The Government of Canada New Defence Acquisition Guide Outlines MilSpace Priority Acquisitions

The Honourable Rob Nicholson, Minister of National Defence yesterday outlined the governments inaugural annual Defence Acquisition Guide yesterday and it contains upwards of $5.9 billion military space related projects.

While the Defence Acquisition Guide will be updated every year going forward it will also receive a “substantial” refresh every three years which aligns with the Canadian Armed Forces investment planning cycle.
Three of the priority projects listed include the Polar Communications and Weather project at over $1.5 billion, the Tactical Narrowband SATCOM project which would cost upwards to $1.5 billion and the North Warning System (NWS) Replacement which also would cost more than $1.5 billion.
The Polar Communications and Weather Project in particular has been a project the armed forces have been wanting to move forward with as quick as possible.
The Tactical Narrowband SATCOM project is also another ket part of the armed forces
SATCOM Roadmap. it would provide global Ultra-High Frequency (UHF) SATCOM essential for Beyond Line Of Sight communications for tactical operations and highly-mobile platforms.
The North Warning System (NWS) Replacement project would see the ground segment stations of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) replaced.
Another notable project listed is the Medium Earth Orbit Search and Rescue (MEOSAR) project which completed its Preliminary Design Review this February. The project would see up to 24 Search and Rescue (SAR) repeaters piggy-backed on the U.S. Air Force’s next-generation GPS III constellation.
“I am pleased to launch the first edition of the Defence Acquisition Guide. With the release of this document, our government is responding to the needs of industry by engaging early on matters of procurement,” said Minister Nicholson. “This is part of our Government’s commitment to strengthening industry while also ensuring that the Canadian Armed Forces have the best possible equipment at the best possible price.”
“The Defence Acquisitions Guide is an important tool that not only strengthens industry’s ability to compete, but creates new opportunities for greater dialogue between government and industry in Canada, enhancing the procurement process as a whole,” said Jim Quick, President and CEO of the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada.
While the Defence Acquisition Guide contains projects considered a priority today, it is subject to change based on changing national priorities and as needs evolve.
It should be noted that not all the projects the armed forces wanted are included in the Defence Acquisition Guide. The government is working within what it considers Canada’s economic capabilities and chose projects accordingly taking into account what the armed forces consider high priority projects.
One notable omission is indigenous satellite launch capability which this government is opposed to.
Here are the Military Space related projects and budget estimates by Directorate.
Director General Space (Upwards $3.77 billion)
– Polar Communications and Weather (More than $1.5 billion)
The PCW Project is a Whole of Government (WoG) initiative to address broad priorities in the North. The objectives of PCW are to provide reliable narrowband SATCOM for tactical and highly-mobile operations, to provide reliable military and civil wideband SATCOM for large data and imagery transfer, to provide meteorological information for forecasting and to monitor climate change, and to provide space weather monitoring.
– Tactical Narrowband SATCOM ($500 million to – $1.5 billion)
The Tactical Narrowband Satellite Communication (TNS) Project will, along with the Polar Communications and Weather Project, complete the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) SATCOM Roadmap. The objective of TNS is to provide global Ultra-High Frequency (UHF) SATCOM, essential for Beyond Line Of Sight (BLOS) communications for tactical operations and highly-mobile platforms. In addressing its global aspect, the Arctic was directed to become a part of the TNS mandate. As a result, the Project Team will consider the addition of an Arctic Constellation to meet CAF requirements in the Canadian North (see Polar Communications and Weather Project).
– Medium Earth Orbit Search and Rescue (MEOSAR) ($100 to $249 million)
The Medium Earth Orbit Search and Rescue (MEOSAR) project will deliver a space segment, comprising up to 24 Search and Rescue (SAR) repeaters that will piggy-back on the satellites of the United States Air Force’s (USAF) next-generation GPS III constellation.
– Polar Epsilon 2 (PE2) ($100 – $249 million)
Polar Epsilon 2 (PE2) will enhance exisiting Polar Epsilon (PE) capabilities by significantly increasing the government of Canada’s near-real time situational awareness of activities in Canada’s three ocean approaches and through increased surveillance persistence of Canada’s Arctic and global areas of interest.
– Surveillance of Space 2 (SofS 2) ($100 – $249 million)
The Surveillance of Space 2 (SofS 2) will provide Space Surveillance data through a space-based and/or ground-based sensor system to the U.S. Joint Space Operations Center (JSpOC), the organization responsible for running the U.S. Space Surveillance Network (SSN). One of the many products derived from the JSpOC is Space Situational Awareness (SSA). SSA is key to enabling Canada to gain a clear understanding of the space order of battle.
– Mercury Global – Strategic Deployable Terminals (Under $20 million)
The Mercury Global (MG) Project will deliver military satellite communications (SATCOM) wideband capabilities that address beyond line of sight (BLOS) communications deficiencies globally (between 70 degree N and 70 degree S) by enabling SATCOM connectivity for domestic or international operations to meet the command and control (C2) needs of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF).
Director Cyber Force Development (Upwards $500 million)
– Cyber Security Architecture ($100 – $249 million)
The Cyber Security Architecture (CSA) Project will establish an overarching information technology infrastructure that will permit automated operations throughout the entire cyber terrain. This will be accomplished by implementing a security service orientated architecture that encompasses everything from CAF weapon systems to C2 and corporate enterprises.
– Computer Network Defence ($50 to $99 million)
The Computer Network Defence (CND) Project will provide technical solutions to safeguard Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) data confidentiality, integrity and availability by modernizing protection technologies and implementing an automated detection and response capabilities.
– Computer Network Operations Training ($20 to $49 million)
The Computer Network Operations (CNO) training project will provide the supporting infrastructure and equipment to execute the recruitment, education and training of specialized elements of the Cyber Force.
– Identity Credential Access Management ($20 to $49 million)
The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Identity, Credential and Access Management (ICAM) Project will support a unique identity for each person and network devices accessing CAF information resources. A standardized and centrally managed identification and credentialing process will be instituted.
– Network Command Control Integrated Situation Awareness Capability ($20 to $49 million)
The Network Command and Control Integrated Situational Awareness Capability (Net C2 ISAC) will provide the end-to-end view of the status of network services which directly support operations in order to help ensure the confidentiality, availability and integrity of those services.
Director Naval Requirements $150m
– Maritime Satellite Communications Upgrade ($50 to $99 million)
To provide a satellite communications (SATCOM) fit to Halifax, Kingston and Protecteur Class ships that will meet class-specific Information Exchange Requirements (IERs), with an initial look to the year 2020, as well as meet interoperability requirements of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and Allies.
– Maritime Tactical Command and Control ($20 to $49 million)
To upgrade the tactical Command and Control system for HMC Ships and Submarines and replace the Global Command and Control System – Maritime V4.0.3.
Director Air Domain Development
– North Warning System (NWS) Replacement (More than $1.5 billion)
To replace aging, Canadian-based, North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) North Warning Systems (NWS) and equipment in use beyond their estimated life expectancy.

About Marc Boucher

Boucher is an entrepreneur, writer, editor & publisher. He is the founder of SpaceQ Media Inc. and CEO and co-founder of SpaceRef Interactive LLC. Boucher has 20+ years working in various roles in the space industry and a total of 30 years as a technology entrepreneur including creating Maple Square, Canada's first internet directory and search engine.