Canada yet to deliver $400M air-defence system promised to Ukraine a year ago

The highly sophisticated National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS) was touted by President Zelensky as a potential 'strong shield' against Russian aggression.

Canada yet to deliver $400M air-defence system promised to Ukraine a year ago
AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky
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On January 10, 2023, Canada announced that it would be purchasing a National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS) from the United States to give to Ukraine at a cost of over $400M.

The announcement was intended to display Canada's unwavering commitment to supporting Ukraine's defence as the country faces a full-scale war against Russia.

However, as of early 2024, the NASAMS promised by Canada for Ukraine has yet to arrive on the battlefield or save a single Ukrainian life.

As reported by the Ottawa Citizen, then-Defence Minister Anita Anand inaccurately declared in April of 2023 that the NASAMS was already "en route" to its final destination of Ukraine.

The Department of National Defence is still working out plans to transport the air defence system to Ukraine according to the Ottawa Citizen. There is currently no public estimate on the timeframe for the NASAMS to arrive and be operational in Ukraine.

As Ukraine continues to face an onslaught of Russian missiles and attacks, President Zelensky has repeatedly stressed the need for effective air-defence systems.

Despite the problems with getting the air-defence system to Ukraine in a timely manner, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently stated that Canada will support Ukraine "for as long as it takes."

According to Airforce Technology, NASAMS "can be deployed to identify, engage, and destroy aircraft, helicopters, cruise missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles, as well as protect high-value assets and mass population centres against air-to-surface threats."

Since the start of the war in Ukraine, Canada has committed over $2.4 billion in military aid to Ukraine's defence. The military assistance has included Leopard 2 battle tanks, armoured combat support vehicles, and M777 howitzers among other equipment.

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