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Press for Conversion #58
March 2006

Publisher:  Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade
Date Written:  01/03/2006
Year Published:  2006  

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  Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade

RADARSAT, is probably Canada’s single-most important technological contribution to the militarisation of space and U.S. warfighting. It cost Canadian taxpayers about $1 billion to produce the world's most advanced commercial satellite system. U.S. military and intelligence agencies are among its top users. In exchange for launching RADARSAT-1 in 1995, the U.S. government directly controls 15% of its observation time and has used it in Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance during the wars against Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq. When the Liberal government privatised RADARSAT--giving it to Vancouver's MacDonald Dettwiler and Assoc.--this firm was wholly owned by a U.S. war industry that builds "missile defense" rockets. (MP David Emerson was on MDA's Board of Directors.) U.S. and NATO warfighters used war games to practise using RADARSAT-2, particularly in its most coveted role: the tracking and targeting of moving, ground vehicles. The exploitation of this data was developed by Canada's Department of National Defence in collaboration with the Ballistic Missile Defence Organization. Together they developed plans to use RADARSAT-2 data in the first-strike attacks of "Theatre Missile Defense" operations. The idea of this “missile defense” is not to protect the homeland but to defend missiles, troops and warships deployed to distant war zones.

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