David Pugliese of the Ottawa citizen is reporting that the Canadian government is planning to spend $1 billion on armed drones. Drone companies from around the world are being invited to submit information, although in reality the only serious contenders are companies from the United States and Israel, both of which have a long history of developing and using armed drones.
The UK also has been using armed drones to attack enemies in Afghanistan, but probably doesn’t have a drone of its own which is ready to be armed. When the UK conducts attacks with drones in Afghanistan it uses American Predator drones, which have been used by the US military to attack and assassinate enemies in a growing number of countries around the world.
Ironically it isn’t necessary to have an armed drone to carry out attacks. Any drone which can ‘paint’ a target can be used in conjunction with an armed jet, helicopter, artillery, or missile to attack an enemy.
But the quarrelsome Harper government is likely to concur with military recommendations to purchase armed drones, in a decision likely designed to appeal to its male conservative supporters.
It is uncertain whether the Canadian government plans to patrol the arctic with armed drones, but the idea raises the spectre of armed drones lost in the arctic. Even under the best of circumstances, drones crash at an alarming rate.