Canadian Press is reporting that Canada’s Conservative government is considering the purchase of three Northrup Grumman ‘Global Hawk’ drones, at an astounding price of $150-170 million each. The drones would not be armed, apparently, and would be used for surveillance in Canada’s north. Flight Global claims that the cost of the drones, plus ground stations could be $215 million each. Flight Global also says that Northrup Grumman would team with arms giant L-3 MAS to provide the drones. See also
Drones crash at an alarming rate, and at least one Global Hawk has crashed during operations in Afghanistan. It isn’t clear whether three drones would be enough to cover the attrition rate of drones operated in the severe conditions of Canada’s north. And cost of replacement would be astronomical.
Canadian Press reports that Canada’s military is skeptical, largely because of its enormous cost, amounting to roughly half a billion dollars for three.
American Global Hawk drones have flown over Canadian airspace before, with the cooperation of the Canadian military, and as part of the ‘Maple Flag’ exercise.
While the current proposal seems largely pushed by the vendor, Northrup Grumman, the proposal could be a convenient ‘false flag’ event for the government, making it more palatable for the Conservatives to eventually sell purchases of cheaper drones, possibly Israeli, to the Canadian public.