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Additional military assistance for Ukraine announced at the 21st meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group

The Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of National Defence, participated in the 21st Ukraine Defense Contact Group (UDCG) meeting, hosted by United States Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III. The meeting was held virtually on the two-year anniversary of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group and brought together representatives from more than 50 countries.

At the meeting, Minister Blair announced that Canada is donating $3 million to Ukraine for the production of drones by Ukraine’s domestic defence industry. This marks the first time that Canada is contributing directly to the production of military drones in Ukraine, and this donation will be made in collaboration with the United Kingdom.

Minister Blair also confirmed that Canada is providing an additional contribution of approximately $13 million to Czechia’s initiative to procure and deliver large-calibre ammunition for Ukraine. This contribution comes in addition to last month’s announcement of $40 million and brings Canada’s total contribution to the Czech initiative to over $53 million.

In addition, Minister Blair noted that Canada’s donation of drones from Teledyne FLIR in Waterloo, Ontario, announced in February 2024, will grow by an additional 100 drones – bringing our total contribution of SkyRanger drones to 900. Delivery of these drones will begin in May.

These donations are funded by the $500 million military assistance package that Prime Minister Trudeau announced in Kyiv on June 12, 2023.

Minister Blair also provided updates on the delivery of other donations:

  • The first 10 of 50 Armoured Combat Support Vehicles that Canada will donate to Ukraine will be delivered to Europe this summer. Ukrainians will be trained on the vehicles in the summer, and the vehicles will move to Ukraine in the fall. These vehicles are built by Canadian workers at General Dynamics Land Systems – Canada in London, Ontario.
  • The 10 Multirole Boats from Zodiac Hurricane Technologies committed in January are set to be delivered this July, including the provision of commercially contracted training for Ukrainian operators, as well as trailers and spare parts; and
  • As announced earlier this year, Canada has been contributing to Ukraine’s F-16 fighter capability by providing training since February 2024. Canada is providing civilian instructors, planes, and support staff contracted from Montreal-based Top Aces Inc. to support pilot and maintenance personnel training for Ukraine’s incoming F-16 fleet, under the auspices of the Air Force Capability Coalition. In addition, Canada is providing language training to 14 Ukrainian air force members at the Canadian Forces language school in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec.

Canada’s military assistance to Ukraine demonstrates our ongoing commitment to providing Ukrainians with the military aid that they need in their fight against Russia’s illegal and unjustifiable war. As indicated in the Agreement on security cooperation between Canada and Ukraine, Canada will continue to support Ukraine for the long-term.

“Ukrainians have been relentless in their fight for freedom, democracy, and the rules-based international order that keeps us all safe. On the two-year anniversary of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group, Canada reaffirms that it will stand with Ukraine for as long as victory takes.”

–              The Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of National Defence

ADDITIONAL INFO

  • The UDCG was created by the United States Secretary of Defense in April 2022 to allow Allies and partners to synchronize donations, consult, and coordinate military assistance to Ukraine, and build the capabilities of the AFU. Convening monthly at the ministerial level, the UDCG now brings together more than 50 countries.
  • Canada is a member of the UDCG’s Armour, Air Force, and Drone coalition capabilities, which were established by UDCG members to strengthen Ukraine’s capabilities in particular areas.
  • Since February 2022, Canada has committed over $4 billion in military assistance to Ukraine. This includes Leopard 2 main battle tanks, armoured combat support vehicles, anti-tank weapons, small arms, M777 howitzers and associated ammunition, high-resolution drone cameras, winter clothing, and more. Canada is also contributing to multinational efforts to train pilots and maintain and support Ukraine’s F-16s.
  • Since the launch of Operation UNIFIER, Canada has trained over 40,000 members of the AFU. Canada has announced the extension of this mission until March 2026, so that the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) can continue to respond to Ukraine’s urgent training needs.
  • Canada continues to train AFU members under Operation UNIFIER, with more than 300 CAF members deployed in various roles such as the provision and coordination of training, national command support, and the facilitation and delivery of military donations to Ukraine in coordination with Allies.
  • Since late March 2022, the CAF has been assisting with the delivery of military aid for Ukraine within Europe from Canada and on behalf of our Allies and partners, transporting over 16 million pounds of military donations to date.

 

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