Ottawa is understood to be negotiating a deal to supply Ukraine with hundreds of high-tech, Canadian-made Teledyne Flir R70 Skyranger drones the Ukrainians have identified as “the only product on the market that satisfies all our operational requirements.”
A letter from Yukliia Svyrydenko, Ukraine’s first deputy prime minister and minister of economic development, to Anita Anand, Canada’s defence minister, and Chrystia Freeland, the finance minister, sent last July says that tactical drones have become crucial for the forces on the ground. In the letter, obtained by the National Post, Svyrydenko said Ukraine has developed some home-grown unmanned aerial vehicles but they “come with serious limitations” — including their vulnerability to Russian electronic warfare that has led to the deaths of many drone pilots, and their limited ability to operate at night and in bad weather.
Svyrydenko said that the Teledyne Flir R70 Skyranger, manufactured in Waterloo, Ont., with training and field support provided by the Robotics Centre of Ottawa, has the thermal imaging, signals intercept and chemical warfare detection capabilities the Ukrainians are looking for.
She requested 300 drones as a donation from Canada — a commitment that likely would cost around $150 million.
“These Canadian systems will be put to good and immediate service,” she said.
The Skyranger and Skynex AA Systems air defense systems are already in Ukraine.