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Minister Blair announces additional military assistance for Ukraine at the 23rd meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group

The Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of National Defence, participated in the 23rd Ukraine Defense Contact Group (UDCG) meeting in Brussels, Belgium, hosted by United States Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III. The meeting brought together representatives from more than 50 countries. Minister Blair and his counterparts reaffirmed their unwavering support for Ukraine and received a battlefield update from Ukraine’s Defence Minister and general staff.

At the meeting, Minister Blair announced that Canada plans to send an initial tranche of 2,300 CRV7 rocket motors to Ukraine. The decommissioned rocket motors were previously used by the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) on CF-18 fighter aircraft. Over the past few months, Magellan Aerospace and Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) have been testing the rocket motors to ensure their viability following a request from the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) for this equipment.

Minister Blair further announced that Canada will donate 29 Nanuk Remote Weapons Systems from surplus Canadian Armed Forces inventory. The Nanuk is a remotely controlled weapon station that can be integrated on various armoured vehicle platforms and used for different mission profiles. The Nanuk Systems were manufactured by Rheinmetall Canada and are used by the Canadian Army on its light armoured vehicles.

In addition to these donations, Canada will send more than 130,000 rounds of surplus small arms ammunition to the AFU.

Minister Blair also confirmed that the first four of 50 Armoured Combat Support Vehicles built by Canadian workers in London, Ontario are heading to the AFU. The first four vehicles, which are the ambulance variant of the vehicle, will be delivered to Europe in the coming weeks where Ukrainian troops will be trained in their use.

Minister Blair also confirmed that:

  • The delivery of the previously announced 900 Canadian-made drones will begin this month. These drones are capable of surveillance and gathering, as well as transportation and delivery of supplies. More deliveries will follow in the coming months.
  • The 10 rigid-hull multi-role boats, including training, that Canada previously committed to providing to Ukraine will be delivered in July. These boats will support Ukraine’s maritime operations including search and rescue, troop and cargo transport, surveillance, and reconnaissance.

Following the UDCG meeting, Minister Blair signed the Armour Capability Coalition Letter of Intent, formalizing Canada’s membership in the Coalition. Canada has been actively participating in meetings of the Armour Capability Coalition since its establishment in January.

“Ukraine’s fight against Russia’s illegal and unprovoked invasion is also a fight for democracy, freedom, and human rights. We cannot let Ukraine down – because what happens in Ukraine will help determine the future of the international rules that keep us all safe. Canada will continue to stand with Ukraine until its victory.”

  • The Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of National Defence

 

ADDITOINAL INFO

  • Initial testing on the CRV7 motors is complete and a report is being finalized. National Defence is also seeking the requisite waivers and permits to transport the equipment safely. Once the report is final, and the Department of National Defence receives the requisite waivers and permits required to transport them to Europe, Canada intends to send the initial tranche of motors to Ukraine.
  • Magellan Aerospace and DRDC continue to test additional samples of CRV7 rocket motors. As further testing results are made available, Canada will assess the feasibility of additional CRV7 motor donations.
  • 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 up 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 capability coalitions.
  • Since February 2022, Canada has committed over $14 billion in total assistance to Ukraine, including $4 billion in military assistance. 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 maintainers to support Ukraine’s F-16s.
  • Since the launch of Operation UNIFIER, the CAF has trained more than 41,000 members of the AFU. Canada has announced the extension of this mission until March 2026, so that the CAF can continue to respond to Ukraine’s training needs.
  • Canada continues to train AFU members under Operation UNIFIER, with approximately 300 CAF members currently deployed in the United Kingdom, Poland, and Latvia 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 RCAF has been transporting Ukraine-bound military aid donated by Canada, partners, and Allies. To date, the RCAF has transported over 19 million pounds of military donations.

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