The US and Canada have reiterated their commitment to enhancing the capabilities of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).

The two countries have released a joint statement that will guide their collaborative efforts to modernise NORAD over the coming years.

NORAD is a bi-national organisation of the US and Canada responsible for aerospace warning, aerospace control and maritime warning for North America.

The organisation will issue alerts in case of an attack by aircraft, missiles or space vehicles on North America.

It also ensures air sovereignty and defence of Canada and US airspace.

The 2006 renewal of the NORAD Agreement added a maritime warning mission to its responsibilities.

The NORAD modernisation will prioritise investments to enhance situational awareness particularly in the northern and maritime approaches to the continent. This will include replacing the North Warning System with more advanced technological solutions.

Canada and the US also intend to modernise command and control systems to enable faster and better-informed decision-making.

The programme will also make investments to develop capabilities to deter and, if necessary, defeat evolving aerospace threats to North America.

The joint statement read: “The Canadian Department of National Defence (DND) and US Department of Defense (DoD) intend to move forward deliberately with coordinated investments that reflect the continuing importance of the role that NORAD plays in North American and allied deterrence, and in maintaining North America as a secure base for active engagement around the world.

“This work is to be advanced through ongoing engagements between DND and DoD.”