The Canadian military is expediting the acquisition of sophisticated air defense and anti-tank weapon systems for its troops in Latvia, according to a report by Ottawa Citizen.
The systems are being classified as an “urgent operational requirement,” similar to an acquisition during the Afghanistan war.
Under the classification, Ottawa can obtain arms and gear more quickly without going through the traditional procurement process.
The timeline and cost of the acquisition have not been disclosed. Industry representatives estimate it will be more than 500 million Canadian dollars ($372 million).
Apart from the air defense and anti-tank weapon systems, the Canadian Army will acquire a counter-drone system for the country’s mission in eastern Europe.
Response to Russia’s Invasion
Canada’s decision to fast-track its acquisition of critical military equipment comes as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine nears its first anniversary.
Along with other Western nations, the country has been ramping up its defense procurement amid fears of escalation.
Canadian military officials believe the federal government should invest billions of dollars in new armaments to defend itself.
They are calling on the local defense industry to move to a war-footing to produce larger quantities of military equipment.
According to the Ottawa Citizen report, Canada’s new air defense system would be used to assess air-based threats from within the Baltic region.
The mobile counter-drone system would neutralize small unmanned aerial systems and “ensure freedom of action for operations in the land domain for forces deployed on Operation Reassurance.”