DND photo ET2012-0272-04 by Corporal Michael Bastien

HMCS Victoria enters Esquimalt Harbour, 14 September 2012.

Does Canada Need Submarines?

by Michael Byers

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Michael Byers, PhD, holds the Canada Research Chair in Global Politics and International Law at the University of British Columbia. His most recent book is International Law and the Arctic (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2013).


Military procurement features prominently in Canadian public policy discussions, not least because the federal government plans on spending $240 billion over the next two decades on ships, maritime helicopters, fighter jets, search and rescue aircraft, and army vehicles.1 However, one particular procurement is nearly always absent from those discussions, namely, the replacement of Canada’s Victoria-class submarines. The HMCS Chicoutimi, Victoria, Corner Brook, and Windsor, launched by Britain between 1990 and 1993 and purchased secondhand by Canada in 1998, are currently between 20 and 23 years old.

The Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) predicts that the submarines will remain operational until 2030.2 Yet, there are reasons – including poor construction, corrosion caused by lengthy storage in salt water, and a series of accidents – to suspect their lifespan will be shorter.3 And with naval procurements in Canada currently taking 10-15 years, a decision will soon have to be made on whether to replace them. As far back as 2006, the Senate Committee on National Security and Defence recognized the need to plan ahead, writing: “The Victoria-class submarines are approaching their mid-life point. As soon as the submarines are fully operationally ready, planning for their mid-life refits and eventual replacement should begin.”4

That planning will, necessarily, begin with an evaluation of whether submarines are in fact needed for Canada. The government has experience making such evaluations: In the mid-1990s, according to John Ivison of the National Post, “…the Liberal government considered getting out of the submarine business altogether.”5 In 2008, the Conservative government considered scrapping the Victoria-class submarines, before deciding to spend $1.5 billion on refits and repair.6 In 2012, again according to Ivison, the Department of National Defence (DND) was concerned that the government might terminate Canada’s submarine program for cost-savings reasons.7

In order to facilitate the government’s evaluation of whether replacement submarines are needed, this article examines the various arguments previously advanced for continuing Canada’s submarine program. It finds that none of those arguments hold water in present – and reasonably foreseeable – geopolitical and technological circumstances.

Is there a risk of actual armed conflict?

It would be difficult to justify spending billions of dollars on replacement submarines without first identifying a risk of actual, inter-state armed conflict. Today, Canadian proponents of submarines point to an increasingly powerful and assertive China.

Cover 'Horizon 2050'

Royal Canadian Navy

In 2010, DND produced a major planning document entitled Horizon 2050: A Strategic Concept for Canada’s Navy. Although the document has not been released publicly, it is widely considered to already be guiding procurement decisions. The most detailed revelations of the contents of Horizon 2050 come from the distinguished political scientist Elinor Sloan. It is therefore worth quoting her at length:

“Horizon 2050: A strategic concept for Canada’s navy” draws attention to “the ever-latent possibility of conflict among great states,” which, in its judgement, is likely to grow. The maritime domain, it argues, will become increasingly contested over the coming years and decades, the product of a combination of several challenges. They include, among other things: demography and population growth leading to progressively urbanized coastal areas; global demand for energy, raising issues of energy security and fuelling maritime boundary disputes over energy resources on the sea bed; climate change, the impact of which is expected to be felt most strongly in littoral regions of the world; failed states incapable of implementing effective state control over coastal areas; and continued and accelerated globalization, making the ocean nodes and chokepoints of commerce especially vulnerable to disruption by a range of criminals,terrorists, and irregular forces.
One outcome of these trends, the paper argues, is that “we should anticipate the possible re-emergence of inter-state maritime armed conflict… including the possibility that certain states will seek to deny others access to their maritime approaches.” The document speaks in generalities, without reference to any specific country. Nonetheless, it is difficult not to read “China” between the lines. “Some adversaries,” it states, “will have the ability to employ more sophisticated area denial capabilities… using ‘high-end’ conventional or asymmetric capabilities such as advanced missiles or submarines.”
Against these potential challenges, Canada is not expected to be a bystander. “Horizon 2050” emphasizes that Canada “can contribute meaningfully to the joint and combined campaign with maritime forces that are prepared to wage and win the war at sea,” with credible, combat-capable maritime forces to control events in contested waters, and contain or isolate conflict through contributions to coalition or alliance maritime operations.8

Although it is difficult to critique a document that is not public, the strategic concept as reported by Sloan does seem somewhat ‘blinkered.’ Nowhere is there any mention of China’s heavy reliance upon international trade. A member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) since 2001, China is the world’s largest exporter,9 the world’s second largest creditor-state after Japan, and the largest creditor of the United States.10

Since 2010, Canadian foreign policy has focused upon the increasingly important economic relationship with China, which extends to a Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement that, once ratified, would limit the rights of the federal and provincial governments with respect to Chinese state-owned companies operating in Canada.11 Further, in 2012, Prime Minister Harper and President Hu Jintao announced exploratory discussions on a possible free trade agreement and concluded a legally binding protocol to supplement the existing Nuclear Cooperation Agreement, designed to “facilitate the export of Canadian uranium to China.”12

The tension between Horizon 2050 and this new emphasis upon Canadian-Chinese cooperation may explain why the RCN’s strategy document has not been publicly released. In any event, it seems doubtful that speculative security concerns about a country that has been embraced by the Canadian government as central to our trade and foreign policy can reasonably be used to justify spending billions of dollars on submarines.

Reuters RTX12846 by Carlos Barria

Shanghai’s financial district of Pudong, as seen from the top of the Shanghai Tower.

Are submarines needed for the Arctic?

During the acquisition of the Victoria-class submarines, the RCN emphasized their potential Arctic capabilities. For instance, Lieutenant-Commander Dermot Mulholland was quoted as saying: “Air independent propulsion will give us the capability at some point in the future to operate for several weeks at a time without operating the air breathing engine, and that would enable us to go under the ice.”13 However, air independent propulsion is not built-in to the submarines, nor was the feature pursued at any point after the acquisition of the fleet – meaning they cannot operate under Arctic ice.

Nevertheless, proponents of a continued Canadian submarine capability often point to the Arctic in justification. DND cites the fact that HMCS Corner Brook took part in the annual Operation Nanook in August 2007 and 2009, while omitting to mention that the submarine remained in the seasonally ice-free waters of Baffin Bay.14

Concerns about Arctic sovereignty have also featured prominently in Stephen Harper’s public statements. In 2007, the Prime Minister said: “Canada has a choice when it comes to defending our sovereignty in the Arctic: either we use it or we lose it.”15 In reality, the Arctic has become an area of increased and increasing cooperation. The Cold War ended more than two decades ago and Russia is now a member of the WTO, G20, Council of Europe, and Arctic Council. In January 2010, behind closed doors, Stephen Harper reportedly told the Secretary General of NATO: “Canada has a good working relationship with Russia with respect to the Arctic” and that “there is no likelihood of Arctic states going to war.”16

Senior members of the Canadian and US militaries have confirmed these views. In 2009, Canada’s then-Chief of the Defence Staff, General Walter Natynczyk, said: “If someone were to invade the Canadian Arctic, my first task would be to rescue them.”17 In 2010, then-US Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Gary Roughead, produced a memorandum on Navy Strategic Objectives for the Arctic that stated: “…the potential for conflict in the Arctic is low.”18 To the degree that security threats exist in the Arctic today, they concern non-state actors such as drug smugglers and illegal immigrants. Submarines are an expensive and inefficient response to these challenges.

In short, those who use the Arctic to justify a continued Canadian submarine capacity cannot point to any geopolitical changes in the region that strengthen the case for submarines. To the contrary, the case is much weaker today than it was in 1989, when the Cold War was still on – and the Mulroney government cancelled its plan to purchase nuclear-powered submarines.

Wikipedia, as created by NASA.

The Northwest Passage

Are submarines needed to protect Canada’s Northwest Passage claim?

Canada and the United States have long disagreed on the legal status of the Northwest Passage. The United States claims the narrowest stretches of the waterway constitute an “international strait” through which vessels from all countries may pass freely. The criteria for an international strait, according to the International Court of Justice in the 1949 Corfu Channel Case, are: “… its geographical situation as connecting two parts of the high seas and the fact of its being used for international navigation.”19 Foreign vessels sailing through an international strait necessarily pass within 12 nautical miles of one or more coastal states, but instead of the regular right of “innocent passage” through territorial waters, they benefit from an enhanced right of “transit passage.”20 This entitles them to pass through the strait without coastal state permission, while also freeing them from other constraints. For instance, foreign submarines may sail submerged through an international strait – something they are not permitted to do in regular territorial waters.21

Canada maintains that the Northwest Passage constitutes “internal waters.” Internal waters are not territorial waters, and permission of the coastal state is required for entry. When foreign ships enter internal waters with permission, which is what ships do every time they enter a port in another country, their presence does not undermine the internal waters claim.

Soviet submarines entered the Northwest Passage without permission during the Cold War.22 However, they never threatened Canada’s legal position there, because the whole purpose of submarines is to remain covert, and only overt actions can undermine or create rights under international law.23 The United States also sent submarines through the Northwest Passage, beginning with the USS Seadragon in 1960.24 What is not clear is whether the United States had sought Canada’s permission for such voyages, and whether permission had been granted.

Publicly, Canada has chosen to ignore the issue of submarine transits, and total ignorance would work in Canada’s favour, because (as mentioned above) covert actions cannot make or change international law. However, it seems likely that Canada, as a military ally of the United States in both NATO and NORAD, has known about at least some of the US submarine traffic and simply kept quiet. Such a combination of knowledge and passive acquiescence could undermine Canada’s legal position, were evidence of it made public, since this would establish actual non-consensual usage of the Northwest Passage by international shipping.

DND photo IEC96-635-10A

Minister of National Defence David Collenette in 1996

It is just as likely that the US submarine traffic has taken place with Canada’s consent. In 1995, then-Defence Minister David Collenette was asked in the House of Commons about submarines in the Northwest Passage. He replied: “I believe we have a novel diplomatic arrangement with the United States under which they inform us of activities of their nuclear submarines under the ice, which enables us to at least say they are doing it with our acquiescence.”25 When an opposition Member of Parliament sought to verify the statement, Collenette corrected himself:

There is no formal agreement covering the passage of any nation’s submarines through Canadian Arctic waters. However, as a country that operates submarines, Canada does receive information on submarine activities from our Allies. This information is exchanged for operational and safety reasons with the emphasis on minimizing interference and the possibility of collisions between submerged submarines.26

A decade later, another defence minister referred to the arrangement as a “protocol.” Bill Graham assured the Globe and Mail that the United States “would have told us” before any of their submarines transited Canadian waters.27

If a bilateral agreement on submarine voyages in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago exists, it is likely modelled upon the 1988 Arctic Cooperation Agreement, which, in the context of voyages by US Coast Guard icebreakers, specifies: “… [that] nothing in this agreement…affects the relative positions of the Governments of the United States and of Canada on the Law of the Sea.”28 In other words, the voyages are without prejudice to either side’s position in the legal dispute. If there is no such agreement, however, and if Canada is told about the voyages without being asked for permission, that combination of knowledge and acquiescence could, again, potentially undermine its legal position – if and when the situation was ever made public. All that said, the issue of submarine voyages remains ‘off the table,’ legally speaking, as long as both Canada and the United States continue to treat these activities as officially secret – which is exactly what they seem intent upon doing. For all these reasons, Canadian submarines would add little to Canada’s legal position, even if they could operate under the ice.

Are submarines needed to maintain Canada’s participation in water space management and intelligence sharing?

It is sometimes argued that a submarine capability is needed because it “admits Canada to that exclusive group of states participating in regulated and highly classified submarine water space management and intelligence-sharing schemes.”29 The term “water-space management” refers to the sharing of information between allies concerning the location of their submarines, so as to avoid accidents.

However, Arctic waters are cold, remote, mostly shallow, relatively uncharted, and littered with icebergs that reach deep into the sea. They are a dangerous place for any vessel, and NATO countries therefore have a strong interest in ensuring the prompt provision of search and rescue in the event of an accident. For this reason, they will almost certainly continue to notify Canada of the presence of their submarines regardless of whether Canada also operates submarines. In addition, a good argument can be made that the NORAD Agreement, the scope of which was expanded in 2006 to include the sharing of maritime surveillance in the Northwest Passage and elsewhere, encompasses the sharing of information concerning the presence of submarines.30

Cover of 'Leadmark: The Navy’s Strategy for 2020')

Department of National Defence/Canadian Navy

Are submarines needed to gather evidence?

In its 2001 strategy document Leadmark, DND stated that submarines “…quite literally have brought a new dimension to such sovereignty activities as fisheries patrols and counter-drug operations, being able to approach violators unobserved.”31 Yet, the contribution of the submarines is limited to gathering evidence, because they are ill-suited for interdicting vessels.

Today, DND cites the example of HMCS Corner Brook providing surveillance in US-led narcotics operations as evidence of the submarines’ usefulness in thwarting criminal activity, while also suggesting that Canada’s submarine capability had a deterrent effect upon Spanish fishing boats during the “Turbot Crisis” of 1995, as well as upon “American fishing boats operating in disputed waters on Georges Bank.”32 Presumably, the deterrence involved the threat of being detected and monitored, rather than of being sunk.

In 2009, J. Matthew Gillis wrote:

[W]hile submarines have the endurance and sensor radius to patrol the long coasts of Canada, it is questionable whether they are Canada’s best patrol assets. [A] CP-140 Aurora [aircraft] can survey twice an SSK’s patrol area in a matter of hours. The CP-140’s advanced camera suite performs a comparable function to periscope cameras, capturing criminal activity at sea on film. But while submarines do not have the speed of the CP-140s, they have two qualities that CP-140s do not: stealth and endurance. Criminals could hide evidence before an aircraft or ship comes within camera range, but a submarine can loiter indefinitely and undetected. Based on these factors, the constabulary role is a viable one for Canadian submarines.33

Today, as a result of technological developments, the surveillance of non-state actors can be done more effectively and efficiently with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs or “drones”). Canada already has a “Joint Uninhabited Surveillance and Target Acquisition System” (JUSTAS) program, a long-term strategy to acquire a fleet of UAVs for domestic and international operations. In March 2013, Lieutenant-General Yvan Blondin, the Commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force, told the Senate Committee on National Security and Defence that UAVs are needed because they have “the range and endurance to be able to go on long patrols and be our eyes in the sky in the Arctic.”34 Drones can fly for very long periods of time, with some surveillance models being small and quiet – characteristics that enable them, like submarines, to loiter undetected and thus capture criminal activity on film.

DND photo BN2013-0376-180

Lieutenant-General Yvan Blondin (right), Commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force.

Are Canadian submarines needed to help the US Navy train?

It is often asserted that Canada’s submarines are useful for helping allies train in the detection of relatively quiet diesel-electric vessels. The US Navy, in particular, operates a solely nuclear-powered submarine fleet, and “…recognizes that diesel-electric submarines can pose a serious threat to its surface fleet, especially in littoral operations. Training exercises with foreign diesel-electric vessels are therefore considered of great value in honing the skills of the crews of patrol aircraft and surface ships.”35 DND reports that HMCS Corner Brook has received high praise for acting as a simulated enemy in various NATO and Canada-US exercises “…to assist in the training of NATO and US surface and air forces.”36

However, the United States is capable of finding other diesel-electric submarines with which to train. From 2005–2007, the US Navy leased the HMS Gotland and its Swedish crew for use in anti-submarine exercises in the Pacific Ocean.37 NATO allies France, Germany, and Spain also operated diesel-electric submarines. Moreover, as Gillis points out, “Investing over $900 million in operating four submarines to train foreign navies is a seemingly strange allocation of money for a navy with an already narrow budget.”38

Does Canada need submarines to maintain expertise?

The final reason often used to justify a continued submarine program, is that Canada would otherwise lose crucial expertise that would be difficult to rebuild if, at some point, a decision was made to reacquire submarines.39 Of course, the same argument could be made about any military equipment, from cavalry horses to aircraft carriers, both of which Canada’s armed forces have operated in the past. Moreover, even the purchase of readily-available, ‘off-the-shelf’ submarines from France or Germany would entail a multi-year procurement process that would allow time to train experienced surface-vessel officers and crews for a submarine role.


In 1995, the editorial board of the Globe and Mail wrote of the proposed acquisition of the Victoria-class submarines:

[I]f submarines are to deter attacks on Canada as part of defending territorial sovereignty; we still do not know whence these attacks will come. The government readily admits the Cold War is over, but still finds enemies on and under the sea. If, indeed, they exist, we can surely rely on the submarine capacity of our NATO allies to cover that particular flank.
… While it is true that submarines are effective in monitoring foreign fleets because they can operate in secrecy, this is using a sledgehammer to crack a peanut. The problem is not so great that planes and satellites can’t handle it.
… The economic and military argument for buying submarines now is unconvincing. We cannot afford them and do not appear to need them – however attractive the price.40

Today, the same arguments apply: there is no threat of inter-state conflict sufficient to justify Canada investing billions of dollars in a submarine fleet; and the other roles ascribed to submarines, such as surveillance and evidence-gathering, can be more efficiently fulfilled by other technologies.

Denmark has come to the same conclusion. Like Canada, Denmark is a NATO country with substantial maritime zones, largely because of the Faroe Islands and Greenland. Yet in 2006, Denmark decommissioned the last of its German-designed diesel-electric submarines. According to the Danish Ministry of Defence:

The current security environment, including the enlargement of NATO and the EU, is of such a nature that the conventional military threat to the Danish territory has disappeared for the foreseeable future.41

Concurrent with the decommissioning of its submarines, the Danish government increased the size and capability of its surface fleet – including new offshore patrol vessels to provide inspection and fishery protection.

As the Canadian government necessarily embarks upon an evaluation of whether to replace the Victoria-class fleet, the Danish approach provides an important model, for none of the arguments previously made in favour of Canada having submarines hold any water today.

DND photo ET2011-0153-07 by Master Corporal Daniel Mallette

HMCS Corner Brook leaves CFB Esquimalt to link up with HMCS Algonquin for sea trials, 30 May 2011.


  1. Tom Jenkins, “How to build a ‘Canada First’ industrial strategy,” in Globe and Mail, 13 February 2013, at
  2. Canadian Press, “Troubled submarines to be used until 2030,” 27 February 2012, at
  3. For a detailed review of the problems, see: Michael Byers & Stewart Webb, “That Sinking Feeling: Canada’s Submarine Program Springs a Leak,” 11 June 2013, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, available at:
  4. Senate Committee on National Security and Defence, “The Government’s No. 1 Job: Securing the Military Options It Needs to Protect Canadians,” Interim Report, June 2006, available at:
  5. John Ivison, “Sinking Canada’s troubled sub program at budget time may make sense,” in National Post, 28 December 2012, at:
  6. Daniel LeBlanc, “Submarines good value, navy tells MacKay,” in Globe and Mail, 18 March 2008, at:
  7. Ivison.
  8. Elinor Sloan, “US-China military and security developments: Implications for Canada,” (2010-2011) International Journal, Vol. 66 No. 2, p. 276-277.

  9. See Appendix Table 1 in World Trade Organization, “Trade to remain subdued in 2013 after sluggish growth in 2012 as European economies continue to struggle,” 10 April 2013, at:
  10. See Mitsuru Obe, “Japan World’s Largest Creditor Nation for 22nd Straight Year,” in Wall Street Journal, 28 May 2013, at:; Daniel Kruger, “China Retains Position as the Largest Foreign Creditor of U.S.,” Bloomberg, 15 May 2013, at 15/china-retains-position-as-the-largest-foreign-creditor-of-u-s-.html.
  11. Gus Van Harten, “What if the Canada-China investment treaty is unconstitutional?” in Globe and Mail, 23 October 2012, at:
  12. Government of Canada, “Bilateral Relations: Canada-China,” 2 October 2012, at:
  13. Derek Ferguson, “Sub purchase called boost for Arctic operation. But critics say move is a waste of federal money,” in Toronto Star, 7 April 1998, A2.
  14. Department of National Defence, “Fact Sheet: Royal Canadian Navy Submarines: Fleet Status,” 26 April 2013, at:
  15. Prime Minister Stephen Harper, “Prime Minister Stephen Harper announces new Arctic offshore patrol ships,” 9 July 2007, available at: See also “Harper on Arctic: ‘Use it or lose it,’” in Victoria Times Colonist, 10 July 2007, available at:
  16. U.S. State Department cable #VZCZCXR03302, 20 January 2010, available at: (original cables are reproduced below the article).
  17. Pierre-Henry Deshayes,“ Arctic threats and challenges from climate change,” in Agence France-Presse, 6 December 2009, available at:
  18. U.S. Chief of Naval Operations, “Navy Strategic Objectives for the Arctic,” 21 May 2010, p. 3, available at:
  19. Corfu Channel Case (UK v. Albania), (1949) International Court of Justice Reports 4, p. 28.
  20. Art. 38, 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, 1833 U.N.T.S. 397, available at:
  21. Article 39(1)(c) of UNCLOS, Ibid., states that ships exercising the right of transit passage “shall refrain from any activities other than those incident to their normal modes of continuous and expeditious transit unless rendered necessary by force majeure or by distress.” Submarines, by definition, normally sail submerged. In contrast, Article 20 of UNCLOS states: “In the territorial sea, submarines and other underwater vehicles are required to navigate on the surface and to show their flag.”
  22. Bob Weber, “Soviet subs cruised Canadian Arctic maps suggest,” in Canadian Press, 6 December 2011, available at
  23. See, for example, Anthony D’Amato, The Concept of Custom in International Law (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1971), p. 469.
  24. Alfred S. McLaren, Unknown Waters: A First-Hand Account of the Historic Under-Ice Survey of the Siberian Continental Shelf by USS Queenfish (Tuscaloosa, AB: University of Alabama Press, 2008), p. 19. See also Donat Pharand & Leonard Legault, The Northwest Passage: Arctic Straits (Dordrecht, Netherlands: Martinus Nijhoff, 1984), p. 148.
  25. Terry Fenge, Letter to the Editor (“Submarines and Arctic sovereignty”), in Globe and Mail, 10 February 1996.
  26. Ibid.
  27. Jane Taber, “Harper breaks ice on Arctic sovereignty,” in Globe and Mail, 23 December 2005, available at:
  28. Agreement between the Government of Canada and the Government of the United States of America on Arctic cooperation, Canada Treaty Series 1988, No. 29, available at:
  29. Commander Michael Craven, “A Rational Choice Revisited: Submarine Capability in a Transformational Era,” in Canadian Military Journal, Vol. 7, No. 4, (Winter 2006–2007), p. 23, available at:
  30. The 2006 version of the NORAD Agreement is available at: For confirmation that it applies to the Northwest Passage, see Hansard, Vol. 141, No. 18, 1st Session, 39th Parliament, 8 May 2006, 15:00, available at:
  31. Department of National Defence, “Leadmark: The Navy’s Strategy for 2020,” 2001, p. 64, available at:
  32. Senate Committee on National Security and Defence, “The Government’s No. 1 Job: Securing the Military Options It Needs to Protect Canadians,” Interim Report, June 2006.
  33. J. Matthew Gillis, “An Undersea Identity Crisis: Evaluating Realistic Roles for Canada’s Submarine Fleet,” in Canadian Naval Review 4(4) (Winter 2009), p. 8, available at:
  34. Lieutenant-General Yvan Blondin, Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence, Issue 13, Evidence, 25 March 2013, available at:; see also Bruce Campion-Smith, “Canada’s air force eyes drones for maritime and Arctic patrols,” in Toronto Star, 25 March 2013, available at:
  35. House of Commons Standing Committee on National Defence and Veterans Affairs, “Chapter 2: A Good Deal For Canada?” in Procurement of Canada’s Victoria-class Submarines (April 2005), available at:
  36. Department of National Defence, “Fact Sheet: Royal Canadian Navy Submarines: Fleet Status,” 26 April 2013.
  37. “U.S. Navy to continue hunt for Swedish sub,” in The Local (Sweden), 18 April 2006, available at:
  38. Gillis.
  39. Vice-Admiral Ron Buck, “The Admiral Sends: Opinion Makers with Naval Interest (OMNI) Victoria Class Submarines;” see also Jessica Bruno, “Canadian Navy to begin looking for new submarines,” in Hill Times, 28 May 2012. Available at:
  40. “The question of submarines,” in Globe and Mail, 3 August 1995, A17.
  41. Danish Ministry of Defence, “4 Appendices,” 10 June 2004, p. 8, available at: .