A Ukrainian soldier takes his position on the frontline near...

A Ukrainian soldier takes his position on the frontline near Klishchiivka the Donetsk region, Ukraine, Friday, Feb. 19, 2024. Credit: AP/Iryna Rybakova

OTTAWA, Ontario — The Canadian government said Monday it will dispatch more than 800 drones to Ukraine starting as early as this spring.

The Department of National Defence said in a statement that drones have become a critical capability for Ukraine in its war with Russia. It said the drones are important for surveillance and intelligence gathering, and can also be used to move supplies, including munitions.

They will cost more than $95 million Canadian ($70 million) and are part of a previously announced $500 million Canadian ($370 million) in military help for Ukraine.

The SkyRanger R70 multi-mission Unmanned Aerial Systems are manufactured by Teledyne in Waterloo, Ontario.

The announcement comes days ahead of the two-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Canada previously donated 100 high-resolution drone cameras to Ukraine, and in the past two years has pledged $2.4 billion Canadian ($1.8 billion) in military assistance.

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