OTTAWA — The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, today announced the award of a $7 million contract to Raytheon Canada. These funds will be used to build and install a next-generation High Frequency Surface Wave Radar (HFSWR) system and to assess the performance of this technology in an operational environment.
“Our Government is committed to protecting Canadian sovereignty,” said Minister MacKay. “Undertaking research into surveillance technologies is vital to supporting the military’s effort to monitor maritime approaches.”
Traditional radars detect targets that are within the line of sight and cannot detect those which are over the horizon. Consequently, long-range detection of surface vessels currently requires patrols by aircraft, which are costly and do not always provide persistent coverage. Ground-based HFSWR has the potential to address this shortcoming by transmitting and receiving electromagnetic waves that travel along the curved ocean surface, allowing over-the horizon detection of vessels. Because Canadian industry has been involved in the development of HFSWR from the beginning, it is in a good position to capitalize on the technology and develop commercial products.
This contract is part of the Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) project entitled Persistent Active Surveillance of the Exclusive Economic Zone (PASE). PASE was initiated in 2007 and supports the surveillance by the Canadian Forces (CF) of Canada’s maritime approaches by exploring the performance of commercially available and developmental sensor systems.
This final step of the project involves in-depth trials carried out jointly by DRDC and Raytheon Canada at Hartlen Point in Nova Scotia. Project results are anticipated to be presented to the CF early in 2014.
“This technology demonstration project is an excellent example of industry and government working together to meet military requirements by advancing science and technology and engaging the Canadian innovation system,” said Dr. Marc Fortin, CEO DRDC. “In this dynamic technological climate, DRDC’s programs ensure that the CF have the scientifically-based information needed to consider the technological options that will best serve their needs.”
DRDC is Canada’s leader in defence and security science and technology in an ever-evolving defence and security environment. An agency of the Canadian Department of National Defence, DRDC provides DND and the Government of Canada the knowledge and technologies needed for national defence and security.
Department of National Defence, Canada