Canada to send tanks immediately
Today, Defence Minister Anita Anand announced today that Canada will supply Ukraine with four Leopard 2 main battle tanks from the Canadian Armed Forces’ (CAF) inventory. The Minister also announced that Canada will provide ammunition, spare parts, and will deploy Canadian Armed Forces members to train Ukrainian soldiers on the use of these tanks in a third country.
Only one of Canada's 67-tonne Leopard 2 tanks can fit in the massive C-17 Globemaster aircraft, which means this donation will require 8 trips across the pond, among other logistics challenges. The donation of four Canadian Army Leopard 2 tanks, combined with donations by Allies and partners, will significantly help the Armed Forces of Ukraine as they fight heroically to defend their nation’s independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity.
This donation responds to Ukraine’s urgent request for tanks – a call that was reiterated by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov at last week’s meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group in Germany. Canada’s donation is also the result of extensive coordination with Allies and partners, who are also planning to donate Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, among other Western battle tanks. Canada will work with like-minded Allies on discussions relating to tank fleet donations and a sustainment strategy for Ukraine.
The Leopard 2 is the main battle tank of the Canadian Armed Forces and of several Allies and partners. These heavily armoured and highly protected vehicles provide soldiers with a tactical advantage on the battlefield, thanks to their excellent mobility, firepower, and survivability.
Canada has already committed well over $1 billion in military aid to Ukraine, and Canada will continue to stand with Ukraine as it fights Russia’s illegal and unjustifiable war.
“During my visit to Ukraine last week, I told Ukraine’s Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov that Canada will continue to provide Ukraine with the military aid that it needs to fight and win,” said Minister Anand. “Today’s announcement is proof of our enduring commitment. In coordination with our Allies and partners, we will supply Leopard 2 tanks, sustainment, and training on their use in response to Ukraine’s urgent requests. Canada stands firmly with Ukraine in defence of freedom and democracy.”
Donations from Canada
Since the beginning of 2022, Canada has committed over $5 billion in direct financial, military, humanitarian, and other assistance to Ukraine.
Since February 2022, Canada has committed over $1 billion in military assistance donations to Ukraine. This includes over 200 Senator Armoured Personnel Carriers, 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, and more.
On January 10, 2023, the Minister of National Defence announced that Canada is purchasing a National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS) and associated munitions from the United States to donate to Ukraine. This high priority acquisition is the first Canadian donation of an air defence system to Ukraine. This will assist Ukraine’s efforts to protect population centres, critical infrastructure, and military targets.
Since late March 2022, the Canadian Armed Forces has been assisting with the delivery of military aid for Ukraine within Europe from Canada and on behalf of our Allies and partners, transporting over six million pounds of military donations to date.
Canadian Armed Forces personnel are currently deployed to both the United Kingdom and Poland to assist with the training of members of the Armed Forces of Ukraine under Operation UNIFIER, Canada’s military training and capacity building mission in support of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
Since the start of Operation UNIFIER in 2015, the CAF has trained over 35,000 members of the security forces of Ukraine in battlefield tactics and advanced military skills.