Canada offering additional $39 million military aid package for Ukraine

On April 21, Canadian Defence Minister Anita Anand participated in the 11th meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group (UDCG) at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, hosted by U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III. At the meeting, Minister Anand announced that Canada is providing a new military aid package for Ukraine.
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The new military assistance package offered by Canada includes approximately $2.5 million for 40 LRT-3 .50 sniper rifles with ammunition from Prairie Gun Works (PGW) (Picture source: PGW)

This assistance includes:
• A $34.6 million contribution to the NATO Ukraine Comprehensive Assistance Package (CAP) Trust Fund. This donation will:
   - enable the implementation of the NATO CAP fuel material project, which will provide Ukraine with 3.3 million litres of much-needed fuel supplies;
   - enable the implementation of the NATO CAP Improved Ribbon Bridge project – which will provide Ukraine with modular floatation bridge assets to enable wet-gap crossing; and
   - provide a first contribution to the NATO CAP medical first aid kits project.
• Approximately $2.5 million for 40 .50 caliber sniper rifles and ammunition from Prairie Gun Works (PGW) based in Winnipeg, which includes spare parts and accessories.
• Approximately $2 million worth of new radio sets (16 in total) from L3 Harris to accompany the Leopard 2 tank donations.

This donation comes from the remaining funds across the Government of Canada’s various funding envelopes for military assistance to Ukraine.

Minister Anand noted that all 8 Leopard 2A4 main battle tanks committed by Canada to Ukraine have been delivered to Poland, and that Canada has deployed 3 Leopard Gunnery Skills Trainers from 2nd Canadian Division Support Base Valcartier to assist with efforts to train Ukrainian tank crews on the operation and tactics of the Leopard 2A4 tanks.

The Minister also highlighted Canada’s announcement on April 11, 2023, that Canada will donate more than 21,000 small arms to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, including assault rifles, machine guns, and over 2.4 million rounds of small arms ammunition, sourced from Colt Canada and valued at approximately $59 million.

Anita Anand said: “Approximately one year after the Ukraine Defense Contact Group first met here at Ramstein Air Base, our collective resolve to stand with Ukraine is stronger than ever. At today’s meeting, we made important progress on addressing Ukraine’s most pressing immediate, and long-term defence priorities. The donations and support announced by Canada today will help ensure that Ukraine has what it needs to defend its sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity.”

Quick facts

• The Ukraine Defense Contact Group (UDCG) was created by the United States Secretary of Defense in April 2022 to provide a strategic mechanism to identify critical equipment needs and gaps for Ukraine, allow Allies and partners to synchronize donations, consult and coordinate military assistance to Ukraine, and build the capabilities of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Convening monthly at the ministerial level, the UDCG now brings together more than 40 countries.

• The NATO Ukraine Comprehensive Assistance Package Trust Fund finances non-lethal military assistance projects to support the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Projects provide critical military commodities such as fuel, medical supplies, winter gear, ambulances, and bridging equipment.

• Since the beginning of 2022, Canada has committed over $8 billion in direct financial, military, humanitarian, and other assistance to Ukraine.

• Since February 2022, Canada has committed over $1 billion in military assistance to Ukraine. This includes eight Leopard 2A4 main battle tanks and one armoured recovery vehicle, a National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS) with associated munitions, 39 armoured combat support vehicles, anti-tank weapons, small arms, M777 howitzers and associated ammunition, high-resolution drone cameras, winter clothing, and more.

• Since late March 2022, the Canadian Armed Forces (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 8 million pounds of military donations to date.

• CAF personnel are currently deployed to the United Kingdom and Poland to assist with the training of members of the Armed Forces of Ukraine under Operation UNIFIER, Canada’s military training and capacity-building mission in support of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

• Since the start of Operation UNIFIER in 2015, the CAF has trained over 36,000 members of the Security Forces of Ukraine in battlefield tactics and advanced military skills.

Defense News April 2023