Jane’s Defence Weekly

 

May 2011

 

Canada releases details on Libya involvement

 

The Canadian Department of National Defence (DND) on Wednesday released further details regarding its involvement in the UN mission to enforce a no-fly zone in Libya.

 

According to Big-Gen Richard Blanchette, as of Wednesday, six Canadian CF-18s have conducted 324 of NATO’s 3,100 strike sorties in the campaign. During those sorties the aircraft expended approximately 240 laser guided bombs, though Blanchette refused to say what targets were hit.

 

“We consider that a NATO aircraft is a NATO aircraft and we don’t want to give it a flag for security reasons,” said Blanchette.”If you put yourself in the shoes of those who might be hit by those bombs, it might be useful to know how many you can drop with one airplane, one sortie or one way of attacking. There are a lot of details like this that can be deduced from an analysis of (many) little pieces of information.”

 

In addition to the six CF-18s and a seventh replacement aircraft, Canada’s mission in Libya now includes 600 military personnel and two CP-150 Auroras which have been conducting intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions. Also deployed are three Canadian Forces tanker aircraft (two CC-130 Hercules and one Polaris refueller) and the HMCS Charlottetown Halifax class frigate, which has been doing mine clearing and patrolling in the sea lanes approaches to Misrata.

 

The Canadian government also recently purchased 1,300 laser-guided 500 pound Paveway smart bombs to boost its capabilities in the region.

However last week, shortly after being re-confirmed to his position following the Conservatives majority government win, Canada’s reappointed defence minister Peter MacKay said that the country has no intension of expanding its role in Libya.

 

Peter@peterdiekmeyer.com

 

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