Canada Purchases Israeli Drones

In September, 2008 the Canadian government, to the surprise of parliament, decided to buy two types of drones from Israel Aircraft Industries. They will buy the Heron 2 and the Heron TP drones for delivery and deployment in Afghanistan in February, 2008. (Nissan Ratzlav-Katz, Canada to Upgrade to Israeli Drone Planes, Arutz Sheva, 10 November, 2008)  It appears they would be leased from a British Columbia firm, MacDonald Dettwiler, of Vancouver. Source

The Canadian DND has announced it will lease several Herons at a cost of $95 million, to be delivered in February, 2009, and in the interim will lease several small Scan Eagle drones, at a cost of $14 million. David Krayden, The Heron to Provide Unique Intelligence to Commanders, The Maple Leaf, 10 September, 2008

This was a change from the previous French drones that Canada used. It was also a rejection of the earlier proposal to purchase Predator drones armed with Hellfire missiles from the US.

“We generally insist on a degree of oversight, legitimacy, adherence to the laws of war that require a man in the loop pretty definitively. So it would be a bit of a stretch for us.” Lt. General Angus Watt, as quoted in: Canada in Market for Unmanned Drone Aircraft, CTV.ca, 6/10/2007 

 Watt was discussing the uncomfortableness that the Canadian military would have operating an attack drone armed with Hellfire missiles from a remote setting in Nevada or elsewhere. See also

One blogger claimed a rumour, without any substantiation, that a Canadian cabinet minister with a habit of boosting Israeli interests, had managed to nix the Predator purchase, and get the Herons substituted. The Torch, 26 May, 2008

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