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Canada Rebukes US Over Snag With NASAMS Delivery to Ukraine

© HERMAN ZONDERLANDNational Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS)
National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS) - Sputnik International, 1920, 11.03.2024
It has been over a year since Ottawa promised to donate NASAMS worth 406 million Canadian dollars to Ukraine, yet the delivery of the air defense systems remains in limbo.
Canada’s defense minister has accused the United States of delaying the delivery of NASAMS air defense systems to Ukraine, the Edmonton Journal reported.
We’ve tried to expedite that. Unfortunately the Americans ran into some challenges in their own funding envelope,” Bill Blair was quoted as saying on Sunday, as he visited the CFB Edmonton base.
The minister noted that without the purchase deal between Washington and Ottawa, his country would need years to acquire the NASAMS via the standard procurement process.

The mobile air defense system known by the acronym NASAMS was developed by the Norwegian company Kongsberg Defense and Aerospace (KDA) and the US company Raytheon to detect, track, intercept, and destroy enemy fixed and rotary wing aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles, and emerging cruise missile threats. One NASAMS system is equipped with three multi-missile launchers (LCHR), each of which carries up to six AIM-120 AMRAAM missiles.

Ottawa announced the donation of the system worth 406 million Canadian dollars (approximately US $303 million) to the Kiev regime in January 2023. The arrangement was that Canada would cover the costs, but would avoid having to apply to the US government for approval to send the system to Ukraine, as is the case with American military technology sold outside the country.
While the Canadian Ministry of Defense has already given the money for the NASAMS to the US government, Washington is yet to finalize the deal.
“The Americans have to secure the funding in order to finalize the contracts (with manufacturer Kongsberg Defence and Aerospace),” Blair said.
He added that "We want it delivered as quickly as possible."
According to US media reports, the Pentagon signed a US $1.2 billion contract with Raytheon for the NASAMS systems meant for Kiev in November 2022. Furthermore, a public notice of the contract is quoted as stating November 2025 as the completion date.
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The delay comes as the Biden administration’s request for another $60 billion for Kiev is still in limbo in the US Congress due to the position of the Republican majority in the House of Representatives. The previously allocated funds ran out last December. Republican lawmakers are currently working on an alternative aid package for Kiev, which might be partially offered as a loan, NBC News reported on Saturday, citing US lower house officials.
Although NATO countries have sent close to $125 billion worth of advanced military equipment to Ukraine over the past two years to fuel the proxy war against Russia, the Kiev regime has had little to show for it on the battlefield. Russia has been steadily churning through the costly NATO hardware while ramping up its own domestic defense production. At the same time, Western countries are increasingly facing critical shortages of even basic ammunition after draining their stocks in the rush to prop up Ukraine.
Moscow has repeatedly warned NATO countries that by supplying arms to Ukraine, they are both prolonging the conflict and dangerously escalating it. Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, for his part, underscored that any cargo with weapons for the Zelensky regime would become a legitimate target for Russian forces.
Screengrab of Russian Defense Ministry video showing Ukrainian tank destroyed by Russian strikes over the course of Kiev's attempted counteroffensive.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 04.03.2024
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