Canada is intensifying its commitment to Ukraine amidst the ongoing conflict with Russia by providing more military aid, including ammunition, missiles, and medical trainers.
Canada’s Defence Minister, Anita Anand, and the Chief of Defence Staff, General Wayne Eyre, attended the 12th Ukraine Defense Contact Group (UDCG) meeting hosted by the US Secretary of Defense, Lloyd J. Austin III, through a video call.
The meeting served as a crucial opportunity for allies and partners to review the current war situation in Ukraine and reaffirm their support by offering military aid to Ukraine’s Armed Forces.
During the meeting, Minister Anand shared key updates about Canada’s increased presence in Poland under Operation UNIFIER. She further revealed that Canada would donate 43 AIM-9 missiles from its Canadian Armed Forces inventory to enhance Ukraine’s defensive capabilities. This donation is expected to aid Ukraine in defending its airspace against persistent Russian aggression.
James Marques, an analyst specializing in aerospace, defense, and security at GlobalData, noted that while the AIM-9s, short-range infrared-guided missiles, will help replenish Ukraine’s missile stocks, they are unlikely to significantly impact the disparity in capabilities between Ukraine and Russian aircraft.
Minister Anand also appreciated the Royal Canadian Air Force detachment in Prestwick, Scotland, emphasizing the collaborative efforts of Canada, its allies, and European partners. Together, they have delivered over £9m ($11.1m) in military aid to Ukraine, reflecting their collective resolve to support Ukraine’s defense.
Since the beginning of 2022, Canada has pledged more than C$8bn ($5.8bn) in aid to Ukraine, of which over $1bn ($733m) is earmarked for military assistance.
As per a 2022-2027 report on the Canadian Defence Market by GlobalData, Canada’s contributions have featured M777 howitzers, M72 anti-tank weapons, 39 armored support vehicles, various small arms, and additional equipment like medical aid and rations.
Over 300 Canadian Armed Forces members have been deployed under Operation UNIFIER, indicating their commitment to delivering training, providing national command support, and facilitating the conveyance of military donations.
The AIM-9X Sidewinder, a popular air-to-air missile, marked its 10,000th unit delivered to the US Air Force in 2016. This missile results from a joint effort between the US Navy and Air Force, with Raytheon serving as the leading contractor.