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Over 800 Canadian-Built Drones Heading to Ukraine

Canada will donate more than 800 SkyRanger R70 multi-mission Unmanned Aerial Systems to Ukraine.

These drones, valued at over $95 million, will help Ukraine as it fights bravely to defend itself amongst Russia’s illegal and unjustifiable full-scale invasion. Minister Blair was joined for this announcement by James Maloney, Member of Parliament for Etobicoke-Lakeshore; Yvan Baker, Member of Parliament for Etobicoke Centre; representatives of Teledyne; and Ukrainian-Canadian community leaders.

The more than 800 drones, sourced from Teledyne FLIR in Waterloo, Ontario, have automated and autonomous navigation systems, enabling them to carry various camera systems and payloads to detect and identify targets. These capabilities will help Ukrainian operators to recognize individuals, vehicles and any heat source from a long distance, especially in dark conditions and poor weather. This multi-rotor drone is one of the best of its kind in the world, and can handle a variety of payloads up to 3.5 kilograms, including munitions.

These drones are critical for surveillance and intelligence gathering, and can also be used to transport and deliver supplies. Canada is working with Ukraine on a training plan and delivery schedule, with delivery expected to begin this spring.

As the second anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine approaches, these drones will address some of Ukraine’s most urgent defensive needs. Drones have emerged as a critical capability in Ukraine’s fight against Russian aggression. With these drones, Ukrainian troops will be able to gather more situational awareness and information, so that they can assess targets more quickly, and more accurately.

This donation is funded by the $500 million in military assistance for Ukraine announced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during his visit to Kyiv in June 2023. This donation will complement the over 100 high-resolution drone cameras sourced from L3 Wescam that Canada previously donated to Ukraine.

This donation is part of Canada’s comprehensive military assistance to Ukraine. Since February 2022, Canada has committed over $2.4 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.

The donation also follows last week’s 19th Meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group, where Minister Blair announced that Canada will make a new contribution of $60 million to the UDCG Air Force Capability Coalition. This donation will support the setup of a sustainable F-16 fighter aircraft capability in Ukraine. Specifically, the funds will help source vitally needed F-16 supplies and equipment such as spare parts, weapons stations, avionics, and ammunition. Canada is also contributing to multinational efforts to train Ukrainian pilots.

At last week’s meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group, NATO Defence Ministerial, and Munich Security Conference, Minister Blair pledged that Canada will stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes – and reaffirmed this commitment today.

“As we approach the second anniversary of Russia’s illegal invasion, Canada stands firmly with Ukraine in defence of freedom and democracy. In coordination with our allies and partners, we will continue to provide Ukraine with the military aid that it needs to fight and win this war. Today’s announcement ensures that Ukraine has the drones it needs to detect and identify targets which are critical to Ukraine’s ongoing fight. Canada will stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes.” The Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of National Defence

“As the Member of Parliament for Waterloo, I’m pleased to see Teledyne, a Waterloo founded company, developing, engineering, and manufacturing technologies that will provide much needed aid to Ukraine. Canadians, in a strong majority, refuse the premise of Putin’s illegal war on Ukraine and agree that Canada must do all that we can to stand with Ukrainians. This is yet another example of how Canada is supporting vital efforts.” The Honourable Bardish Chagger, Member of Parliament for Waterloo

“For many Canadians, and especially those of Ukrainian heritage, it’s important now more than ever that Ukraine has the support it needs to fight the war. I’m proud to host Minister Blair in my community of Etobicoke-Lakeshore, to announce that we will be providing Ukraine with the drones they need to protect their troops and their country.” James Maloney, Member of Parliament for Etobicoke-Lakeshore

“Ukraine’s victory is vital to Canada’s security, so a Ukrainian victory is the only option for Canada. Ukrainians needs our help to fight against Russia’s brutal invasion and to achieve that victory. The military aid we are announcing today is going to help them do exactly that. We must stand with the Ukrainian people until they win – until we all win.” Yvan Baker, Member of Parliament for Etobicoke Centre

“We are proud to support Canada’s Department of National Defence with our combat-proven, multi-mission SkyRanger R70 drone platform. This donation by Canada extends the array of military solutions Teledyne FLIR Defense is providing to Ukraine through governments worldwide.” Anne Bulik, Vice-President of Unmanned Systems North America for Teledyne FLIR

 

ADDITIONAL INFO

Since February 2022, Canada has committed over $9.7 billion in total assistance to Ukraine, including $2.4 billion in donations of military aid. Canada continues to actively look at what more can be done to support Ukraine. Minister Blair remains in close contact with Ukrainian officials through the Ukraine Defense Contact Group, and on a bilateral basis.

Since the launch of Operation UNIFIER, the Canadian Armed Forces’ (CAF) mission for military training and capacity building in support of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU), Canada has trained more than 40,000 members of the AFU. Canada has extended this mission until March 2026, providing significant capacity for the CAF to respond to Ukraine’s urgent training needs.

More than 300 CAF members are deployed on Operation UNIFIER in various roles, such as the provision and coordination of training, national command support, and the facilitation and delivery of military donations in coordination with Allies and partners.

Since 2022, Canada has three CC-130J Hercules tactical airlift aircraft, alongside a detachment of approximately 60 CAF personnel, conducting operations from a hub based out of Prestwick, Scotland. The detachment has delivered over 15 million pounds of aid to Ukraine, from Canada and from our Allies and partners.

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