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Canada announces 800-drone donation to Ukraine

Canada has announced it will donate more than 800 multi-mission drones to the Ukrainian Armed Forces in their battle against Russia.

Canada has announced it will donate more than 800 multi-mission drones to the Ukrainian Armed Forces in their battle against Russia.

Canada will donate more than 800 SkyRanger R70 multi-mission unmanned aerial systems to Ukraine, according to a statement from Canadian Minister of National Defence Bill Blair published on 19 February.

The Teledyne FLIR drones, valued at more than CA$95 million (AU$107 million), will be sourced from Ontario and delivered starting around March this year, depending on negotiations.

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“As we approach the second anniversary of Russia’s illegal invasion, Canada stands firmly with Ukraine in defence of freedom and democracy,” according to Minister of National Defence Bill Blair.

“In coordination with our allies and partners, we will continue to provide Ukraine with the military aid that it needs to fight and win this war.

“(This announcement) ensures that Ukraine has the drones it needs to detect and identify targets which are critical to Ukraine’s ongoing fight. Canada will stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes.”

The multi-rotor drones have automated and autonomous navigation systems, enabling them to carry various camera systems and payloads to detect and identify targets. They also have capabilities to help Ukrainian operators recognise individuals, vehicles, and heat sources from a long distance, especially in dark conditions and poor weather.

Traditionally used for surveillance and intelligence gathering, transport and supply delivery, they can also carry payloads up to 3.5 kilograms including munitions.

“We are proud to support Canada’s Department of National Defence with our combat-proven, multi-mission SkyRanger R70 drone platform,” according to Anne Bulik, Teledyne FLIR unmanned systems North America vice-president.

“This donation by Canada extends the array of military solutions Teledyne FLIR Defense is providing to Ukraine through governments worldwide.”

Teledyne FLIR already supplies Black Hornet nano-drones for use by Ukrainian forces through previous donations made by the Norwegian and British governments. Those drones have undertaken operations with advanced thermal/visual imaging systems and highly sensitive radar sensors provided under a contract with Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace.

The latest donation of drones is funded by $500 million in military assistance for Ukraine announced by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during his visit to Kyiv in June last year.

The announcement follows with more than 100 high-resolution drone cameras sourced from L3 Wescam that Canada previously donated to Ukraine.

Since February 2022, Canada has committed more than CA$2.4 billion in military assistance to Ukraine including Leopard 2 main battle tanks, armoured combat support vehicles, anti-tank weapons, small arms, M777 howitzers and associated ammunition, high-resolution drone cameras, winter clothing and other equipment.

“Ukraine’s victory is vital to Canada’s security, so a Ukrainian victory is the only option for Canada, according to a statement made by Canadian Member of Parliament for Etobicoke Centre, Yvan Baker.

“Ukrainians needs our help to fight against Russia’s brutal invasion and to achieve that victory. The military aid we are announcing … is going to help them do exactly that.

“We must stand with the Ukrainian people until they win; until we all win.”

Robert Dougherty

Robert Dougherty

Robert is a senior journalist who has previously worked for Seven West Media in Western Australia, as well as Fairfax Media and Australian Community Media in New South Wales. He has produced national headlines, photography and videography of emergency services, business, community, defence and government news across Australia. Robert graduated with a Bachelor of Arts, Majoring in Public Relations and Journalism at Curtin University, attended student exchange program with Fudan University and holds Tier 1 General Advice certification for Kaplan Professional. Reach out via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or via LinkedIn.
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