Top military commander in favour of Canada using armed drones


OTTAWA – The country’s top military commander says he’s strongly in favour of Canada acquiring armed drones for future operations.Gen. Jonathan Vance, appearing before the senate’s defence and security committee, says he has increased the priority for the air force’s drone program, which has been in the planning stages for more than a decade. Story continues below

READ MORE: U.S. drone strike kills at least 150 at al-Shabab training camp in SomaliaHe says the remotely piloted aircraft are important not only for surveillance at home, but to contribute to multi-national missions overseas where the ability to strike at an enemy is necessary.Vance says it’s important for a military force to have a range of options available and believes there’s little point in having an unmanned aerial vehicle that can see a danger, but not strike it.The Liberals made buying drones a commitment in their election platform last fall and put out a quiet call to defence contractors in January for their ideas on what systems could be provided.The request for information, which closes in mid-April, was quite specific, saying the air force was looking for a drone that could deliver one Hellfire missile and two 113-kilogram bombs.