Project Justas, the plan to acquire drones for Canada, is now in the ‘options and analysis’ phase.
JUSTAS stands for ‘Joint Uninhabited Surveillance and Target Acquisition System’. Which is a euphemism for ‘drone’, or ‘unmanned aerial vehicle’. The programme has been running for several years, and is slated to produce the acquisition of a medium altitude long endurance drone for Canada in 2014-2017.
The Canadian Defense Department as usual is keeping under wraps the planning for this drone programme, which is certain to result in a well spring of controversy when the decision to acquire a particular drone is presented to the Canadian public in the next couple of years.
The Canadian government would like to have a single operation centre contolling multiple UAV’s doing surveillance in Canada.
Not only will there be considerable controversy about the operational requirements of drones to be used domestically, but there will be controversy about the range of suppliers chosen. The Canadian government has shown a past bias toward Israeli suppliers. Most Israeli companies supplying drones have a history of participation in Israel’s ongoing illegal occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, Palestine. Furthermore, they have a history of proliferation of drone technology to unstable and possibly hostile governments, for example Russia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan. At least one potential Israeli supplier is actively promoting drone sales to various countries in Latin America, which is certain to provoke more border incidents in a region that doesn’t need arms proliferation.