The Department of National Defence (DND) budget for 2020-21 has been set at $23.4 billion, a 1% increase over the previous year.
Increasing role of space at DND
In his cover letter in this years DND Departmental Plan (DP) Minister of National Defence Harjit S. Sajjan stated that “Canada cannot be an island of stability in an ocean of turmoil. Eventually negative ripples will reach our shores. If we are to remain secure at home, we must contribute to peace and stability abroad. Canada’s defence policy positions us to do that. We recognize the importance of our relationship with the United States and our ongoing work together to protect our shared continent through the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).”
With that in mind it’s important to note a recent event at DND that will change how Canada works with the US. In March DND announced that Brigadier-General (BGen.) Kevin G. Whale would become the first senior General Officer to work at the United States Air Force Space Command (USAFSPC) in Colorado Springs. BGen. Whale has been serving as the Director General and Joint Force Component Commander for Space.
The appointment of BGen. Whale is part on expanding role of space at DND that’s seen an increase in integration of space across the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) ecosystem along with an increase of resources. The podcast and accompanying presentation below provides some detail and insights.
BGen. Kevin Whale DND presentation at CASI ASTRO 2019CASI_ASTRO_DG_Space_Brief_EN
Department of National Defence budget for 2020-21
As with the Canadian Space Agency budget, the DND DP provides an overview of DND planned spending for the coming year without providing spending by program.
As well, the DP does not mention specific space programs, only references to how space is part of an integrated approach.
One program that includes space that does get some mention is the Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security (IDEaS) program.
The DP results indicator for IDEaS states a “% of Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security (IDEaS) projects that resulted in useful advice, adoption, integration or eventual procurement of a new defence and security capability” has a target of 20% with a target date to achieve this by March 31, 2022. It will be interesting to see if DND meets this target.
With respect to newer programs that are space related, we know DND is working on the following initiatives:
- The Enhanced Satellite Communications Project – Polar.
- Project Grey Jay.
- Space-based surveillance system.
- RADARSAT Constellation Mission follow-on.
- Hyper-Spectral Imaging Satellites.