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Canada to provide naval boats and F-16 training support to Ukraine

Canada’s Defense Minister Bill Blair announced a new military aid package for Ukraine, including sending Canadian instructors for F-16 fighter jet pilot training and providing 10 rigid-hull inflatable boats for various operational uses​.

On Tuesday, January 23, 2024, Canada’s Minister of Defense, Bill Blair, announced a new package of military assistance for Ukraine during the 18th meeting of the Contact Group on Defense Issues (Ramstein format). This includes the transfer of Canadian instructors to assist in the training of Ukrainian pilots on F-16 fighter jets.

The acquisition of F-16 fighter jets is significant for Ukraine as it seeks to enhance its air superiority against Russian forces.

As reported by European Pravda, the military assistance package, valued at approximately $15 million, consists of 10 rigid-hull inflatable boats from Zodiac Hurricane Technologies.

These boats will aid Ukraine in operations such as search and rescue, troop and cargo transport, surveillance, and reconnaissance.

Each boat provided by Canada will be equipped with modern sensor, navigation, and communication systems. Additionally, Canada will facilitate the training of Ukrainian military personnel on these boats, with the expectation that Ukraine will receive them by the end of spring 2024.

In parallel, starting from February 2024, Canada, as part of the F-16 coalition, will provide civilian instructors, aircraft, and support personnel to assist in the training of Ukrainian pilots, in collaboration with Denmark and France. This training program is set to continue until 2025.

Finally, during the “Ramstein” meeting, the Canadian Minister of Defense announced Canada’s participation in the armored vehicle coalition and the coalition for the development of Ukraine’s Air Force, established by the participants of the format.

It’s worth noting that the current meeting of the Contact Group on Defense Issues took place online and focused on Ukraine’s long-term needs. In his opening remarks, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin emphasized the importance of supporting Ukraine in its resistance against full-scale Russian aggression.

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