The Canadian Department of National Defence (DND) has commissioned a significant upgrade of its Naval Operator information solution used for operational and combat preparation. The Can $17.3 million contract has been awarded to Richmond, B.C.-based MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd., a provider of geographical information systems.
MDA is upgrading the simulation of the vessel control room – the eyes and ears of a ship. Originally developed by MDA, the solution mimics control rooms, collating tactical information for training in procedures and decision making. MDA is expected to fully deploy the upgrade in 2006. This upgrade will be the latest in a series of operational information solutions deployed for the Canadian DND.
The MDA contract is the latest of a series of initiatives launched by DND to address current and future security needs as outlined by Canada’s National Security Policy document tabled by deputy Prime Minister Anne McLellan in April.
The policy is a long-term strategic framework that focuses on three core issues: protecting Canada and Canadians at home and abroad, ensuring Canada is not a base for threats to allies, and contributing to international security.
New investments detailed in the policy address the need for enhanced tools and capacities and include: enhancing intelligence capabilities ($137 million), securing critical government information systems ($85 million), fully implementing the RCMP Real Time Identification Project, improving the national fingerprint system ($99.78 million), and implementing the Passport Security Strategy, including facial recognition biometric technology on the Canadian Passport, in-line with international standards ($10.31 million).
The policy also outlines new structures and strategies including the development of a Critical Infrastructure Protection Strategy for Canada – with the provinces, territories and the private sector.
The Policy document emphasizes that national security is a top priority in the Government’s ongoing International Policy Review. It provides for enhanced capacity for helping restore peace, order and good government in developing, failed and failing states, beginning with the establishment of a dedicated capacity-building fund.
It discusses the deepening and broadening the Canada-U.S. Smart Borders Action Plan to include new areas such as biosecurity, and cybersecurity and public health.
Since Budget 2001, the Government of Canada has announced in excess of $8.3 billion in specific measures to enhance Canada’s national security. Funding of $690 million for new initiatives is being provided from the Security Reserve, which includes significant new funding allocated in Budget 2004.