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Canada allocates $24.42 Mn for Ukrainian air defence acquisitions

According to an article by CBC on September 17, 2023, Canada's Defence Minister Bill Blair announced a financial commitment of CA$33 million (US$24.42 million) to support the acquisition of high-priority air defence equipment for Ukraine, including the procurement of hundreds of short and medium-range air defence missiles and related systems.
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Canadian Army's air defence systems include the Avenger (Picture source: Canada MoD)

This contribution is part of a broader international initiative led by the United Kingdom aimed at enhancing Ukraine's air defence capabilities in response to ongoing threats from Russian missile and drone attacks. This substantial financial commitment aligns with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's earlier commitment in June to provide CA$500 million ($370 million) in military aid to Kyiv.

Canada's support for Ukraine remains unwavering, particularly given its significant Ukrainian diaspora. Since Russia's invasion in February 2022, Canada has allocated over CA$8 billion ($5.92 billion) in aid, with nearly CA$1.8 billion ($1.33 billion) designated for military assistance.

Minister Blair's announcement took place during his inaugural international trip as defence minister, which included a visit to the Lydd Military Training Camp in the United Kingdom. Canadian soldiers at this training camp actively participate in Operation UNIFIER, a mission focused on training Ukrainian forces. Blair acknowledged their contributions, recognizing their essential role in supporting Ukraine.

This announcement coincides with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's visit to Washington, D.C., where he is scheduled to meet with US President Joe Biden. Zelenskyy's visit follows his appearance at the United Nations General Assembly, where he seeks additional international support for Ukraine's ongoing challenges.

Currently, Ukraine employs a mix of air defence systems, including some of Soviet or Russian origin, alongside various systems donated by other countries. These include NASAMS, Patriot PAC-3, IRIS-T, as well as ASRAAM IR air defence missile systems.


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