It appears that Canada is getting involved in the drone arms race.
According to a report in the Ottawa Citizen, the Harper government recently approved a military 'request to aerospace firms' to provide details about the types of drones now available in the marketplace.
The 'request' pointed out the need for the unmanned aircraft to operate in the Arctic. The aircraft should also be able to carry precision-guided munitions, the government said.
"This capability will allow the CF [Canadian Forces] to fill critical deficiencies," industry officials were told in the request for information sent to them July 23.
According to DND documents, the military intends to spend around $1 billion on the project.
The development and deployment of armed drones has become a sensitive subject around the world, primarily because of the way the Americans have used them for cross-border raids on Taliban and al-Qaida suspects in Pakistan. Their use has provoked concern that many civilians have been caught during these air strikes.