OTTAWA – Will that be one drone or two?
An internal debate over whether Canada’s air force needs one or two fleets of drones is partly responsible for holding up the military’s acquisition of the unmanned aircraft.
Internal briefings stretching back two years show that military planners were forced to go back to the drawing board in early 2013.
The air force drew up requirements and operational concepts based on a single fleet.
But consultations determined Canada’s needs might be too broad for a single type of aircraft.
The military expects the drones to not only provide surveillance at home and abroad, but also carry weapons, such as Hellfire missiles, for precision strikes during overseas missions.
The documents show the federal government was prepared to spend up to 3.4 billion dollars to buy and service military drones over 20 years.
But those numbers are being revisited because of the delay.