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Canada donates 800 SkyRanger R70 Unmanned Aerial Vehicles to Ukraine.

| Defense News Army 2024

On February 19, 2024, Canadian Defense Minister Bill Blair announced a donation of over 800 SkyRanger R70 drones to Ukraine, initiating a new phase in Canada's military commitment to the country. Valued at over $95 million, these multi-mission unmanned aerial systems are intended to bolster Ukraine's defensive capabilities.
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Canadian Defense Minister Bill Blair announced a donation of over 800 SkyRanger R70 drones to Ukraine. (Picture source: Teledyne FLIR)

The SkyRanger R70 drones, supplied by Teledyne FLIR, are equipped with automated and autonomous navigation systems, capable of carrying various camera systems and payloads to detect and identify targets from a distance, including in low-light and adverse weather conditions. These versatile drones can carry payloads of up to 3.5 kilograms, including munitions, making them essential for surveillance, intelligence gathering, and transporting and delivering supplies.

Canada is collaborating with Ukraine on a training plan and delivery schedule, with the first deliveries expected this spring to meet Ukraine's urgent defensive needs. Drones have become a critical capability in Ukraine's fight against Russia, allowing Ukrainian troops to gather more situational awareness for quicker and more accurate target evaluation.

In addition to the drones, Canada has provided significant military support to Ukraine, including 8 Leopard 2A4 main battle tanks with a 120mm cannon, 208 armored vehicles including donations of Roshel armored vehicles in May 2022, an additional donation of 200 Senator armored vehicles in January 2023, and 50 armored vehicles announced in September 2023 including medical evacuation vehicles. Canada has also donated 39 armored combat support vehicles (VBSC), a recovery vehicle, four M777 howitzer systems with spare parts and ammunition, 155mm ammunition, and 105mm training cartridges for tanks. Furthermore, 76 high-resolution drone cameras have been provided for surveillance and reconnaissance, with an additional 35 cameras announced. Canada has contributed about 100 Carl Gustaf M2 anti-tank weapon systems and over 3,000 rounds of 84mm ammunition.

In November 2022, Defense Minister Anita Anand announced an additional military aid package of approximately $34 million, including $5 million for continued provision of crucial satellite imagery, over $18 million for additional high-resolution drone cameras, and up to $10 million for additional winter equipment, including portable heaters, thermal blankets, and sleeping bags.

This donation follows Minister Blair's announcement at the 19th meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group of a new $60 million contribution to the UDCG Air Force Capability Coalition to support the establishment of a sustainable F-16 fighter aircraft capability in Ukraine, including the training of Ukrainian pilots through multinational efforts.

Minister Blair reaffirmed Canada's commitment to support Ukraine for as long as necessary, highlighting Canada's ongoing solidarity with Ukraine in its struggle for sovereignty and defense against invasion.


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