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Canada to take seven months to deliver ten RHIBS to Ukraine.

| Naval News Navy 2024

According to information published by the Canadian DoD on April 26, 2024, during the 21st session of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group, convened virtually by U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III, Canada's National Defence Minister, the Honourable Bill Blair, announced an upcoming increase in military aid to Ukraine.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Zodiac Hurricaine Rigid-Hulled Inflatable Boats. (Picture source: Canadian government)

Minister Blair detailed the logistics of Canada's recent commitments, highlighting the scheduled July delivery of ten multirole boats, originally pledged in January by Zodiac Hurricane Technologies. This package also includes comprehensive operator training, coordinated through commercial contracts, alongside necessary trailers and spare parts for the vessels.


The Zodiac Hurricane is a series of rigid hull inflatable boats (RHIBs) designed primarily for military and professional use. These boats are manufactured by Zodiac Milpro, a company renowned for its high-performance, versatile vessels capable of handling a variety of maritime tasks including search and rescue (SAR), humanitarian aid, disaster relief, and military operations.

Zodiac Hurricane boats range from 6.7 meters to over 13 meters in length and are known for their durability and high-speed capabilities, with some models reaching speeds up to 60 knots. They feature a unique design called the Military Air Channelled Hull (MACH II).

These boats are highly customizable, with options for aluminum or advanced composite hulls, and configurations that can include inboard or outboard engines, and various seating and cabin arrangements.

Zodiac Hurricane boats are used globally by several navies and coast guards. For instance, the French Navy uses them for a range of maritime security operations, and the Royal Canadian Navy has integrated them into their fleet as part of a national shipbuilding strategy to modernize their equipment. Similarly, the US Coast Guard employs these boats for missions including anti-drug interventions and security responses to piracy and terrorism incidents.

Usefulness in the context of the war in Ukraine

These boats enhance coastal patrols along the Black Sea, where their maneuverability and shallow water operations can outperform larger vessels, providing tactical advantages in monitoring and securing these waters. They are also valuable in amphibious operations, enabling rapid deployment of forces to contested areas or facilitating stealthy insertions along the coastline.

In terms of intelligence and surveillance, the advanced sensor and communication systems onboard these RHIBs allow for effective reconnaissance missions. They are instrumental in gathering crucial operational intelligence about enemy movements. 

Search and rescue operations are another critical aspect, especially in conflict zones where naval or coast guard units might encounter emergencies. Logistically, RHIBs support the swift transport of troops and materials, which is essential for maintaining operational readiness and supply chain continuity in dynamic conflict scenarios.

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