Tag: Cyber

Australia trying to figure out who stole F-35 data

U.S. Air Force F-35A Lightning II

Australia is trying to determine who is behind what has been called an extensive hack of sensitive defence information.

About 30GB of data was compromised in the hack on a government contractor, the BBC and other news outlets have reported. That information included commercially sensitive data on Australia’s F-35 program. Data on P-8 Poseidon aircraft and C-130 transport aircraft was also compromised. Naval data was also included in the hack.

“It could be one of a number of different actors,” Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne told the Australian Broadcasting Corp “It could be a state actor, (or) a non-state actor. It could be someone who was working for another company.”

He said the information was not classified.

Australia’s special advisor on cyber security, Alastair MacGibbon, said there are a number of ways the breach could have taken place. “Unfortunately, there are a range of ways that the attacker could have got in, including default passwords on certain key parts of the IT infrastructure of the target company,” he told the Australian Broadcasting Corp.

The target of the hack was an aerospace firm with about 50 employees.


Estonian president discusses migration, digital issues with Italian colleague

Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid met with Italian President Sergio Mattarella on Monday

Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid on Monday met with Italian President Sergio Mattarella who hosted a lunch in honor of the Estonian head of state in Rome, during which the presidents discussed the migration crisis, opportunities of the digital society and the future of the European Union.

“The fact that hundreds of thousands of migrants from Africa arrive in Italy every year — and for many years in a row — is not Italy’s problem. It is a problem of the whole of Europe and so all of us hold the key to solving the problem. As Italian fighters will protect our airspace in Amari next year, we must also understand joint concerns that are to the south of us. An not only understand them, but also contribute to solving them,” the president said after the meeting.

The heads of state at the meeting focused on discussing the opportunities of the digital society and questions concerning cyber security. Kaljulaid said that many modern dangers do not depend on geography.

“Those risks are similar in Rome and Tallinn and this is why cooperation between countries is important, a good example of which is the participation of Italy in the work of our NATO Cooperative Cyber Defense Center of Excellence (CCDCOE) in Tallinn since its launch,” the president said.

Speaking about the future of the European Union, Kaljulaid first and foremost considered it important that the member states remain united in important questions. “This is our — Estonia’s, and in reality the whole of EU’s — strategic interest. Europe is faced with a number of challenges, but no member state can solve a big problem alone better than together,” Kaljulaid said.

The president on Monday evening will open an exhibition at the Italian National Gallery of Modern Art that will feature the works of Estonian painter Konrad Magi. Kaljulaid on Tuesday will visit three schools in Rome and gift them with reproductions of Magi’s painting “Landscape of Italy. Rome.”


If Russia started World War III, here’s how it would go down

Mi-24Ps Russian Air Force

If drawn into a war against Russia, U.S. and NATO forces would first begin combating Russian cyberattacks, misinformation and third-party surrogate forces, said retired Gen. Herbert “Hawk” Carlisle, former head of Air Combat Command.

Carlisle said fighting likely will follow a period of steadily rising tensions and warnings. That would give the U.S. enough notice to start moving more airplanes, preparing logistics, and increasing combat capability in Europe, he said.

Nevertheless, the Russians could seize the initiative and move quickly, putting the U.S. at a big disadvantage.



Russia mobilizes for ZAPAD 2017. But how prepared is the Baltic Region?


A pair of Sukhoi Su-24M Heavy Strike Aircraft

The Russian practice, known as Zapad-17, seems to be the biggest exercise in the history of the Russian Federation. Ukraine’s Security Council has concluded that a total of 230,000 to 240,000 people will participate.

Western reviewers have talked about up to 100,000 participants.

Zapad-17, which starts officially on September 14th, can be described as a seizure exercise in which Russia’s ability to mobilize and go to war quickly will be practiced. The exercise takes place every four years, where the main exercises rotate between the different Russian military areas.

At the 2009 exercise, Russia was pursuing Warsaw in Poland with tactical nuclear weapons. Outside the exercise period, but the same year as Zapad-13, Russia practiced tactical nuclear weapons attacks against Sweden.

This year’s training activities are located both to neighboring Belarus and to Kaliningrad, Leningrad, Pskov and Smolensk oblast, as well as in the Baltic Sea.

Russia will also put its rail system on trial, as well as cyber-fighting units and nuclear weapons forces.

Officially, Russia is hacking up its exercises, all in order to avoid current Western inspections. According to the OSCE’s Wi-Fi document, more than 13,000 exercises have to be pre-advertised, as countries such as Sweden and Finland, as well as the NATO Alliance, have the right to send their own observers.

But this border is on the side of Russia, and takes advantage of the opportunity to test preparedness.

Emergency preparedness checks need not be pre-notified in accordance with the Wiendokument and are without obligation to invite observers. So what the paper is a little exercise, or several small ones is in fact a giant exercise that Russia keeps visitors away from.

And here’s an important difference between NATO’s open, transparent and long-term practice and Russian secret culture.

The exercise also means full mobilization in Kaliningrad, and that the reserves for the 76th airland division in Pskov have been called up.

The Russian Federation enclave of Kaliningrad.

Exercise in Russia has also been used several times to mask future military operations against other countries. During Kavkaz-08, the Russian troops remained in the field to shortly attack Georgia.
Zapad-13 was used to pinch and plan for the aggression against Ukraine, which was then carried out in 2014.

Center-15 was used as “cover up” to hide what kind of help was sent to Assad in Syria.

Last week, two Russian fighter aircraft violated Swedish airspace east of Gotland. It is based on this experience that nervousness in the West is particularly great, what really happens after the exercise? US Commander in Europe, General Ben Hodges, has been warned that Zapad may be a “Trojan horse” that places Russian soldiers and equipment in Belarus and can then be moved on.

And there are signs of increased number of provocations. Last week, two Russian fighter aircraft violated Swedish airspace east of Gotland.

Russia’s attempt to send the Kruzenstern school ship with 164 cadets on board to Mariehamn on Åland during Zapad-17 was stopped this week. Åland’s demilitarized position means that Finland is responsible for the defense of Åland without being allowed to prepare for this in peacetime.

The Russian Navy Cadet Training Ship Kruzenstern

But Finland also has the power to deny “state ships” to call at Åland. What is now used with Kruzenstern. The Finnish Chief of Staff has announced refusal, without further explanation. The most likely is Russia wanted to test Finland’s reactions with the visit, although a nightmare scenario is the ship would have been used for “green men”. “Green men” refers to masked soldiers in unmarked green army uniforms and carrying modern Russian military weapons and equipment that appeared during the Ukrainian crisis of 2014.

Åland’s demilitarized status and the legal basis of the 1921 Åland Convention and the bilateral peace agreement with the Soviet Union in 1940 (as confirmed in Paris 1947) makes the island’s vulnerability at least as great as Gotlands in the increasingly hot Baltic region.

Instead, the Russian propaganda now learns to grind additional laps of fears of terror from the event surrounding the school ship.

The official reason behind the planned schooling visit was a visit because Mariehamn wants to host Tall Ships Race 2021. Instead, the Russian propaganda now learns to grind additional laps of fears of terror from the event surrounding the school ship.

But already the week before the current visit, Åland is visited by a Swedish-Russian “peace action”. There, activists from Sweden and Russia will conduct activism during an escalating scenario. From Sweden, two environmentalist parliamentarians, Carl Schlyter and Annika Lillimets participate.

No participant from Finland is expected to have a strong reaction to being just an external influence on Åland. “Peace activists” thus help to increase the security policy tension.

Finland has also announced that it is running local defense exercises to improve government cooperation, among other things. It should also be read in plain text to be able to handle “green men”. The troops practice in Kajanaland, South Karelia, South Savolax, Southern Finland and Satakunta.

Finnish Civil Defence Exercises are underway as of 30 August 2017

The message that Finland is close to its friends was strengthened when President Niinistö visited Donald Trump in the White House on Monday evening, Swedish time. There, the US President stressed the ties to Finland and that the USA was “very protective, extremely protective” in the Baltic Sea Region.

At the same time, Trump avoided direct questions if he regards Russia as a threat, yet stressing that if threats appear “we’ll handle them.”

“We are doing everything to preserve peace in the Baltic Sea area,” said President Sauli Niinistö from the Speaker’s Court in the White House. “When I met Putin a few weeks ago, I asked about the Chinese navy practicing Russia. Putin replied that that exercise was not aimed at anyone. Then I found out that we are practicing with the United States and Sweden, and it is not aimed at anyone either. ”

Prior to Zapad’s practice, NATO has strengthened with, among other things, 600 skid hunters in the Baltics. It is not an impressive numeral but should be seen as a signal to Russia that if one finds something, one gets to fight with more Americans, and in itself it can be war-restrained.

In Sweden, Zapad partially coincides with its own defense defense exercise Aurora 17 (18-27 September), where almost half of the Swedish defense team participates in 19,000 people together with connections from Finland, Denmark, Norway, Estonia, Lithuania, France and the United States.

Aurora is the largest Swedish exercise of nearly a quarter of a century and an important reconciliation in the work of getting a defense consisting of two brigades. This is comparable to the fact that the Swedish defense in 1971 had 31 brigades.

Preparations are in full swing for the Swedish Armed Forces exercise Aurora this September. All Swedish air wings will participate.

But despite the fact that the Russian exercise is expected to be closer to five times as big as the total Swedish defense and twelve times as high as Aurora-17, the Swedish debate and media reports are more dominated by various peace activists demonstration plans and questioning of Swedish practice.

One who walks in these footsteps is Left Party leader Jonas Sjöstedt who equals the level of provocations between the Russian offensive nuclear weapons exercise with the defense force’s defense exercise.

Some major protests against the Russian aggressive exercise, including nuclear weapons, we can not see from the peace movement in Sweden. So Gudrun Schyman, Sven Hirdman, with several teachings, continues to wear shades, earlobes and eyelashes to continue living in another reality.

And as the Ukrainian Security Council notes on its website: “Zapad-17 is another step for Russia to promote confrontation on the European continent. It requires a truly serious response from both West and Ukraine. The state leadership, Ukrainian defense and other security and detention agencies are now taking the necessary steps to protect our state. ”

The warning for autumn storms in the Baltic Sea area is thus here. There may be a lot of cold to handle both accidental and deliberate incidents.

By the way, Peter Hultqvist is the best defense minister Sweden can have in this position.

Swedish Defence minister Peter Hultqvist and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg

By Patrik Oksanen, security and defense policy consultant for several of the MittMedia Group’s liberal and center party leader pages. Oksanen is a daily editor of Hudiksvalls Tidning and currently a political editor at ÖP.







Stratcom Commander Describes Challenges of 21st-Century Deterrence

Strategic deterrence starts with nuclear capabilities because nuclear war always has been an existential threat to the nation, but deterrence in the 21st century presents new challenges and requires the integration of all capabilities, the commander of U.S. Strategic Command said during a recent interview with DoD News at his command’s Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, headquarters.  

Air Force Gen. John E. Hyten said his three priorities for Stratcom are simple: one, above all else provide a strategic deterrent; two, if deterrence fails provide a decisive response; and three, respond with a combat-ready force.

But unlike in past decades, the 21st century presents more than one adversary and more than one domain, he said.

“It’s now a multipolar problem with many nations that have nuclear weapons, … and it’s also multidomain. … We have adversaries that are looking at integrating nuclear, conventional, space and cyber, all as part of a strategic deterrent. We have to think about strategic deterrence in the same way,” Hyten said.

The vision for Stratcom, he added, is to integrate all capabilities — nuclear, space, cyberspace, missile defense, global strike, electronic warfare, intelligence, targeting, analysis — so they can be brought to bear in a single decisive response if the nation is threatened.

“We can’t [assume] that having 1,550 deployed strategic nuclear weapons under the New START Treaty somehow deters all our adversaries. It doesn’t,” the general said. “We have to think about all the domains, all the adversaries, all the capabilities, and focus our attention across the board on all of those.”


Modernization is critical to the future of the U.S. deterrent capability, Hyten said, because all elements of the nuclear triad — bombers, intercontinental ballistic missiles and nuclear submarines — will reach a point within about 15 years at which they’re no longer viable.

“They are viable today. They are safe, secure, reliable, ready, [and] they can do all the missions they need to do today,” he said. “But in the not-too-distant future, that won’t be the case. Sadly, we’ve delayed the modernization of those programs really too long. And now if you lay all the modernization programs out on a single table and you look at when they all deliver, they all deliver just in time.”

The next intercontinental ballistic missile delivers just in time to replace the Minuteman, and the Columbia nuclear submarine delivers just in time to replace the Ohio-class sub, he added.

“Any one-year delay in Columbia means the future Stratcom commander is going to be down one submarine. And any future delay in the ICBM means we’re going to be down a certain number of ICBMs,” Hyten said.

It’s the same with the nation’s B-52 and B-2 bombers, the general said. The B-52 is an old but amazing weapon delivery platform that will have no penetration capability because of evolving penetration profiles. The B-2 is aging out and must be replaced by the B-21. The B-21 will come along just in time to provide the bomber capabilities the nation needs, he added.

“I don’t want a future Stratcom commander to ever face a day where we don’t have a safe, secure, ready and reliable nuclear deterrent,” he said. “It has to be there.”

Extended Deterrence

Extended deterrence is another critical job for Stratcom, Hyten said, noting that assurance is one of the most important things the command does for U.S. allies.

“When you look at our allies like the Republic of Korea or Japan, we have capabilities here that provide an extended deterrent for those two allies and a number of other allies around the world,” he said. “It’s important that the United States always assure them that we will be there with the capabilities that we have if they’re ever attacked with nuclear capabilities. That’s what extended deterrence means.”

Assurance can come through demonstrations, partnerships and exercises, he noted.

“There is a challenge right now with North Korea, and it’s very important for the Republic of Korea and for Japan to know that we will be there. And we will be,” he said.

The Pentagon considers North Korean mobile ballistic missiles a top threat

Stratcom’s Strength

Stratcom’s strength lies with the 184,000 people who show up and do Stratcom business every day, Hyten said.

“The best part of being a commander is actually seeing the young men and women who do this mission every day,” the general said. “The soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines sign up to do some of the most difficult jobs that our country has, and man, they do it, they love it and they’re good at it.”

Hyten said he can’t emphasize the importance of Stratcom’s people enough. “Sometimes it brings tears to your eyes when you see the quality of the people who come, who raise their hand and want to come and serve our country,” he added.

The general said he loves the fact that Stratcom’s people raise their hands and swear an oath to support and defend the U.S. Constitution, an ideal written down on a piece of paper more than 200 years ago. That ideal still is what drives men and women of the nation to want to serve, he added.

“The people of this command take that very seriously,” Hyten said, “and they are just remarkable in what they do.”


Denmark to train NATO soldiers to combat Russian misinformation

Danish troops will get training in how to deal with Russian misinformation before being sent to join a NATO military build-up in Estonia in January, Defense Minister Claus Hjort Frederiksen said on Monday.

“It is a whole new world. The Danish soldiers need to be extremely aware of that. Therefore I have arranged with the armed forces that the soldiers being sent out in January are informed and educated in how to protect themselves,” Frederiksen told Danish broadcaster DR.

“It is easy to imagine they will become exposed to intimidation and fake rumors,” he said of the 200 Danish soldiers being deployed.

In February, Lithuanian prosecutors opened a criminal investigation into a false report of a 15-year-old girl being raped by German NATO soldiers which spread quickly on social media.

NATO accused Russia of being behind the false report and said it expected more propaganda of this sort in the future.

Both NATO and the European Union are concerned by Russia’s ability to use television and the internet to project what they say is deliberate misinformation. Russia has denied being involved in any cyber warfare targeting Western governments or institutions.

Source: Reuters.



The Five Eyes alliance is a secretive, global surveillance arrangement of States comprised of the United States National Security Agency (NSA), the United Kingdom’s Government Communications Headquarters(GCHQ), Canada’s Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC), the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD), and New Zealand’s Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB).

Beginning in 1946, an alliance of five English-speaking countries (the US, the  UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand) developed a series of  bilateral agreements over more than a decade that became known as the UKUSA agreement, establishing the Five Eyes alliance for the purpose of sharing intelligence, primarily signals intelligence (SIGINT). For almost 70 years, this secret post-war alliance of five English-speaking countries has been building a global surveillance infrastructure to “master the internet” and spy on the world’s communications.

What does the Five Eyes agreement say?

Despite being nearly 70 years old, very little is known about the alliance and the agreements that bind them. While the existence of the agreement has been noted in history books and references are often made to it as part of reporting on the intelligence agencies, there is little knowledge or understanding outside the services themselves of exactly what the arrangement comprises.

Even within the governments of the respective countries, which the intelligence agencies are meant to serve, there has historically been little appreciation for the extent of the arrangement. In fact, it is so secretive that the Australian prime minister reportedly wasn’t informed of its existence until 1973 and no government officially acknowledged the arrangement by name until 1999. Few documents have been released detailing the Five Eyes surveillance arrangement. To read the documents available, click here for the National Archives and here for the NSA’s release of the UKUSA Agreement.

National Security Agency Headquarters (NSA), Maryland, USA.

Here’s what we do know: under the agreement interception, collection, acquisition, analysis, and decryption is conducted by each of the State parties in their respective parts of the globe, and all intelligence information is shared by default. The agreement is wide in scope and establishes jointly-run operations centres where operatives from multiple intelligence agencies of the Five Eyes States work alongside each other.

Further, tasks are divided between SIGINT agencies, ensuring that the Five Eyes alliance is far more than a set of principles of collaboration. The level of cooperation under the agreement is so complete that the national product is often indistinguishable.

What’s the extent of Five Eyes collaboration?

Together the Five Eyes collaborated and developed specific technical programmes of collection and analysis. One senior member of Britain’s intelligence community said “When you get a GCHQ pass it gives you access to the NSA too. You can walk into the NSA and find GCHQ staff holding senior management positions, and vice versa. When the NSA has a piece of intelligence, it will very often ask GCHQ for a second opinion. There have been ups and downs over the years, of course. But in general, the NSA and GCHQ are extremely close allies. They rely on each other.”

GCHQ Headquarters, Cheltenham, United Kingdom.

The close relationship between the five States is also evidenced by documents recently released by Edward Snowden. Almost all of the documents include the classification “TOP SECRET//COMINT//REL TO USA, AUS, CAN, GBR, NZL” or “TOP SECRET//COMINT//REL TO USA, FVEY.” These classification markings indicate the material is top-secret communications intelligence (aka SIGINT) material that can be released to the US, Australia, Canada, United Kingdom and New Zealand. The purpose of the REL TO is to identify classified information that a party has predetermined to be releasable (or has already been released) through established foreign disclosure procedures and channels, to a foreign country or international organisation.

The level of co-operation under the UKUSA agreement is so complete that “the national product is often indistinguishable.” Another former British spy has said that “[c]ooperation between the two countries, particularly, in SIGINT, is so close that it becomes very difficult to know who is doing what […] it’s just organizational mess.”

Despite rumours of a “no-spy pact”, there is no prohibition on intelligence-gathering by Five Eyes States on the citizens or residents of other Five Eyes States, although there is a general understanding that citizens will not be directly targeted and where communications are incidentally intercepted there will be an effort to minimize the use and analysis of such communications by the intercepting State.

Are there any other surveillance alliances?

In addition to the Five Eyes alliance, a number of other surveillance partnerships exist:

  • 9 Eyes: the Five Eyes, with the addition of Denmark, France, the Netherlands and Norway;
  • 14 Eyes: the 9 Eyes, with the addition of Germany, Belgium, Italy, Spain and Sweden;
  • 41 Eyes: all of the above, with the addition of the allied coalition in Afghanistan;
  • Tier B countries with which the Five Eyes have “focused cooperation” on computer network exploitation, including Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Hungry, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherland, Norway, Poland, Portugal, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey;
  • Club of Berne: 17 members including primarily European States; the US is not a member;
  • The Counterterrorist Group: a wider membership than the 17 European States that make up the Club of Berne, and includes the US;
  • NATO Special Committee: made up of the heads of the security services of NATO member countries.

Canada’s Defence Policy: Canada is completely re-structuring it’s Defence with a $32.7 billion investment.

News Release

June 7, 2017 – Ottawa, ON – Department of National Defence/Canadian Armed Forces

The Government of Canada is committed to strongly supporting our women and men in uniform. The new defence policy released today supports their dedication and the pivotal role they play in making Canada strong at home, secure in North America, and engaged in the world.

Today Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan released Strong, Secure, Engaged, a long-term defence policy that commits to a range of new investments for the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), its members, and their families.

Canada’s new defence policy has people at its core. It places an unprecedented focus on our women and men in uniform by ensuring that they and their families are well-supported and resilient – physically, psychologically, and socially. It places added attention on improving recruitment, retention, and training to capitalize on the unique talents and skillsets of Canada’s diverse population.

This policy is an ambitious yet realistic plan that outlines the Government of Canada’s Defence priorities. New investment will ensure critical core capabilities and equipment that are underfunded and unfunded can now proceed on a sound footing. It will also support growth in emerging domains such as space and cyber, and critical areas such as intelligence and Special Operations Forces.

The investments made under Strong, Secure, Engaged will deliver the support and capabilities our women and men in uniform need and deserve, as they work to make Canada strong at home, secure in North America, and engaged in the world.

Harjit Singh Sajjan, Canadian Minister of National Defence.


Strong, Secure, Engaged recognizes that the women and men in uniform are the Canadian Armed Forces’ most important capability. With significant investments in care for personnel and families, equipment and training, and new capabilities, Canada’s new defence policy supports CAF members’ dedication and role in making Canada strong at home, secure in North America, and engaged in the world.”

-Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan

Strong, Secure, Engaged is fully costed, and it’s fully funded. It is a sign of the Government of Canada’s commitment to providing our women and men in uniform with the care and equipment that they need, and it places the Canadian Armed Forces on a solid footing going forward. I’m confident that these investments will have a direct, positive impact on our members and their families.”

-Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan

Quick Facts

  • One key measure to recognize the sacrifices of serving members and their families is that all troops deployed on international operations will be exempt from federal income tax on their CAF salary up to the pay level of Lieutenant-Colonel, effective January 1, 2017. This is in addition to existing allowances that compensate for hardship and risk.
  • Strong, Secure, Engaged will grow annual defence spending from $18.9 billion in 2016/17 to $32.7 billion in 2026/27, on a cash basis, an increase of over 70 percent.
  • These investments reflect Canada’s most rigorously costed defence policy in history. It is also fully funded. The structure of the National Defence budget will be clarified so that Parliament and Canadians are better equipped to hold current and future governments accountable for defence spending.
  • Through Canada’s Defence Policy, the Department of National Defence (DND) and the CAF will:
    • Invest $198.2 million over the course of the policy to implement a new Total Health and Wellness Strategy that will expand wellness beyond the traditional healthcare model to include promotion, prevention, treatment, and support, and provide a greater range of health and wellness services and programs.
    • Invest an additional $6 million per year to modernize family support programs, such as Military Family Resource Centres, to provide better support to families when members are deploying or during periods of absence.
    • Increase the proportion of women in the military by one percentage point annually, to achieve 25 percent representation by 2026, to our operational advantage;
    • Transform the transition process to better support CAF members and their families by establishing a 1,200-person CAF Transition Group. The creation of this new group means all of our women and men will be taken care of as they transition back into the CAF following illness or injury, or out of the CAF and into civilian life at the conclusion of military service.
    • Implement teams at Military Family Resource Centres to prevent and respond to gender-based violence.
    • Increase the size of the Regular Force by 3,500 (to 71,500) and the Reserve Force by 1,500 (to 30,000) members. The Reserves will also become more integrated into the total force, providing agile and effective full-time capability through part-time service.
    • Replace the CF-18 fleet with 88 advanced fighter aircraft, through an open and transparent competition, to improve CAF air control and air attack capability;
    • Provide the funding required for the full complement of 15 Canadian Surface Combatants;
    • Improve land capabilities including ground based air defence, combat support vehicles, heavy logistics vehicles, and training simulators;
    • Create a new CAF Cyber Operator occupation to attract Canada’s best and brightest talent to cyber functions.
    • Invest in a range of remotely piloted systems, including an armed aerial system capable of conducting surveillance and precision strikes.
    • Launch a new program, Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security (IDEaS), which will see $1.6 billion invested over the next 20 years to modernize the way National Defence generates solutions through new cooperative partnerships with the private sector, universities, and academics.
    • Establish up to 120 new military intelligence positions, some of which will be filled by Reservists, and add up to 180 new civilian intelligence positions.
    • Grow the civilian workforce by 1,150 employees to enable and support military operations.
    • Meet the federal target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent from the 2005 levels by 2030, excluding military fleets.
    • Strengthen relationships with the defence community, including academia and the private sector. Today, more than ever, innovation, technology, and problem solving are critical to meeting evolving defence and security needs.
    • Improve the procurement process within National Defence to reduce departmental approval times by 50 percent, allow over 80 percent of defence procurement contracts to be managed by National Defence, and increase transparency.
  • Today’s announcement concludes the most comprehensive review process in Canadian defence and security history – a year-long review process that included open and transparent consultations with Canadians, parliamentarians, defence experts, allies, and partners.

Canada’s New Vision for Defence

Canada’s defence policy – Strong, Secure, Engaged – will provide Canada with an agile, multi-purpose combat-ready military, operated by highly trained, well-equipped women and men, secure in the knowledge that they have the full support of their government and their fellow Canadians.

This policy will ensure Canada is:

Strong at home, with a military ready and able to defend its sovereignty, and to assist in times of natural disaster, support search and rescue, or respond to other emergencies;

Secure in North America, active in a renewed defence partnership in NORAD and with the United States; and

Engaged in the world, with Defence doing its part in Canadian contributions to a more stable and peaceful world.

Strong, Secure, Engaged is deliberately ambitious and focuses, first and foremost, on the heart of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) – the brave women and men who wear the uniform. Our people are at the centre of our defence policy. Strong, Secure, Engaged supports a healthy, highly motivated, and skilled military work force of soldiers, sailors, airmen, and airwomen ready and able to make a difference at home and overseas.

Strong, Secure, Engaged provides clear direction on Canadian defence priorities over a 20-year horizon. It increases the size of the CAF, affirms Canada’s unwavering commitment to its long-standing alliances and partnerships, and provides vital new investments to ensure our women and men in uniform have the modern tools they need to succeed in operations. This policy transforms how we care for Canada’s military members and their families, from the time of recruitment to retirement and beyond. We believe this is critical to Canada’s security.

Strong at Home

Our strategic vision for defence reaffirms the overarching priority of the CAF: defending Canada and Canadians.

The Forces will maintain an effective deterrent against conventional military threats and prevent them from reaching our shores, while ensuring that new challenges in the space and cyber domain do not threaten Canadian defence and security objectives and strategic interests, including the economy.

We will maintain our robust capacity to respond to a range of domestic emergencies, including by providing military support to civilian organizations on national security and law enforcement matters. This includes engaging in rapid disaster response, and contributing to effective search and rescue operations. We are committed to improving mobility and reach in Canada’s northernmost territories, and we will pursue a more enhanced presence in the Arctic over the longer term.

Canadians can be confident that the CAF will remain ready to act in the service of Canadians – from coast to coast to coast – and sustain a continual watch over Canada’s land mass and air and sea approaches.

Secure in North America

Canada’s defence partnership with the United States remains integral to continental security and the United States continues to be Canada’s most important military ally. We take our responsibility to defend against threats to the continent seriously.

We will expand our capacity to meet NORAD commitments by improving aerospace and maritime domain awareness and response, and by enhancing satellite capability. We will also procure an advanced fighter capability and ensure we remain interoperable with our American allies.

And through continued work with the United States, we will ensure NORAD is fully prepared to confront rapidly evolving threats. This will include exploring new roles for the command, taking into account the full range of threats.

Engaged in the World

Canada cannot be strong at home without being engaged in the world.

We will continue to do our part on the international stage to protect our interests and support our allies, guided by values of inclusion, compassion, accountable governance, and respect for diversity and human rights.

As a result of this policy, the CAF will be prepared and equipped to advance Canadian international security objectives – from conducting expeditionary operations to engaging in capacity building with partners – and to support our allies where our shared interests are at stake. We will pursue leadership roles and will prioritize interoperability in our planning and capability development to ensure seamless cooperation with allies and partners, particularly NATO.

The CAF will be prepared to make concrete contributions to Canada’s role as a responsible international actor, including through participation in United Nations peace operations. We will support conflict prevention, mediation, and post-conflict reconstruction, with an emphasis on human rights and, in particular, gender equality.

Through Strong, Secure, Engaged we will continue to provide protection and relief to the world’s most vulnerable populations, creating the stability necessary for development and sustainable peace to take root.    We will also foster world-class expertise for building the capacity and resiliency of others, and delivering tangible results in those areas.

To implement this strategic vision, Canada will adopt a new approach to defence – one that will allow our military to Anticipate emerging threats and challenges, Adapt to changing circumstances, and Act effectively in cooperation with our allies and partners.


As a result of Strong, Secure, Engaged, Defence will be better positioned to anticipate and understand threats to Canada and Canadian interests, enhancing our ability to identify, prevent and/or prepare for, and respond to a wide range of contingencies. This will make Canada more secure and add value to Defence’s contributions to global security.

We will take a number of concrete steps to improve our ability to anticipate threats, challenges, and opportunities. We will prioritize the expansion of CAF Joint Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (JISR) capabilities, while enhancing intelligence collection, analysis and fusion capabilities, and supporting and leveraging the expertise of Canada’s defence and security academic community. To do this we will:

  • Invest in JSIR platforms, including next-generation surveillance aircraft, remotely piloted systems, and space-based surveillance assets;
  • Integrate existing and future assets into a networked, joint system that will enable the flow of information among multiple, interconnected platforms, and operational headquarters;
  • Prioritize the research and development of Arctic JISR to produce innovative solutions to surveillance challenges in the North; and
  • Increase investment in academic outreach from $500,000 to $4.5 million per year over the next five years in a revamped and expanded defence engagement program that will include collaborative networks of experts, a new scholarship program for masters and post-doctoral students, and expansion of the existing expert briefing series and engagement grant program.

Defence will also enhance its intelligence collection, analysis capabilities by:

  • Establishing up to 120 new military intelligence positions, some of which will be filled by Reservists; and up to 180 new civilian intelligence positions;
  • Building the Canadian Forces Intelligence Command’s (CFINTCOM) capacity to provide more advanced intelligence support to operations, including through an enhanced ability to forecast flashpoints and emerging threats, and a better understanding of the rapid development in space, cyber, and other emerging domains; and
  • Establishing a CAF targeting capability to better leverage intelligence to support military operations.


Strong, Secure, Engaged will provide the CAF with the means to adapt to a fluid and highly volatile global security environment. Keeping pace with the rapid evolution of technological advancements is fundamental to every aspect of a successful modern military: from improving our readiness; to responding to a crisis; to defeating potential adversaries; to maintaining the capability to work closely alongside allies. Defence must be agile, flexible, and responsive in meeting the challenges and seizing the opportunities. As such, we will:

  • Implement a new vision for the Reserve Force to achieve full-time capability through part-time service;
  • Invest in, develop, and employ advanced technology to strengthen interoperability with allies;
  • Enhance the capabilities of the CAF to operate more effectively in the Arctic;
  • Launch Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security (IDEaS), a program to create new cooperative partnerships and realize innovative solutions to defence challenges;
  • Modernize and streamline defence procurement cutting approval times in half for low-risk and low-complexity projects;
  • Increase the Department of National Defence’s contracting authorities for goods up to
    $5 million by 2018, allowing over 80 percent of defence procurement projects to be managed by Defence;
  • Increase transparency and strengthen the procurement workforce; and
  • Improve CAF infrastructure and equipment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions including transitioning 20 percent of non-military vehicle fleets to hybrid and electric by 2020.


Canada’s defence policy paves the way for the CAF to act decisively with effective military capability through the execution of eight core missions. We will deliver results across the spectrum of operations; be it in the defence of Canada and North America, protecting Canadian interests and values, or contributing to global stability. Given the uncertainty and complexity of the world today, a flexible, versatile, and agile force that can take informed, decisive action to accomplish the Government’s objectives is not an option – it is an absolute necessity.

To deliver on the Government’s commitment to effectively contribute to global defence and security, the CAF will be ready to accomplish the following eight military core missions at any given time, while prioritizing the health and wellness of personnel and their families, and improving the business of defence:

  1. Detect, deter, and defend against threats to or attacks on Canada;
  2. Detect, deter, and defend against threats to or attacks on North America in partnership with the United States, including through NORAD;
  3. Lead and/or contribute forces to NATO and coalition efforts to deter and defeat potential adversaries, including terrorists, to support global stability;
  4. Lead and/or contribute to international peace operations and stabilization missions with the United Nations, NATO, and other multilateral partners;
  5. Engage in capacity building to support the security of other nations and their ability to contribute to security abroad;
  6. Provide assistance to civil authorities and law enforcement, including counter-terrorism, in support of national security and the security of Canadians abroad;
  7. Provide assistance to civil authorities and non-governmental partners in responding to international and domestic disasters or major emergencies; and
  8. Conduct search and rescue operations.

Strong, Secure, Engaged will shape Canada’s role in the world for decades to come. It will ensure that the CAF is equipped and prepared to protect Canadian sovereignty, defend North America, and contribute to global security.

Backed by stable, predictable, and realistic funding, as well as modernized business practices, Canada’s military will have the tools needed to keep building on its world-class reputation as an effective, highly professional military force, and proud representatives of Canada.

The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) must be ready and able to deliver across a spectrum of operations – from domestic humanitarian assistance and disaster response to counter-terrorism and peace support operations, to high intensity combat operations.

To achieve this, the CAF requires targeted and strategic investment in capabilities and equipment that can be used on domestic and international military operations. The CAF must be a multi-purpose military force able to offer the Government, Canadians, and our partners and allies a broad range of options to respond in an uncertain security environment. Without investment in capabilities, our ability to defend Canada and respond to emerging threats is at risk.

Strong, Secure, Engaged will renew, replace, and maintain core equipment, and continue to support Canada’s multi-role, combat-ready defence force. The modernized capabilities and equipment provided through Canada’s defence policy will improve CAF readiness and responsiveness, and support Canada’s ability to play its part in the world. These investments will ensure the CAF is able to defend Canadians at home and work with our allies and partners abroad. This approach builds strong, healthy communities and secure jobs, and enhances quality of life. Providing the men and women of the CAF with the necessary equipment and resources allows them to do their job with high levels of professional and personal satisfaction.

Strong, Secure, Engaged will:

  • Invest in modern defence for Canada;
  • Provide secure, stable, long-term, predictable funding for Defence;
  • Defend Canadians at home and demonstrate leadership in the world;
  • Enable the CAF to become more capable, diverse, multi-purpose, and self-sustaining;
  • Create a more strategically relevant, combat-ready force that will anticipate, adapt, and act within a constantly changing security environment;
  • Replace and modernize core land, sea, and air capabilities, as well as invest in joint enablers (space, cyber, intelligence) to ensure the CAF has the modern capabilities to succeed on operations; and
  • Ensure interoperability with key allies and partners, through NORAD, NATO, and the Five Eyes community to enable effective operations.

Investments in the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN)

The RCN will continue to be a blue water Navy, capable of operating globally across the deep waters of open oceans, and conducting the spectrum of maritime operations from humanitarian response and disaster relief to combat. Enabling responsive, resilient and agile projection of naval power anywhere in the world, the Naval Task Group, a fully networked, globally deployable, and tactically self-sufficient team of up to four naval combatant vessels and a support ship, with its own embarked Command Staff and maritime aircraft, will continue to be the core RCN operating concept. Naval Task Groups are able to engage in a wide range of missions, independently or with allied forces.

Today’s security environment requires that Canada have a Navy that is: designed and structured to operate in some of the most extreme ocean conditions; networked and interoperable with our partners and allies; and organized and sized to project power responsively and effectively far from Canada’s shores.

Through Strong, Secure, Engaged the Government will deliver the capabilities the RCN needs to meet future defence and security challenges, both at home and abroad, and to carry out the tasks required of a modern navy.

We will:

  • Replace the surface fleet through investments in 15 Canadian Surface Combatants. Defence conducted a year-long re-costing of the Surface Combatants. This involved private sector firms as well as international experts, such as the U.S. Navy. Based on this review, Defence estimates the cost of 15 ships at between $56 – $60 billion. The policy sets aside funding to deliver the full complement of ships the Navy needs to provide capability across the full range of operations. They will replace both the Iroquois-class destroyers and the Halifax-class frigates with a single class of ship capable of meeting multiple threats on both the open ocean and the highly complex coastal (littoral) environment;
  • Acquire new or enhanced naval intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance systems, upgraded armament, and additional systems for current and future platforms allowing for more effective offensive and defensive naval capabilities;
  • Upgrade lightweight torpedoes carried by surface ships, maritime helicopters, and maritime patrol aircraft;
  • Modernize the Victoria-class submarines – a vital capability to both the defence of Canada and protection of Canadian naval assets in deployed operations, providing stealth sea control and sea denial capabilities;

And as previously announced:

  • Two Joint Support Ships – will be critical to the mobility of maritime forces and the enabling of sustained international deployments. These ships will provide core replenishment capabilities for supplies such as food, fresh water, and ammunition, as well as capacity for sealift and increased support to forces ashore; and
  • Five to six Arctic Offshore Patrol Ships – will significantly enhance CAF capabilities and presence in the Arctic and augment presence on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. These vessels will better enable the RCN to assert and enforce Arctic sovereignty. They will provide operational capability in the north further into the navigable Arctic season between June and October.
The RCN are set to get up to six Harry Dewolf-Class Arctic Patrol Vessels.

Investments in the Canadian Army

The Canadian Army is a highly-trained, agile, and professional force that can deploy anything from a single soldier all the way up to a large-scale formation of troops. This provides the Government with a scalable, flexible, and highly responsive range of military land capabilities. Strong, Secure, Engaged enables the Canadian Army to recapitalize and sustain many core capabilities, modernize vehicle fleets and weapons systems, as well as maintain interoperability with allies and an advantage over potential adversaries.

We will:

  • Acquire ground-based air defence systems and associated munitions capable of protecting all land-based force elements from enemy airborne weapons;
  • Modernize weapons effects simulation to better prepare soldiers for combat operations;
  • Replace the family of armoured combat support vehicles, which includes command vehicles, ambulances, and mobile repair teams;
  • Modernize the fleet of Improvised Explosive Device Detection and Defeat capabilities;
  • Acquire communications, sustainment, and survivability equipment for the Army light forces, including improved lightweight radios and soldier equipment;
  • Upgrade the light armoured vehicle fleet to improve mobility and survivability;
  • Modernize logistic vehicles, heavy engineer equipment, and light utility vehicles;
  • Invest in modernized equipment and systems to improve the Army’s ability to operate in remote regions. Investments include: communications, shelters, power generation, advanced water purification systems, and equipment for austere environments;
  • Modernize land-based command and control, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance systems; and
  • Acquire all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiles, and larger tracked semi-amphibious utility vehicles optimized for use in the Arctic environment.
Canadian army LAV III to be modernized.

Investments in the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF)

The RCAF is an integrated, flexible, and highly responsive force that is able to project air power and support CAF and allied operations globally. Strong, Secure, Engaged ensures the Air Force is capable of a wide range of operations such as: space-based surveillance of Canadian territory and approaches; 24/7 aerial search and rescue; and assisting civil authorities as needed. RCAF space-based and aviation capabilities must be integrated, able to adapt to the latest technology, and interoperable with our allies.

We will:

  • Replace the CF-18 fleet with 88 advanced fighter aircraft, through an open and transparent competition, to improve CAF air control and air attack capability. This will allow us to fully meet both our NORAD and NATO commitments simultaneously;
  • Acquire space capabilities meant to improve situational awareness and targeting, including:
    • Replacement of the current RADARSAT system to improve the identification and tracking of threats and improve situational awareness of routine traffic in and through Canadian territory;
    • Sensors capable of identifying and tracking debris in space that threatens Canadian and allied space-based systems (surveillance of space); and
    • Space-based systems that will enhance and improve tactical narrow- and wide-band communications globally, including throughout Canada’s Arctic region.
  • Acquire new Tactical Integrated Command, Control, and Communications; radio cryptography; and other necessary communications systems;
  • Replace the CC-150 Polaris with next generation strategic air-to-air tanker transport;
  • Replace the CC-138 Twin Otter with utility transport aircraft;
  • Replace the CP-140 Aurora with next generation multi-mission aircraft;
  • Invest in medium altitude remotely piloted systems;
  • Modernize short-range air-to-air missiles (fighter aircraft armament);
  • Upgrade air navigation, management, and control systems;
  • Acquire new aircrew training systems;
  • Recapitalize or extend the life of existing capabilities in advance of the arrival of next generation platforms;
  • Sustain domestic Search and Rescue capability, to include life extension of existing systems, acquisition of new platforms, and greater integration with partners; and
  • Operationalize the newly acquired Fixed-Wing Search and Rescue aircraft fleet.

In addition, the Government continues to explore the potential acquisition of an interim aircraft to supplement the CF-18 fighter aircraft fleet until the completion of the transition to the permanent replacement aircraft.

RCAF CF-18 Hornet. Photo par le Caporal Jean-François Lauzé, 4e Escadre, Imagerie

Investments in Special Operations Forces and Joint Capabilities

The Canadian Special Operations Forces Command (CANSOFCOM)

The Canadian Special Operations Forces Command (CANSOFCOM) is a highly-skilled, adaptable, multipurpose force that can be called upon in situations that pose imminent threats to the national interest.
Joint capabilities facilitate the improved command and control of deployed CAF elements.

The investments made in special operations forces (SOF) and joint capabilities by Canada’s defence policy will support their unique requirements to ensure long-term continuity and effectiveness.

We will:

  • Increase SOF by adding 605 personnel;
  • Acquire airborne intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance platforms;
  • Recapitalize existing commercial pattern, SUV-type armoured vehicles;
  • Modernize and enhance SOF Command, Control, and Communications information systems, and computer defence networks;
  • Enhance next generation SOF integrated soldier system equipment, land and maritime mobility platforms, and fighting vehicle platforms;
  • Invest in joint command and control systems and equipment, specifically for integrated information technology and communications;
  • Acquire joint signals capabilities that improve the military’s ability to collect and exploit electronic signals intelligence on expeditionary operations;
  • Improve capabilities of the Joint Deployable Headquarters (HQ) and Signals Regiment, including HQ portable structures and command, control, and communications equipment;
  • Improve cryptographic, information operations, and cyber capabilities to include:
    • Cyber security and situational awareness projects;
    • Cyber threat identification and response;
    • Development of military-specific information operations; and
    • Development of military-specific offensive cyber operations capabilities able to target, exploit, influence, and attack in support of military operations.
  • Improve Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosive detection and response capabilities.