Canada is experiencing partial delays in acquiring new robotic mine-hunting systems for the Canadian Navy, according to a report by Ottawa Citizen.
The first batch of robots that detect and dispose of underwater mines was supposed to be delivered to the navy by the end of the year.
However, industry officials told the media outlet that defense procurement officials are bungling the $35-million project.
The Department of National Defence has confirmed the delays in the acquisition process. However, it said that the interruption has been caused by the need for further discussions with the defense industry.
It also revealed that the delays were caused by the country’s refocusing of internal resources to prioritize equipment donations to Ukraine.
Apart from the mine-hunting systems, the DND said no other projects are affected by the prioritization of equipment purchases for Kyiv.
Remote Mine-Hunting and Disposal System
The Remote Mine-hunting and Disposal System, or RMDS, is a modular, stand-off naval mine countermeasure device designed to improve underwater domain awareness.
It is capable of detecting, classifying, and disposing of sea mines that pose a threat to the Canadian Navy and impede the conduct of maritime operations.
The RMDS would reportedly leverage commercial off-the-shelf unmanned systems and autonomous underwater vehicle technology.
The robots will be integrated into the Canadian Navy’s Kingston-class vessels.
The procurement process started in 2017, with bids requested in mid-2021.
Focus on Ukraine
Weeks after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine, Western countries including Canada pledged their support for Kyiv.
Earlier this year, Ottawa sent weapons to Kyiv to help it defend against Moscow’s aggression.
It also offered 500 million Canadian dollars ($393 million) to bolster Ukraine’s defense capabilities.
Additionally, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that his country would provide Ukraine with 39 armored vehicles originally earmarked for the Canadian military.
A C-17 Globemaster departed CFB Trenton last night carrying non-lethal military equipment as part of Canada’s support to Ukraine and the extension and expansion of #OpUNIFIER, the CAF training and capacity-building mission in Ukraine. https://t.co/ZznOhHnJqS pic.twitter.com/k8tmeCGU2K
— Canadian Armed Forces (@CanadianForces) February 4, 2022