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Ukraine conflict: Canada to donate Sidewinder missiles to Kyiv

Canada is to donate to Ukraine older versions of its AIM-9 Sidewinder, as carried here by a Royal Canadian Air Force CF-18 Hornet. (Janes)

Canada is to donate Raytheon AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles to Ukraine, the Canadian defence minister announced at the 12th Ukraine Defense Contact Group (UDCG) meeting on 25 May.

Canadian Minister of National Defence Anita Anand announced the donation as part of a wider raft of support measures for the Ukrainian armed forces.

“Minister Anand … announced that Canada is donating 43 AIM-9 missiles to Ukraine from CAF [Canadian Armed Forces] inventory and noted that this donation will help Ukraine to secure its skies in the face of ongoing Russian attacks,” the Canadian Ministry of National Defence (MND) said.

The donation marks the first time that Ukraine has been earmarked to receive the Sidewinder, which is typically used as a short-range air-to-air weapon carried by combat aircraft, but which can also be used as a ground-based air-defence asset launched from the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS) that Ukraine fields.

Anand did not disclose how Ukraine intends to employ the missile. While Ukraine's MiG-29 ‘Fulcrum', Sukhoi Su-27 ‘Flanker, Sukhoi Su-24 ‘Fencer', and Sukhoi Su-25 ‘Frogfoot' are not compatible with the missile, it has shown with the AGM-88 High-speed Anti-Radiation Missile (HARM) and Storm Shadow that it can integrate Western weapon types onto its Soviet Union-era aircraft in relatively short order.

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