OTTAWA — The cost of a new satellite system the federal government wants to build to conduct Arctic surveillance is expected to jump from $600 million to more than $1 billion, according to a document obtained by the Citizen.

The project, dubbed the Radarsat Constellation Mission, or RCM, is seen as key to the Conservative government’s plans to expand Canada’s presence in the Arctic. The first satellite in the system is scheduled to be launched in 2014 and once the full system is operating, the constellation would be capable of providing extensive surveillance of the North as well as of Canada’s coasts.

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