Canada to contribute $33 million to British-led partnership delivering high priority air defence equipment to Ukraine

News release

September 17, 2023 – Lydd, United Kingdom – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

Today, the Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of National Defence, announced that Canada will contribute to the United Kingdom-led partnership that is delivering high priority air defence equipment to Ukraine. This initiative was established in June 2023 by several countries including Denmark, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States, and will help provide urgently needed air defence missiles to help Ukraine defend against Russia’s missile and drone attacks. 

Canada will contribute $33 million (CAD) to the partnership, which is providing Ukraine with hundreds of short- and medium-range air defence missiles and associated systems required to protect Ukraine’s critical national infrastructure. This donation is funded as part of the $500 million in new funding for military assistance for Ukraine announced in Kyiv, Ukraine by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in June 2023.

Minister Blair made this announcement during his visit to Lydd Military Training Camp, the home of Canada’s Operation UNIFIER in the UK, and the UK’s own Operation INTERFLEX, training missions that equip Ukrainian recruits with the tools that they need to defend themselves. Approximately 170 Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members are deployed to the UK under Operation UNIFIER.

During his visit, Minister Blair held a town hall with CAF members, and observed several Canadian-led training activities for Ukrainian recruits.

Since August 2022, CAF personnel deployed in the UK have trained approximately 2,600 Armed Forces of Ukraine recruits in collaboration with the UK’s Operation INTERFLEX. The Canadian-led courses last several weeks and focus on topics such as weapons handling, battlefield first aid, fieldcraft, patrol tactics, and the Law of Armed Conflict. Under Operation UNIFIER, Canada has trained more than 38,000 Ukrainian personnel since 2015.

Canada will continue working closely with allies and partners to help Ukraine respond to its most urgent defence needs, including air defence.


“During my visit to Lydd Military Training Camp, I witnessed first-hand how Canadian Armed Forces members are providing Ukrainian recruits with the skills that they need to defend their country’s sovereignty. Together, Canada and the United Kingdom are standing with Ukraine, as it fights to defend itself against Russia’s illegal and unjustifiable invasion. Canada commends the courage and strength of Ukrainians, and we will continue to support them with the comprehensive military aid that they need to fight and win.”

The Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of National Defence

Quick facts

  • The defence and security relationship between Canada and the UK is rooted in history and fostered by the fact that Canada and the UK are Allies in NATO and engage in close cooperation in international organizations, including the United Nations and the Commonwealth, among others. The deep bond between Canada and the UK has been forged in peace and war, notably through the two World Wars, Korea, and in almost every major conflict for more than a century, including Afghanistan and Libya.

  • More than 300 Canadian Armed Forces members are now deployed under Op UNIFER in various roles such as the provision and coordination of training, national command support, and the facilitation and delivery of military donations to Ukraine in coordination with our Allies and partners. This includes 170 members deployed to the UK.

  • Since the beginning of 2022, Canada has committed over $8 billion in aid to Ukraine, including over $1.8 billion in military assistance. 

  • This includes AIM-7 missiles, 155mm and 105mm artillery ammunition, Leopard 2A4 main battle tanks and an armoured recovery vehicle, a National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS) with associated munitions, 39 armoured combat support vehicles, anti-tank weapons, small arms, M777 howitzers and associated ammunition, high-resolution drone cameras, winter clothing, and more. 

Associated links


Daniel Minden
Acting Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of National Defence

Media Relations
Department of National Defence
Phone: 613-904-3333

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