Russia resumes Arctic bomber flights, submarine patrols near North America: Norad

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Russia has begun sending long-range bombers back toward North American airspace over the Arctic after a brief pause during the early months of its war in Ukraine, according to a senior Canadian military official.

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Russian submarines are also operating off both coasts as Moscow seeks to demonstrate its ability to strike Canada and the United States, said Lt. Gen. Alain Pelletier, deputy commander of the North American Aerospace Defense Command.

“We have seen a shortfall this year, especially since the February 24 illegal invasion of Ukraine by Russia. However, some of those activities have now resumed,” Pelletier told the Senate Defense Committee on Monday.


“Activities are not limited to long-range aviation. Russia now uses its submarines both on the Atlantic coast and the Pacific coast to really demonstrate its strategic capabilities and present a threat to North America.

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While Pelletier did not provide more specific details, NORAD officials announced last month that two long-range Russian bombers were intercepted by US fighter jets after approaching Alaska. The bombers did not enter North American airspace before departure.

Pelletier and other defense officials also confirmed that Canada and the US have begun work on modernizing NORAD, the shared early-warning system that comprises North America’s first line of defense against foreign attack from the air.

The Liberal government announced in June that Ottawa planned to invest $4.9 billion over six years and $40 billion over the next 20 years to upgrade the system in cooperation with Washington, DC.

This includes replacing the string of 1980s-era radars in Canada’s north that form the backbone of this country’s contribution to NORAD with more modern systems that can see farther and detect new types of weapons. Can and track them.

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“We’re in the very early stages,” said Defense Department official Jonathan Quinn. “The announcement was in June, but we are setting out detailed plans with milestones, setting up project offices at National Defense Headquarters to advance specific initiatives.”

It comes as Russia and China, in particular, have begun flexing their muscles in the Arctic and developing new weapons that could more easily strike North America, including cruise missiles and hypersonic weapons , who fly very fast.

Yet research and development on new radars and other equipment to find and intercept such weapons is moving quickly, Quinn told the committee that it will be some time before they are in the field.

Quinn said that Canada and the US would be forced to rely on the threat of retaliation to deter such attacks until then.

“During the interim period, we will probably rely a little more heavily on deterrence by punishment until we strengthen those North American defenses to disarm defense resistance,” he said.


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