Government Announces $40 Million Donation for Large Calibre Ammunition for Ukraine

Above image: Left, Minister of Defence Bill Blair. Right, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III hosts the 15th meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Sept. 19, 2023. The secretary and Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley join ministers of defense and senior military officials from nearly 50 nations to discuss the ongoing crisis in Ukraine and the continued close coordination by the international community to provide the Ukrainian people with the means necessary to defend their sovereign territory. Photo By: Chad McNeeley, DOD. Image courtesy of the U.S. Department of Defence. 

The Minister of National Defence committed over $40 million to Czechia’s initiative to purchase large calibre ammunition rounds for Ukariane.

Minister Bill Blair attended the 20th Ukraine Defense Contact Group (UDCG) meeting at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, on March 19, 2024, by videoconference. At the meeting, he also announced that Canada would donate a package of night vision devices to assist the Ukrainian Armed Forces during nighttime operations.

“During our discussions, Ukrainian officials have been clear that they need more artillery ammunition, rapidly. As we advance work to increase the domestic production of 155 mm with our Canadian industry partners, we are also committed to meeting Ukraine’s urgent needs as quickly as possible. By supporting Czechia’s initiative to donate large volumes of artillery munitions to Ukraine, Canada is stepping up to meet one of Ukraine’s most pressing defensive requirements. Now and for the long term, Canada stands with Ukraine,” said Blair.

The UDCG was created by the U.S. Secretary of Defense, Lloyd J. Austin III. Above photo the Secretary speaks with delegates at the Ukraine Defense Contact Group at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, March 19, 2024. Close coordination between the U.S., Allies and partners is critical to continuously reviewing defense forces within Europe. Photo courtesy of U.S. Air Force. Photo by Airman 1st Class Eve Daugherty.

Canada’s Commitment to Ukraine

The commitment to purchase large calibre ammunition rounds will enable the delivery of several thousand artillery ammunition to Ukraine.

The $40 million commitment follows last month’s signing of the Canada-Czechia Defence Cooperation Memorandum of Understanding, establishing a framework for defence co-operation between Canada and Czechia, including support for Ukraine.

“The donations announced today demonstrate Canada’s ongoing commitment to providing Ukrainians with the critical and longer-term military aid that they need to defend their country. Canada’s steadfast support for Ukraine includes commitments made in the historic Agreement on Security Cooperation between Canada and Ukraine, signed last month by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv,” read the press release.

Canada has donated approximately 40,000 rounds of 155 mm artillery ammunition to Ukraine, sourced from the Canadian Armed Forces’ stocks and purchases through the United States government.

Since February 2022, Canada has committed over $13.3 billion in funding to support Ukraine. The funding includes $4 billion in military assistance, such as:

  • M777 howitzers,
  • Leopard 2 main battle tanks,
  • armoured combat support vehicles,
  • hundreds of thousands of rounds of ammunition,
  • hundreds of drones,
  • and more.

The donation of night vision devices, worth approximately $7.5 million, will be sourced from Canadian company Twenty20 Insight Inc.

Minister of National Defence Bill Blair speaks to the members of Operation UNIFIER’s UK Training Element in the Southeast of England during a town hall with the troops on September 17, 2023. Photo by: MCpl Nicolas Alonso, Canadian Armed Forces. Image courtesy of CAF.

One Million Drone Commitment

During the meeting, the Minister also confirmed that Canada has officially joined the UDCG’s Drone Capability Coalition, which Latvia and the United Kingdom co-lead. Canada committed to the coalition earlier this month.

The UDCG’s Drone Capability Coalition also brings together UDCG members who are working to find ways to scale up drone production with the collective goal of delivering one million drones to Ukraine.

Canada’s initial contribution to the commitment includes more than 800 drones from Teledyne. The first delivery is expected to arrive in Ukraine this spring.

Aviator Dean Hammond of 2 Air Movements Squadron ensures cargo is secure prior to loading onto a CC-130J Hercules in support of Air Task Force Prestwick on 30 January, 2023, in Scotland, United Kingdom. Photo by: Master Corporal Desiree Bourdon, Canadian Forces Combat Camera. Image courtesy of CAF.

Canadian Armed Forces Support

To date, Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) personnel have trained approximately 40,000 Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) members since the launch of Operation UNIFIER, the CAF’s mission for military training and capacity building in support of the AFU.

Canada has extended the mission until March 2026, “providing significant capacity” for the CAF to respond to Ukraine’s urgent training needs. Over 300 CAF personnel are currently deployed in various roles on Operation UNIFIER.

The roles include:

  • the provision and coordination of training,
  • national command support, and
  • the facilitation and delivery of military donations in coordination with Allies and partners.

Also, since 2022, Canada has had three CC-130J Hercules tactical airlift aircraft, alongside a detachment of approximately 60 CAF personnel, conducting operations from a hub based in Prestwick, Scotland.

The detachment has delivered over 15 million pounds of aid to Ukraine, from Canada and from our Allies and partners.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III hosts the Ukraine Defense Contact Group with NATO and international counterparts at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Sept. 8, 2022. This is the the fifth such meeting of defense leaders from around the world since Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified invasion of Ukraine. (DoD photo by Chad J. McNeeley).

Ukraine Defense Contact Group

Representatives from 50 countries participated in the March 19, 2024 meeting. The UDCG was created by the U.S. Secretary of Defense, Lloyd J. Austin III, in April 2022. Austin III also hosts the UDCG, which is for allies and partners to synchronize donations, consult and coordinate military assistance to Ukraine, and build the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) capabilities.

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