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Canada’s opposition urges gov’t to supply Ukraine with CRV7 air-to-ground rockets slated for disposal

Canada is exploring the possibility of donating thousands of decommissioned CRV7 unguided rockets to Ukraine in response to calls for support, with opposition leader Pierre Poilievre and online advocates pushing for this initiative.
CRV7 air-to-ground unguided rockets. Illustrative photo: ArmedConflicts
Canada’s opposition urges gov’t to supply Ukraine with CRV7 air-to-ground rockets slated for disposal

Canada’s federal Conservatives are urging the Liberal government to contribute tens of thousands of surplus air-to-ground rockets to Ukraine, which are currently scheduled for disposal. Opposition leader Pierre Poilievre made this appeal on 2 February during the House of Commons debate on legislation aimed at updating the Canada-Ukraine free trade agreement, according to CBC.

The CRV7 rockets, designed during the Cold War, were potent air-to-ground weapons and remain compatible with fixed-wing aircraft and attack helicopters, offering various warhead options. One of the CRV7’s warheads, weighing 7.3 kilograms, can penetrate armored or heavily fortified targets.

The Canadian Armed Forces possess a stockpile of 83,303 CRV7 rockets, which are weapons dating back to the 1980s and were decommissioned in the early 2000s, with a contract signed three years ago to dispose of these rockets over an extended period, as per CBC.

Poilievre said he was aware of Ukraine’s request for Canada to donate the CRV7 rockets rather than proceed with their destruction:

“It’s time for less talk and more action,” Poilievre said in a media statement, adding: “Instead of making Canadians pay millions of dollars to decommission these weapons,” he said, the weapons should be given “to Ukraine who can use them in the defence of sovereignty.”

Canada’s Department of National Defense acknowledged on 2 February that it still has the rockets and is considering them for a potential military donation, but a defense official noted that not all of the rockets have warheads.

“We are pursuing testing to ensure that this equipment is operationally effective and safe to transport to Ukraine before any potential donation,” said a spokesperson for Defence Minister Bill Blair in a media statement.

Online supporters of Ukraine seek the donation of CRV7 rockets and 12 retired army Counter-Rocket, Artillery, Mortar (C-RAM) defense systems. They claim that up to 8,000 rockets still have functional warheads and could be donated immediately, with the rest used as spare parts. 

Canada has been a steadfast supporter of Ukraine in its fight against Russian aggression, providing substantial aid of over $9.7 billion in various forms since the beginning of Russia’s extensive invasion of Ukraine.

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