DND considers drone purchase

Canada is contemplating the $1 billion purchase of new drones, the Ottawa Citizen reports.

The government explored the purchase of the unmanned aerial vehicles during the Libyan conflict, but the Department of National Defence (DND) abandoned the idea when the mission ended in August 2011.

The military has since relaunched the program to purchase UAVs, with a focus on Arctic missions, David Pugliese reports this morning.

The Canadian Forces used unarmed drones during the Afghan war and has been trying to purchase a new fleet of armed drones since 2007.

DND started its purchse project in 2008 but had to divert funding to other equipment programs. Documents show that military leaders saw the Libyan war as a possible opportunity to advance the UAV program.

In May 2012, U.S. aerospace firm Northrop Grumman announced it had made an unsolicited pitch to the Conservative government for the purchase of unarmed drones, which could provide surveillance in the Arctic by transmitting video to ground stations during its flight.

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