The U.S. and Canada will upgrade the network of defense satellites and surveillance systems in the Arctic region to counter the military presence of Russia and China, the Wall Street Journal reported.
At a recent online meeting, U.S. President Joe Biden asked Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to increase Ottawa’s spending on upgrades to the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), according to a source.
The system includes satellites, ground radar station and air bases, mainly in Alaska and the Canadian Arctic.
The newspaper recalled that during the Cold War, NORAD played an important role in the strategy to deter the Soviet Union.
Over time, the surveillance system became obsolete. Michael Dawson, a former political advisor to the Canadian NORAD command, told the paper that modern missiles from Russia and China are capable of traveling at five times the speed of sound and over longer distances than previous models. Therefore, the Arctic system may not be able to track them.
According to the assessment of the expert from the University of Manitoba, the publication writes, the modernization project may cost the countries about $15 billion. Canada will have to pay six billion.