OTTAWA, Canada: Over the next six years, Canada will spend $4.9 billion Canadian (US$3.8 billion) to modernize its aging military defense systems.
Defense Minister Anita Anand said the funding, the first of an estimated $40 billion Canadian, will be spent over the next 20 years to upgrade the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), a joint U.S.-Canadian early warning system.
"As autocratic regimes threaten the rules-based international order that has protected for decades, and as our competitors develop new technologies like hypersonic weapons and advanced cruise missiles, there is a pressing need to modernize Canada's NORAD capabilities," Anand said, as reported by the Associated Press.
The system, set up in the 1950s, is responsible for detecting incoming airborne and maritime threats to North America, including missiles and aircraft.
The new funding will include command and control systems, advanced air-to-air missiles, and new radar networks to detect threats coming over the Arctic.
"Canada can no longer rely on its geography to protect Canadians," Anand said.