navy for the Coast Guard? Also, he touches on maintenance and life extension, success stories - CCGS Sir John Franklin and strategies and programs of the Canadian Coast Guard that he is really excited about.

For the full interview, please go to

Feb 28, 2018

Defence Minister visits Europe and Vanguard's Game Changers 

In this episode, Marcello Sukhdeo talks about Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan's visit to Europe and he also shares an overview of Vanguard's Game Changers for the February/March issue.  

Show Notes: 

Due to its commitment to lasting peace and security, both at home and abroad, Canada is working on all fronts including the international community to ensure the protection of rights and freedoms for all.  

As part of this effort, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan visited Europe. The Minister participated in a meeting of the Defence Ministers from the main force contributors to the Global Coalition against Daesh, and in Brussels, at the NATO Defence Ministerial Meeting.  

In Rome, the Minister highlighted Canada's ongoing commitment to the Global Coalition against Daesh, and to working with allies and partners to set the conditions for long-term security and stability in the Middle East region.  

While in Brussels, he participated in the NATO Defence Ministerial Meeting, alongside other NATO Allies and partners.  

Minister Sajjan highlighted Canada's commitment to NATO and working with NATO Allies to actively maintain and strengthen the transatlantic bond.  


Game Changers 

  • Dr. Ben Cecil, CEO, The Canadian Centre for Product Validation 
  • Jordan Kyriakidis, President and CEO, QRA Corp 
  • Farhoud Shirzadi, CEO, VSETA 

To learn more, go to:  


Thanks for listening. 

Feb 20, 2018

In this episode, the Secretary-General of NATO urges NATO nations in Europe and Canada to increase defence budget, MDA signs a contract to provide unmanned aircraft systems to the Royal Canadian Navy, and DND is looking for help to track drones.

Show Notes:

The NATO Secretary-General recently urged Canada and European allies to keep ramping up defence spending.

Only eight of the 29 NATO member countries are estimated to reach this year the alliance's spending guideline of 2 per cent of GDP.

The Secretary-General said that "To keep our nations safe, we need more defence spending, investment in key capabilities, and forces for NATO missions and operations."

MDA to provide unmanned aircraft systems to RCN

MDA, a Maxar Technologies company recently signed a contract valued at approximately $8 million with the Department of National Defence to provide maritime miniature unmanned aircraft systems (MMUAS).

The contract also includes services to support training, resource and equipment development activities and development and validation of naval tactics and new capability development.

This system will play a critical role by extending the reach of communication and sensor capability during maritime security operations.

MDA's solution is based on the Puma AE unmanned aircraft. The Puma AE system will provide the RCN with enhanced ISR capabilities.

DND wants help tracking drones

The Canadian government is looking for technology from domestic firms that might help the Department of National Defence in efforts to track unmanned aerial vehicles according to an article from the Ottawa Citizen.

The technology could either be in the late stage of development or not yet on the market.

"The wide spread application of UAV increases not only military but also public safety and security concerns," industry representatives who might be interested in drone tracking were told by Public Services and Procurement Canada. "For example, they could be used for intelligence gathering, delivering explosive devices, or targeting critical infrastructures under the military or safety and security portfolio. Therefore, it is a necessary to develop effective counter UAV techniques to defend against the threat posed by the potential malicious use of UAVs."

Feb 9, 2018

An overview of C4ISR and Beyond 2018

In this episode of Vanguard Radio, Marcello Sukhdeo talks with Michelle Currie about C4ISR and Beyond 2018 that was held on January 30th in Ottawa. Hear more about the discussions on that day, the highlights of Rear-Admiral Bishop’s and Rear-Admiral Hawco’s presentations, Weaponizing Data and Targeting.

Show Notes: 

C4ISR and Beyond is an event produced by Vanguard magazine, that brings together military and industry to interact on C4ISR capabilities, challenges, and the impact of C4ISR in Canadian military operations. This event started about a few years ago, and we’ve just concluded the 4th C4ISR and Beyond on the theme of Beyond Sensors. 

In this age, where almost every electronic device can be a sensor, it is easy to become overwhelmed with the amount of the data that is being captured rather than making full use of it. That was what this last event was built on. Additional areas that were covered, included, the environmental domains are given from a military viewpoint on C4ISR, how C4ISR is being delivered through SSE and targeting.

Feb 5, 2018

Asterix completes RCN trials and CF-18s to fly until 2032 

In this episode, Asterix completes Royal Canadian Navy trials, Canada's CF-18s to fly until 2032 and Boeing Gets $6.6 Billion from the Pentagon to expand missile defense 

Show Notes: 

Canada will try to get more flying time out of its aging CF-18s with the aim to keep the jets operating for another 15 years, up to 2032.  

Some aerospace industry sources, however, question whether the 2032 retirement is set in stone since any delays in the purchase of new jets could alter that schedule. 

Asterix completes Royal Canadian Navy trials 

Davie Shipbuilding and Federal Fleet Services announced that following an intensive period of at-sea trials and testing, Asterix has been formally accepted by the Department of National Defence and has now entered full operational service with the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) and Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF). 

Boeing gets $6.6 billion to expand missile defense 

Boeing has received a $6.56 billion contract to continue managing the U.S. missile defense system intended to stop North Korean or Iranian intercontinental ballistic missiles, the Defense Department said. 

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has vowed to create a nuclear warhead and a missile that could hit the U.S. mainland, adding to the urgency of U.S. missile defense efforts. In his State of the Union address, President Donald Trump said, “North Korea’s reckless pursuit of nuclear missiles could very soon threaten our homeland. We are waging a campaign of maximum pressure to prevent that from ever happening.”

Jan 29, 2018

HMCS Athabaskan, Delivery of Ultra-Light Combat Vehicles and Nunavut’s High Arctic. 

In this episode, the HMCS Athabaskan to be dismantled by July 2019, delivery of the first Ultra-Light Combat Vehicle is underway and Canadian forces getting ready for an operation in Nunavut’s High Arctic. 

Show Notes: 

Public Services and Procurement Canada recently awarded a contract valued at $5.7m to Marine Recycling Corporation for the disposal of the Royal Canadian Navy's (RCN) former Iroquois-class destroyer, HMCS Athabaskan. 

As part of the contract, the company is responsible for towing the vessel to its facility located in Sydney, Nova Scotia. At this location, Marine Recycling will then demilitarise equipment, remedy hazardous waste and recycling of any remaining materials. 


The Canadian Special Operations Forces Command (CANSOFCOM) has accepted delivery of its first Ultra-Light Combat Vehicles (ULCV). These vehicles, which were procured from Polaris Industries Limited.  

In December 2016, the Government of Canada announced a contract valued at $20.6M to Polaris Industries Limited for the acquisition of 52 ULCV along with the option to procure an additional 26 vehicles over a two-year period at an additional cost.  

CAF’s Nunavut Exercise 

The Canadian Armed Forces has many plans already in place for its annual Nunalivut spring sovereignty exercise, which the Nunavut Impact Review Board is now reviewing. 

Every year since 2007, the military, backed by the Canadian Rangers, has headed north to test its soldiers and equipment in cold weather conditions. 

This year, according to a Department of Defence submission to the NIRB, most of the exercises during will take place in Cambridge Bay, the home of the Canadian High Arctic Research Station, with some planned for Resolute Bay, where the Canadian Armed Forces Arctic Training Centre is located. 

Jan 23, 2018

NATO’s Chiefs of Defence meeting and new sanctions against North Korea 

In this episode, NATO’s Chiefs of Defence held their first meeting of year, Canada does not have much room to introduce new sanctions against North Korea and Cascade Aerospace to upgrade C-130 aircraft for the Mexican Air Force. 

NATO Chiefs of Defence  

At the 178th Military Committee in Chiefs of Defence Session held at NATO Headquarters in Brussels on the Jan 16th and 17th, the Allied Chiefs of Defence focused political and military priorities. 

At the session, the topics of military contribution to security and stabilization in Europe’s southern neighborhood, the NATO Command Structure (NCS) adaptation, the Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan and the Global Coalition against ISIS and NATO’s role in Iraq were all discussed.  

New sanctions against North Korea 

Canada may almost be out of options when it comes to developing new sanctions against North Korea. This is something that came out of the recent summit in Vancouver. Delegates from 20 countries left the summit pledging to consider new measures against Kim Jong-un's regime. 

But the way it looks, Canada may not have much room to introduce new sanctions because it already has significant independent measures in place, according to the CBC. 

A government official told CBC News that Ottawa will always evaluate its options, but what is in place now is already very strong. 

Canada has a wide-ranging ban on trade, financial interactions and weapons with North Korea. The plan includes a few exceptions for humanitarian support. 

When new sanctions were put in place last year by the United Nations Security Council, some of those measures were in line with regulations Canada already had in place. 

At the summit, participants agreed to "consider and take steps to impose unilateral sanctions and further diplomatic actions that go beyond those required by UN Security Council resolutions." 

But what those efforts could look like, were not disclosed.  

Cascade Aerospace C-130 Hercules aircraft 

Cascade Aerospace has been contracted to perform avionics modernisation of one (FAM) L-100 (C-130) Hercules aircraft for the Mexican Air Force. 

The program is contracted through the Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC) under a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between the governments of Canada and Mexico in November 2013. 

Under the terms of the new contract, the company will be responsible for the installation and integration of Rockwell Collins’ advanced Flight2 digital avionics suite. 

Cascade Aerospace will also be responsible for delivering operational and technical training for the Mexican Air Force personnel at the company’s facility and headquarters in Abbotsford, British Columbia. 

Jan 15, 2018

SMP trucks delayed and President Trump and NAFTA In this episode, delivery of new SMP trucks delayed, Canada is convinced that President Trump will pull out of NAFTA, and Lockheed Martin enhances capability of its Aegis Missile-Defense System. Show Notes: There has been a delay in the delivery of the Standard Military Pattern or SMP trucks from Mack Defense. The Canadian Armed Forces was supposed to start receiving the first of its new SMP trucks by the summer of 2017 but that was pushed to the end of 2017. But now the truck delivery has been delayed once again. This is due to issues with certain aspects on the trucks that has to be dealt with. “The qualification testing has led to necessary changes in the vehicle that will be incorporated prior to delivering the equipment to the Canadian Armed Forces,” said Department of National Defence spokesman Andrew McKelvey. NAFTA Canada is increasingly convinced that President Donald Trump will soon announce the United States intends to pull out of NAFTA. One of the Canadian government sources also said later it was not certain that Trump would move against the treaty and that Ottawa was prepared for many scenarios. But even the prospect of potential damage to the three nations’ integrated economies sparked market concerns. The Canadian dollar weakened to its lowest this year against the greenback on Wednesday as the NAFTA concerns tempered bets that the Bank of Canada will raise interest rates next week. Mike Archibald, associate portfolio manager at AGF Investments in Toronto, cited “a tremendous amount of uncertainty on the horizon”. Canadian government bond prices rose across the yield curve and railway, pipeline and other tradesensitive stocks weighed on the country’s main index. Mexico’s currency also weakened and stocks extended losses. Royal Bank of Canada’s Chief Executive Dave McKay said on Tuesday he believed there was now a greater chance that NAFTA could be scrapped. Separately, a U.S. source close to the White House quoted Trump as saying “I want out” as the talks drag on with little sign of progress. Aegis Missile-Defense System Lockheed Martin Corp said on Thursday it had connected key components of its new long-range discrimination radar (LRDR) with its Aegis Ashore missile-defense system to enhance Aegis's capabilities. With this technology, the Aegis missile-defense system - a collection of radar stations and interceptors - will be simultaneously able to detect threats from longer distances and combat targets with reduced reaction time, the U.S. weapons maker said.

Jan 8, 2018

Global arms sales on the rise and Canada invests in quantum technology 

In this episode, Marcello Sukhdeo talks about the rise in global arms sales, Canada and UAE sign defence cooperation agreement and the investment of the government in quantum technology. 

Show Notes: 

The world’s 100 biggest weapons companies have increased arm sales for the first time in five years, reaching more than 370 billion dollars annually.  

In its annual assessment of global arms sales, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute recently published a report that shows that last year saw the end of five consecutive years of decline with a 1.9 per cent increase in total sales.  

“The growth in arms sales was expected and is driven by the implementation of new national major weapons programmes, ongoing military operations in several countries and persistent regional tensions that are leading to increased demand for weapons,” the report states.   

Those weapons programmes include substantial investment in naval and air capacity, including submarines in the US and UK, as well as new-generation combat aircraft such as the F-35, made by Lockheed Martin. The US, with the world’s largest defence budget, has identified spending last year of $45bn on aircraft and related systems and $27bn on shipbuilding and maritime systems.  

Canada and UAE sign defence cooperation agreement 

Canada and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have signed a defence cooperation arrangement that will make it easier for the Canadian defence industry to access one of the world’s most lucrative arms markets and bolster military ties between the two countries. 

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan signed the agreement during his five-day tour of the Middle East that included stops in Jordan, the UAE and Kuwait. 

“The signing of the Canada-UAE Defence Cooperation Arrangement is a testament to the enduring partnership between our nations,” Sajjan said in a statement. “We will continue our joint efforts to counter violent extremism in the Middle East as we work to build a more peaceful and prosperous world for both Canadians and the Emirati people.” 

The UAE ranks among the top 15 defence spenders in the world, according to Business Monitor International. 

Government of Canada invests in national security technology 

The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) is awarding $1.5 million to the University of Waterloo's Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) to lead the science of a mission called the Quantum Encryption and Science Satellite (QEYSSat), which will protect the communications and data of Canadians on Earth and in space. 

It is estimated that within 10 to 20 years, the encryption codes used by computers today will be easily decoded by high-performing quantum computers, making current encryption technology obsolete. 

This investment will advance encryption methods, which use highly advanced computing technology to create unbreakable security codes.