Canada’s Minister of National Defence, Anita Anand, and Chief of the Defence Staff, General Wayne Eyre, participated in the 12th Ukraine Defense Contact Group (UDCG) meeting via video link, hosted by United States Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III.

The meeting served as a platform for Allies and partners to discuss the current battlefield situation in Ukraine and reiterate their support by providing military assistance to the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Minister Anand made significant announcements during the meeting regarding Canada’s expanded presence in Poland under Operation UNIFIER.

Minister Anand also announced Canada’s donation of 43 AIM-9 missiles from the CAF inventory to bolster Ukraine’s defensive capabilities. This contribution will play a role in helping Ukraine secure its skies amidst ongoing Russian attacks.

James Marques, aerospace, defence and security analyst at GlobalData, claimed: “The AIM-9s are short-range infrared-guided missiles for shooting down other aircraft. But Ukraine would need much longer-range radar missiles to overcome the capability gap between them and Russian fighter aircraft.

This might be an option to replenish stocks of IR missiles, but I don’t expect them to make a serious impact.”

Minister Anand acknowledged the ongoing work of the Royal Canadian Air Force detachment in Prestwick, Scotland, highlighting the combined efforts of Canada, Allies, and European partners.

They have transported over £9m ($11.1m) of military aid destined for Ukraine, showcasing the collective dedication to supporting Ukraine’s defence.

Since the start of 2022, Canada has committed over C$8bn ($5.8bn) in aid to Ukraine, with more than $1bn ($733m) dedicated to military assistance.

According to a GlobalData “Canada Defence Market 2022-2027” report, Canada’s donations have included M777 howitzers, M72 anti-tank weapons, 39 armoured support vehicles, various small arms and supplementary equipment such as medical aid and rations.

The commitment of more than 300 Canadian Armed Forces members deployed under Operation UNIFIER reflects the dedication to providing training, national command support, and facilitating the delivery of military donations.

The US Air Force received its 10,000th AIM-9X Sidewinder missile in 2016, showing its popularity as an air-to-air missile. AIM-9X is a joint US Navy and Air Force programme led by the Navy with Raytheon as the prime contractor.