Defence and security systems in transportation

Remaining technologically current and at the forefront of innovation is critical for the defence and security sector. It must now develop expertise beyond the traditional realms of land, sea and air transportation—in digitization, cyber resilience and space—to ensure technological advancements can reach field operations and efficiently support them.

Our expertise

The NRC has had a long history of supporting Canada’s Department of National Defence and the Canadian defence industry. The NRC also has close ties with other governmental organizations, such as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the Canadian Coast Guard. Over the last 25 years, through our Automotive and Surface Transportation Research Centre expertise in manufacturing, ground transportation and mobility, we have supported numerous major government programs and international and domestic military deployments.

Various challenges currently affecting the defence sector include:

  • Reducing reliance on fossil fuels and meeting targets of government greening initiatives
  • Leveraging advanced AI and simulations, including predictive mobility models, to support real-time battlefield decision making
  • Supporting operations in extreme conditions to safeguard Arctic sovereignty and provide resilience against climate change
  • Incorporating advanced technologies to improve interoperability with our NATO partners and maintaining relevance on the modern battlefield
  • Adopting driver assistance systems and semi-autonomous or fully autonomous systems to reduce the human resource demand and improve situational awareness

To assist the sector, the Automotive and Surface Transportation Research Centre created the defence and security systems research thrust. This area of focus oversees projects for the Department of National Defence, the RCMP and the Canadian Coast Guard as well as major original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and small and medium-sized enterprises in the defence sector. These projects range from technical and research services to collaborative research projects.


Discover NRC programs that support Canada’s defence and security sector:

Resilient Ground Transportation program

Contributing to a more efficient, safe and connected Canadian transportation system

Advanced Manufacturing program

Assisting transportation equipment manufacturers by spearheading breakthrough advanced manufacturing research

Clean and Energy-efficient Transportation program

Developing technology solutions aimed at improving vehicle efficiency as well as infrastructure performance, economics and safety

Facilities and labs

Learn more about the NRC's facilities and labs that can help you develop, test and validate your defence and security systems:

Success stories

Learn more about our significant milestones and accomplishments in the field of defence and security:

Why work with us

Our specialized services range from testing and certification to calibration, prototyping, demonstrations, scale-up and consulting. With our experts and facilities dedicated to defence and security, we can work with you to advance your new technology solutions:

  • Collaborative R&D: In a joint effort, our research expertise and capabilities can help you advance your R&D projects
  • Technical services: Our technical expertise can help you test and mature your technology and take it to the next level

Contact us

Bruce Playfair, CD, P.Eng.
Lead, Defence and Security Systems
Automotive and Surface Transportation

David Fraser
Director, Business Development
Automotive and Surface Transportation