Canada is planning a $65 million facility for warship systems located at Hartlen Point in Nova Scotia.
The multimillion-dollar facility will be used for assessing the combat, navigation, and communication systems of Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC) ships. According to reports, the vessels are longer and heavier than the country’s Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships, so a much larger testing site will be needed.
“Due to the complexity of the CSC combat systems, these systems must be integrated and commissioned to ensure the systems function correctly before they’re installed on the ships,” the Department of National Defence (DND) explained in an email exchange with national public broadcaster CBC.
“As there are no existing facilities capable of supporting this type of testing for CSC in Canada, we will deliver a new, land-based testing facility to house, test, and evaluate the combat systems of an operational ship as part of the CSC’s rigorous tests and trials program,” it added.
The budget for the new testing site is already included in the multibillion-dollar federal shipbuilding procurement process.
The location of the new facility has been cited by several officials as highly advantageous. The land on which the site is to be located is owned by the DND and has abundant space for buildings and military equipment.
The location also allows 130-degree live transmission of emitters at sea. This feature is necessary when testing new warships.
Since the site will be situated near the coast, Canadian ships will also be able to conduct drills to check the new systems to help assess how new systems integrate with older ones.
Last month, the Canadian military announced that it will procure $5 billion in unmanned aerial vehicles for surveillance, reconnaissance, and delivering pinpoint airstrikes.
“We have not finalized the basing locations, but there certainly will be a centralized ground control node in Ottawa. And we will have an east and a west maintenance detachment where we will locate vehicles, air vehicles, and launch and recovery teams,” Royal Canadian Air Force commander Lt. Gen. Al Meinzinger explained.
The US State Department has also approved the sale of an Aegis Combat System to Canada in a deal valued at $1.7 billion. The radar and missile system is expected to improve interoperability between the navies of the two allied countries.