Canada to transfer hundreds of recon drones to Ukraine
Flag of Canada (Photo:ElasticComputeFarm / Pixabay)
The Canadian government is preparing to supply hundreds of modern reconnaissance drones to Ukraine, Canadian newspaper National Post reported on March 7.
“Ottawa is understood to be negotiating a deal to supply Ukraine with hundreds of high-tech, Canadian-made drones the Ukrainians have identified as ‘the only product on the market that satisfies all our operational requirements,” the report reads.
It is noted that back in summer 2022, Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine Yuliia Svyrydenko sent a letter to the Ministers of Defense and Finance of Canada, requesting 300 Teledyne R70 SkyRanger UAVs produced in Ontario.
Tactical drones play a key role on the battlefield, and Ukrainian-made drones have "serious limitations." In particular, they are vulnerable to Russian electronic warfare and have limited use at night and in bad weather conditions. A Canadian R70 Skyranger drone is equipped with a thermal imager, can intercept radio signals and detect chemical weapons use – some of the key capabilities Ukrainian troops need.
“The signals intercept capability of the R70, in particular, would be invaluable because it allows the drone to identify where enemy phones are, and can even identify individuals,” the National Post notes.
If Canada agrees to transfer 300 of these drones to Ukraine, as well as to provide training for Ukrainian soldiers in their use and maintenance, it will cost Canadian state treasury around $115 million.
“The request for drones was not a priority until recently but sources suggest that the Canadian Commercial Corporation, a Crown corporation mandated to help governments abroad access goods from Canada, is now engaged in the deal,” the article said.
Canada's Department of Defense declined to comment on the progress of the drone deal and why Ukraine's request was left unanswered for so long.
“We will continue to identify a variety of military assistance options to help Ukraine fight and win,” said press secretary for the Department of National Defence, Daniel Minden.
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