Alan Barnes


Newly available information has made it possible for the first time to examine the role of intelligence in decisions on the CF-105 Arrow. These records show that Canadian intelligence assessments of the Soviet bomber threat differed from US estimates. In the late 1950s Canadian analysts stressed the imminent shift from bombers to ballistic missiles as the main danger to North America. The Diefenbaker government’s decision to cancel the Arrow program in 1959 was significantly influenced by this view of the changing strategic threat. In examining the role of intelligence, the article addresses a number of earlier myths, and provides a more complete picture of the decisions concerning this iconic Canadian aircraft.