Canada and Allies Bolster Ukraine’s Drone Capabilities Amidst Ongoing War

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As the war in Ukraine continues, Canada and its allies are stepping up their efforts to provide the country with advanced Drone Technology to aid in its defense against Russian aggression. The Ukrainian Defense Ministry has announced that Canada will send 450 SkyRanger R70 multi-mission Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) to Ukraine this summer, while the Netherlands and Germany will jointly purchase RQ-35 Heidrun reconnaissance drones worth €200 million. Additionally, Germany will send VECTOR 211 reconnaissance UAVs to Ukraine.

Canada’s Contribution: SkyRanger R70 UAS

Canada’s commitment to delivering 450 SkyRanger R70 UAS to Ukraine is reportedly part of a larger $500 million military assistance package announced in February 2024. Developed by US company Teledyne FLIR, these multi-mission drones are capable of vertical takeoff and landing, and can perform reconnaissance and logistical tasks.

Canada And Allies Bolster Ukraine's Drone Capabilities Amidst Ongoing War 2

The SkyRanger R70 features:

  • Autonomous navigation system
  • Ability to detect targets up to 5 km away
  • Simultaneous identification of up to 10 moving objects
  • Carbon fiber and magnesium frame
  • Operation at altitudes up to 4500 meters above sea level
  • Resistance to sustained winds of 65 km/h and gusts up to 90 km/h
  • Payload capacity of up to 3.5 kg

European Allies’ Contributions

The Netherlands and Germany will jointly purchase RQ-35 Heidrun reconnaissance drones worth €200 million for Ukraine. Produced by Danish company Sky-Watch, these small, hand-launched drones can conduct reconnaissance and detect targets at low altitudes, collecting data and streaming video across distances up to 30 km.

Germany will also send VECTOR 211 reconnaissance UAVs to Ukraine, as informed by the steering group of the Drone Coalition after their April 14th meeting.

The Drone Coalition

The Drone Coalition, officially launched within the framework of Ukraine’s Defense Contact Group, is led by the United Kingdom and Latvia and includes Denmark, Estonia, Lithuania, Canada, the Netherlands, Germany, and Sweden. The coalition aims to scale up drone production with the collective goal of delivering one million drones to Ukraine.

Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Katerina Chernogorenko emphasized the urgency of the situation, stating:

“The situation on the front lines is changing daily, with the enemy continuing to target civilian objects, particularly the energy infrastructure. We need tools for an asymmetric response. The time for discussing solutions is running out; we need it now.”

Additional Canadian Support

In addition to the drone assistance, Canada will provide Ukraine with advanced night vision equipment valued at approximately $5.5 million, sourced from Canadian company Twenty20 Insight Inc. Canada will also allocate nearly $30 million for a Czech-led initiative to supply around 800,000 artillery shells to Ukraine, addressing one of the country’s most pressing defensive requirements.

As the war in Ukraine persists, the international community continues to rally behind the country, providing crucial military assistance in the form of advanced drone technology and other essential equipment. The contributions from Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, and other allies will undoubtedly bolster Ukraine’s defensive capabilities and help the nation protect its sovereignty against Russian aggression. The Drone Coalition’s efforts to deliver one million drones to Ukraine serve as a testament to the unwavering support of Ukraine’s allies in the face of ongoing conflict.

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