Canada Prepares Response to ‘Russian Threat’ in Arctic

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The Canadian Navy plans to buy Type 26 British frigates, designed to combat submarines, the Defense News site reports.

According to Defense News, the construction of these ships in the UK only started last summer, which could lead to delays in deliveries and an increase in the cost of ships. The authors of the article believe that such risks are due to the desire to find a response to the “Russian threat” in the Arctic as soon as possible.

“For the Canadians, anti-submarine warfare is a big deal,” said Bryan Clark, a retired U.S. submarine officer and analyst with the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. “If you are worried about the Russian sub threat and the air threat, then, yeah, the Type 26 makes sense.”

Indeed, BAE executives here said a big part of Type 26 is its anti-submarine warfare-friendly design elements.

“That was a huge discriminator for us,” Anne Healey, a vice president with BAE Systems, told a roundtable of reporters at the Euronaval conference. “We are extremely quiet and we are probably the world’s most advanced frigate … and that’s a key element of what sets us apart and what’s valued by the Canadian Navy.”

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According to President of Lockheed Martin Canada, which will supply British ships to the Canadian Navy, in the last 15 years the western powers have invested mainly in the development of antiaircraft defense, but now it has become clear that the threat comes mainly from submarines.

In total, Canada plans to buy 15 frigates, which will cost the government $60 billion.

Recently the media reported that NATO member countries are planning to start developing unmanned maritime systems designed to counter the threat of Russian submarines.

In October, Dutch Navy Marine Operations Command Commander Jeff Mac Mootry said Russian warships and planes were trying to provoke the British and Dutch military in Arctic maneuvers. According to him, Russian ships have become much more modern than in the past decades and planes fly very close to enemy ships. The general believes such actions can be called “provocation.”

Yuri Shvytkin, the deputy chairman of the State Duma’s Security and Defense Committee, in response to these allegations, said that Moscow operates in the Arctic according to all rules and does not allows provocative actions against ships from other states.

“This is yet another attempt by NATO countries to dominate the Arctic in order to achieve their goals,” said the deputy.

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