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Canada promises more than 800 drones to Ukraine to help with surveillance

Photo: Sergei Supinsky Agence France-Presse Behind his machine gun, a Ukrainian soldier watches a drone during an anti-drone exercise in the Chernihiv region in November.

The Canadian Press in Ottawa

February 19, 2024

  • Canada

Le gouvernement libéral enverra plus de 800 drones en Ukraine dès ce printemps.

Defense Minister Bill Blair told a news conference in Toronto that Ukraine has made “extraordinary progress” in the use of drone technology over the past two years.

“They told us very clearly that they need a lot more drones,” he said Monday.

SkyRanger R70 multi-mission unmanned aerial systems are manufactured by Teledyne in Waterloo, Ontario.

Mr. Blair explained that these particular devices would, in his view, significantly improve the skills of the Ukrainian forces, particularly with their “ability to detect and gather information at a certain altitude”, which can become very useful to defend their country.

Drones are important for surveillance and intelligence gathering, Ottawa says, and can also be used to move equipment, including munitions, weighing up to 3.5 kilograms.

Drones help operators recognize heat sources, humans and vehicles in the distance, even in the dark or in bad weather.

They will cost more than $95 million and will be part of a previously announced $500 million in military aid for Ukraine.

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Anne Bulik, vice president of unmanned systems for North America at Teledyne FLIR, emphasized in a press conference that the company has already started production of these units. “I expect that we will be able to deliver the goods towards the end of March, beginning of April,” she assured.

This announcement comes days before the second anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Canada has already donated 100 high-resolution drone cameras to Ukraine and over the past two years has promised to send $2.4 billion in military aid.

Stimulate military arms production

At Monday's press conference, Blair also indicated that Canada was looking for a way to send more munitions to Ukraine.

He said Canada was doing what it could, even going so far as to “drain into the reserves” of the Canadian Armed Forces.

Western countries agree that more needs to be done to boost production, he argued.

“I hope we will have more to reveal in the near future on how we are investing in increasing Canadian production of munitions that will help both Ukraine and the reconstitution, if necessary, of the Canadian Armed Forces. But these things take time. »

Meanwhile, Blair revealed that Canada had reached an agreement with the Czech Republic that could allow Canada to “acquire the munitions that they currently have in their possession”, in order to make them available to 'Ukraine while domestic production accelerates.

The Ukrainian Canadian Congress issued a statement welcoming the announcement and saying Ukraine needed more weapons.

“As Ukraine courageously fights against Russia's genocidal attack, there is an urgent need to significantly increase the ammunition and weapons we provide to Ukrainian forces,” Congresswoman said , Alexandra Chyczij.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116