Defending Canadian Arctic Sovereignty

MarkOttawa

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And note the Danes and Greenland--and US wanting Danish fighters (F-35As will be replacing F-16s) there:

Danish News Round-Up: Greenland highest priority in new risk report by the Intelligence Service

Greenland tops report on risk areas

The Danish Defence Intelligence Service released its annual risk assessment report on Friday, making Greenland the top priority on its agenda, overhauling traditional focus areas such as cybercrime and terrorism. “This change has taken place relatively quickly. 11 years ago, the Arctic was not even mentioned, and now it’s suddenly of the highest importance,” said Jon Rahbek-Clemmensen, a researcher of security policy in the Arctic at the Royal Danish Defence College, to TV2.

One reason for this rise in importance is that major powers such as the United States, Russia and China are very much interested in the area. The United States is concerns are about Russia’s ability to attack the Thule Air base and China’s alleged desire to gain control over important Greenland resources and critical infrastructure through investments. “A very large part of Denmark’s foreign and security policy is about going where Americans look,” Jon Rahbek-Clemmensen commented.

No clear solution to the Arctic threat from the government

Defence Minister Trine Bramsen said that no final plan has been developed regarding a strengthened Danish military presence in Greenland as of yet. However, the US is pushing for an expansion, having suggested permanently stationing Danish fighter aircraft in Greenland – the US ambassador to Denmark encouraged the purchase of more F-35 planes.

http://cphpost.dk/news/us-wants-denmark-to-buy-more-fighter-jets.html

But Bramsen does not intend to oblige at this time. “In the short run, we’re not considering sending fighter planes to Greenland. It is not the solution to the challenges we’re facing right now,” she said to BT. When asked about possible solutions, she didn’t go into any specifics. “I don’t want to say anything more concrete about it. Sending fighter planes is just not what we intend to do. But we’ll look into how we can strengthen our overview in the area.”

New cybersecurity military service launches next February
... [read on]
http://cphpost.dk/news/danish-round-up-greenland-highest-priority-in-new-risk-report-by-the-intelligence-service.html

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daftandbarmy

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MarkOttawa said:
And note the Danes and Greenland--and US wanting Danish fighters (F-35As will be replacing F-16s) there:

Mark
Ottawa

And the warmer it gets, the more the world will be warming  up to Greenland's vast, untapped natural resources treasure chest

The Greenland Gold Rush: Promise and Pitfalls of Greenland’s Energy and Mineral Resources

As the Arctic ice continues to melt due to global warming, Greenland’s mineral and energy resources – including iron ore, lead, zinc, diamonds, gold, rare earth elements, uranium and oil – are becoming more accessible. The political establishment in Greenland has made natural resource extraction a central part of its plans to become economically self-sufficient, and ultimately politically independent, from the Kingdom of Denmark. This will be no easy task, and it is made more difficult by Greenland’s rapidly aging population.

https://www.brookings.edu/research/the-greenland-gold-rush-promise-and-pitfalls-of-greenlands-energy-and-mineral-resources/
 

a_majoor

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LoboCanada said:
Interesting idea. I wonder what the logistics challenges of doing that are, maybe make all of the Reserves an expanded "Arctic Response Force" or whatever.

Having units use the rail to Churchill and disbursing from there?

Given the vast distances to cover and lack of infrastructure, the primary method of transportation should be air (taking into account the difficulties due to weather and climactic conditions). This isn't entirely a handwave, many small companies supply arctic oil and mining operations using a wide variety of old aircraft including WWII era C-47/DC-3's, and Canada has (or at least had) a strong "bush pilot" tradition of aviators capable of operating in these sorts of conditions.

C-130's have long demonstrated their ability to operate in the arctic and antarctic, and cargo helicopters like the Chinook would provide the more "tactical" logistical support. Modern concepts like GPS guided parachute drops and GPS guided "gliders" carrying cargo can also be adapted to deliver logistic support. Helicopters and GPS guided parachute drops can also support icebreakers and ships in the arcitic as well when the weather cooperates.

This would involve a large (and expensive) increase in the RCAF, including improved ground support facilities in places like Yellowknife and Resolute Bay in addition to a dedicated wing (minimum) to supporting arctic operations. Longer term, pushing railheads as far north as possible to bring bulk supplies like fuel as close to the AO as possible is also going to be needed.

Of course, this sort of thing actually needs an articulated policy by the government to launch and carry out....
 

daftandbarmy

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Thucydides said:
Given the vast distances to cover and lack of infrastructure, the primary method of transportation should be air (taking into account the difficulties due to weather and climactic conditions). This isn't entirely a handwave, many small companies supply arctic oil and mining operations using a wide variety of old aircraft including WWII era C-47/DC-3's, and Canada has (or at least had) a strong "bush pilot" tradition of aviators capable of operating in these sorts of conditions.

C-130's have long demonstrated their ability to operate in the arctic and antarctic, and cargo helicopters like the Chinook would provide the more "tactical" logistical support. Modern concepts like GPS guided parachute drops and GPS guided "gliders" carrying cargo can also be adapted to deliver logistic support. Helicopters and GPS guided parachute drops can also support icebreakers and ships in the arcitic as well when the weather cooperates.

This would involve a large (and expensive) increase in the RCAF, including improved ground support facilities in places like Yellowknife and Resolute Bay in addition to a dedicated wing (minimum) to supporting arctic operations. Longer term, pushing railheads as far north as possible to bring bulk supplies like fuel as close to the AO as possible is also going to be needed.

Of course, this sort of thing actually needs an articulated policy by the government to launch and carry out....

A great example of why the RCAF might need to stand up the equivalent of the RAF regiment, which was created Post-WW1 to guard RAF airfields in the more remote, isolated and heavily contested regions of the Empire.
 

GR66

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Thucydides said:
Given the vast distances to cover and lack of infrastructure, the primary method of transportation should be air (taking into account the difficulties due to weather and climactic conditions). This isn't entirely a handwave, many small companies supply arctic oil and mining operations using a wide variety of old aircraft including WWII era C-47/DC-3's, and Canada has (or at least had) a strong "bush pilot" tradition of aviators capable of operating in these sorts of conditions.

C-130's have long demonstrated their ability to operate in the arctic and antarctic, and cargo helicopters like the Chinook would provide the more "tactical" logistical support. Modern concepts like GPS guided parachute drops and GPS guided "gliders" carrying cargo can also be adapted to deliver logistic support. Helicopters and GPS guided parachute drops can also support icebreakers and ships in the arcitic as well when the weather cooperates.

This would involve a large (and expensive) increase in the RCAF, including improved ground support facilities in places like Yellowknife and Resolute Bay in addition to a dedicated wing (minimum) to supporting arctic operations. Longer term, pushing railheads as far north as possible to bring bulk supplies like fuel as close to the AO as possible is also going to be needed.

Of course, this sort of thing actually needs an articulated policy by the government to launch and carry out....

Expanding the C-130 fleet would have multiple advantages for the CF.  Obviously logistics needs are not limited just to Arctic operations but the Hercules is flexible enough that a common airframe (easier to maintain and train crews for) could also be used for aerial refueling (KC-130J) as well as modular kits that can be added on to existing airframes to provide specialized abilities such as firefighting (with the MAFFS II kit) and Maritime Patrol with the scalable MSA/MPA kit.

https://www.lockheedmartin.com/content/dam/lockheed-martin/aero/documents/C-130J/MG180389_C-130Brochure_NewPurchase_Final_Web.pdf
 

dapaterson

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Hercs lack the range to be an effective ISR or refuelling platform, particularly in a Canadian context.

Fleet commonality is good in many respects, but fleet commonality at the expense of operational capability is a tradeoff that needs significant analysis.

Perhaps look at a Boeing 767 based ISR platform, and acquire KC 76 Pegasus refueller / strat airlift aircraft.

Added bonus: Leverage Air Canada for some strategic depth, with Reserve Force pilots who can do most of their proficiency maintenance in their full-time jobs.
 

GR66

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dapaterson said:
Hercs lack the range to be an effective ISR or refuelling platform, particularly in a Canadian context.

Fleet commonality is good in many respects, but fleet commonality at the expense of operational capability is a tradeoff that needs significant analysis.

Perhaps look at a Boeing 767 based ISR platform, and acquire KC 76 Pegasus refueller / strat airlift aircraft.

Added bonus: Leverage Air Canada for some strategic depth, with Reserve Force pilots who can do most of their proficiency maintenance in their full-time jobs.

Not suggesting that additional Hercs would be instead of new MPA’s or strategic refueling aircraft, just that they have additional benefits beyond arctic resupply if we chose to use it.

Say for example we’re in a conflict that is primarily maritime based and enemy subs are a significant threat. Existing Hercs with the ASW kit installed could take over patrols inshore freeing up the Auroras to patrol further out.
 

daftandbarmy

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GR66 said:
Not suggesting that additional Hercs would be instead of new MPA’s or strategic refueling aircraft, just that they have additional benefits beyond arctic resupply if we chose to use it.

Say for example we’re in a conflict that is primarily maritime based and enemy subs are a significant threat. Existing Hercs with the ASW kit installed could take over patrols inshore freeing up the Auroras to patrol further out.

Or drones because, you know, 'transformation'...
 

dapaterson

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GR66 said:
Not suggesting that additional Hercs would be instead of new MPA’s or strategic refueling aircraft, just that they have additional benefits beyond arctic resupply if we chose to use it.

Say for example we’re in a conflict that is primarily maritime based and enemy subs are a significant threat. Existing Hercs with the ASW kit installed could take over patrols inshore freeing up the Auroras to patrol further out.

Or we could build a real navy, and not just a dozen frigates, four SSKs, a dozen coastal patrol vessels and (in the future) 28 ASW helicopters for three oceans and the world's longest coastline.
 

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daftandbarmy said:
Or drones because, you know, 'transformation'...

I think politicians like drones partly because they "drone on and on" so they are brother in arms, but also the politicians hear "unmanned" and think they can save on personal costs and pernickety veterans. 
 

Eye In The Sky

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GR66 said:
Not suggesting that additional Hercs would be instead of new MPA’s or strategic refueling aircraft, just that they have additional benefits beyond arctic resupply if we chose to use it.

Say for example we’re in a conflict that is primarily maritime based and enemy subs are a significant threat. Existing Hercs with the ASW kit installed could take over patrols inshore freeing up the Auroras to patrol further out.

Where are the ASW crew from the Herc coming from?  Roll on/roll off kit is no use if there is no one there to operate it.  It's not as simple as toss sonos in the water and voila.  LRP acoustician is a full time job.  They don't even learn how to operate/employ the rest of the sensors...it's just too much to know and be proficient at.

Aurora's are a good ASW asset but..they're never really employed on their own, just out yankin' and bankin'.  They're part of a system of systems.  I say, if you recognize you need (1) more ASW aircraft then it makes sense to look and see if you need (2) NEW ASW aircraft.  Then...kill 2 birds/1 stone. 

**If I was going to do a 'short range' ASW fixed wing platform, for limited range stuff...I'd consider something like the CASA 235 the Turkish Navy is using.  Less cost, fuel and crew used over the lifespan of the platform.  :2c:    I'd also then have the similarity between the 295...on the 'off season', I can use it for normal surveillance 'stuff'...
 

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Eye In The Sky said:
Where are the ASW crew from the Herc coming from?  Roll on/roll off kit is no use if there is no one there to operate it.  It's not as simple as toss sonos in the water and voila.  LRP acoustician is a full time job.  They don't even learn how to operate/employ the rest of the sensors...it's just too much to know and be proficient at.

Got you a new career.  Training reserve squadron operators at "stone frigate" consoles distributed all across Canada.  Let them listen in to real time "pinging".
 

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Eye In The Sky said:
**If I was going to do a 'short range' ASW fixed wing platform, for limited range stuff...I'd consider something like the CASA 235 the Turkish Navy is using.  Less cost, fuel and crew used over the lifespan of the platform.  :2c:    I'd also then have the similarity between the 295...on the 'off season', I can use it for normal surveillance 'stuff'...

EITS , out of curiosity, why the 235 instead of 295 or even the SAAB Global Express offerings?

We would have to committed to new P-8's first else we might end up with above only!
 

GR66

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Eye In The Sky said:
Where are the ASW crew from the Herc coming from?  Roll on/roll off kit is no use if there is no one there to operate it.  It's not as simple as toss sonos in the water and voila.  LRP acoustician is a full time job.  They don't even learn how to operate/employ the rest of the sensors...it's just too much to know and be proficient at.

Aurora's are a good ASW asset but..they're never really employed on their own, just out yankin' and bankin'.  They're part of a system of systems.  I say, if you recognize you need (1) more ASW aircraft then it makes sense to look and see if you need (2) NEW ASW aircraft.  Then...kill 2 birds/1 stone. 

**If I was going to do a 'short range' ASW fixed wing platform, for limited range stuff...I'd consider something like the CASA 235 the Turkish Navy is using.  Less cost, fuel and crew used over the lifespan of the platform.  :2c:    I'd also then have the similarity between the 295...on the 'off season', I can use it for normal surveillance 'stuff'...

Simple answer is that we need more ASW crews.  As Chris Pook says the Reserves could be one option.  Or we could have more Reg Force operators.

It looks to me like we as a nation aren't willing to spend what is necessary to have a military that is effective in all areas.  As a result we seem to have a military that isn't really effective (in terms of a real near-peer conflict) in ANY area.  An army without enough anti-tank weapons, artillery, air defence, etc.  Are 85 fighters enough to defend Canada and participate in operations overseas?  As Dataperson notes our Navy isn't large enough for a nation with three coasts and the world's longest coastline.  And do any of our elements have enough war stocks and logistics capability to sustain major combat operations for any length of time without relying on the Americans to support us?

For that reason I think we should accept reality and focus on those areas that are most vital to our national defence and which would allow us to make a real, effective and sustainable contribution to our allies in time of war.

I think that ASW is one of those areas that meets that criteria.  In my perfect world that would mean replacing the Aurora's with P-8's and probably supplementing them with another aircraft.  Would maybe the Saab/Global Express Swordfish be an option (and using the same airframe for commonality) possibly also the Globaleye  AEW aircraft for the RCAF and the Global Express as the replacement VIP transport aircraft?  The C-130J ASW kit would be just one more possible tool to be added to the box.  The added benefit that this tool is not airframe dependant.  If an Aurora/P-8 or Swordfish is out of service you can install the ASW kit into one of the Herc's and shift the sensor operators to the new aircraft. 
 

Eye In The Sky

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Chris Pook said:
Got you a new career.  Training reserve squadron operators at "stone frigate" consoles distributed all across Canada.  Let them listen in to real time "pinging".

My honest opinion is a Cl A reservist simply would not be able to gain, and then maintain, the required (multiple) skill sets to make this work.  I'm not talking proficient either, just to even be considered "current".  The only folks I've seen make it work on the Res side are folks that were long time Reg Force and CTd and kept the flying quals going.  Once they dropped them (happened to one Cl A I know) they usually just leave them behind (the pers I'm thinking of works in Sqn Ops now).

The courses are too long and the skill fade is too "immediate".  And, more importantly...if there is a real submerged contact out there...and you're trying to hold it...do you really want your part timers part of the solution?

We haven't event talked about how they are tapping into the signal from a sono XXXX miles away...

 

Eye In The Sky

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suffolkowner said:
EITS , out of curiosity, why the 235 instead of 295 or even the SAAB Global Express offerings?

We would have to committed to new P-8's first else we might end up with above only!

Not the 235 specifically...'something like that'.  It was just the first one (baby MPA) that came to mind, because I've been next to them/shared airspace with them.

I'm CRA in 2030.  The next RCAF MPA will not be here then...don't hold your breathe on a replacement for the Aurora.  They're just starting to upgrade the fleet to Block 4, and they're doing trials now on one of the aircraft (not a Block 3 or 4...a 'leftover' Block 2 tail) on the new engine/prop config.
 

Eye In The Sky

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GR66 said:
If an Aurora/P-8 or Swordfish is out of service you can install the ASW kit into one of the Herc's and shift the sensor operators to the new aircraft.

It's not quite that simple unfortunately.  The aircrew would need to hold qualifications and currencies on both aircraft.  I did that on the Aurora when the fleet was split between Block 2 and 3 aircraft;  it was hard enough when the only (main) difference was the computer systems and sensors.  The only aircrew trade I can think of that maintains 'dual airframe' quals are SAR Techs.

If an Aurora sensor operator flies on a Cyclone...you know what they're allowed to operate?  Nothing.  They hold no quals on that aircraft.  Same if a Cyclone TACCO goes on an Aurora - they are a PAX (Passenger).

Mixed fleets of aircraft = mixed fleets of aircrew and maintainers.  If Canada decided it needed XX number of MPAs...then just get a single fleet of that number.  I'd love to double the amount of aircraft and crews, and we could effectively employ them, no question asked.  Except...the average Canadian doesn't care about ASW...so it's not high on the priority list of the government, either (despite any fairly tale lines in SSE).

In line with the thread....if we're serious about ASW/under water surv of our northern waters, we need under-ice capable subs.  Anything else is...amateur, IMO.  We're missing the best system for ASW up there (IMO).  Guess we will rely on friends with deeper pockets....
 

suffolkowner

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Thanks for the info EITS, lots to think about that's for sure.

It sure seems like a "cheaper" ISR platform is a non starter just from the sensor operator standpoint, but we will be adding the king airs so I guess that is our low end?

If the Aurora's can continue to be life extended/upgraded what are we missing by not replacing with the P-8? I would have thought with a 40year old platform we were pushing things
 

GR66

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Eye In The Sky said:
It's not quite that simple unfortunately.  The aircrew would need to hold qualifications and currencies on both aircraft.  I did that on the Aurora when the fleet was split between Block 2 and 3 aircraft;  it was hard enough when the only (main) difference was the computer systems and sensors.  The only aircrew trade I can think of that maintains 'dual airframe' quals are SAR Techs.

If an Aurora sensor operator flies on a Cyclone...you know what they're allowed to operate?  Nothing.  They hold no quals on that aircraft.  Same if a Cyclone TACCO goes on an Aurora - they are a PAX (Passenger).

Mixed fleets of aircraft = mixed fleets of aircrew and maintainers.  If Canada decided it needed XX number of MPAs...then just get a single fleet of that number.  I'd love to double the amount of aircraft and crews, and we could effectively employ them, no question asked.  Except...the average Canadian doesn't care about ASW...so it's not high on the priority list of the government, either (despite any fairly tale lines in SSE).

In line with the thread....if we're serious about ASW/under water surv of our northern waters, we need under-ice capable subs.  Anything else is...amateur, IMO.  We're missing the best system for ASW up there (IMO).  Guess we will rely on friends with deeper pockets....

Is there any reason that the Auroras/replacements, Swordfish and Herc palletized sensors could not be the same?  Would that not allow the sensor operators to move between airframes? 
 
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