These are the Israeli weapons that Canada uses

The recent pronouncement of Canada’s Foreign Minister, imposing an arms embargo on Israel resonates with notable contradiction in the context of the historic military collaboration between both nations.

This announcement is in direct contrast to the operational reality of the Canadian Armed Forces, which currently benefits from Israeli defense systems in multiple global theaters of operations.

The deployment of Israeli war technology has become a fundamental pillar for the protection of critical infrastructure and Canadian military personnel, extending its coverage from the borders of the national territory to NATO outposts on the Russian periphery. This strategic support evokes Canadian participation in Afghanistan, where the Taliban was fought under a blanket of international cooperation.

Contrary to official discourse, Defense Canada has allocated more than a billion dollars in the last decade to the acquisition of advanced Israeli systems, a decision based on rigorous evaluations of performance, cost and delivery times, surpassing proposals from other Western powers.

Impact and mutual dependence on the defense industry

These are the Israeli weapons that Canada uses

This exchange has not been unilateral; Israel has purchased components and subsystems worth tens of millions of dollars from Canada. This trade flow underlines the influence of the Israeli defense industry on the world market and its strategic dependence on exports.

In particular, in December 2023, Canada ratified the purchase of LR 2 Spike anti-tank missiles from Rafael Advanced Defense Systems for $32 million, a purchase in anticipation of possible war scenarios such as a Russian invasion of Latvia, where Canada has a division deployed.  This has not been the first approach to Israeli missile technology since previous Spike models were incorporated in 2018 for special forces units.

A milestone in bilateral cooperation was seen with the transaction of armored vehicles from General Dynamics Canada to the Colombian army, an agreement endorsed for 418 million dollars. Colombia’s decision favored these models due to their integration with 30mm Rafael gun turrets, providing superior defensive capability without compromising operator safety.

The most significant link was established in 2015 with the purchase of 10 Iron Dome radar systems designed for the detection and neutralization of aerial threats.

Continuity and expansion of Canada-Israel military cooperation

Collaboration between Canada and Israel has extended beyond the supply of radar systems, encompassing Canada’s acquisition of advanced naval radars for patrol aircraft, long-range radars for its warships, and mobile radar systems intended to provide an additional layer of security to infantry units. These additions represent an ongoing investment, adding hundreds of millions of dollars to the value of bilateral defense relations.

History of the embargo and resistance to cooperation

These are the Israeli weapons that Canada uses
F-86 Saber

The current arms embargo imposed by Canada is not an isolated precedent. In retrospect, in 1956, amid growing tension in the Middle East, Israel sought to secure its defense by acquiring jet fighters, which led to an agreement with Canada for the purchase of 24 F-86 Saber fighters manufactured under US license. This agreement was later truncated by British diplomatic pressure, even though the planes had already begun to be manufactured with Israeli brands.

This obstacle did not prevent future military transactions, as became evident half a century later when, in 2008, Canada leased Heron UAVs to Israel Aerospace Industries for surveillance missions in Afghanistan. This step marked the beginning of a series of acquisitions that included Elbit Systems’ Skylark UAV mini-submarines, export adaptations of the “Sky Rider” used by the Israel Defense Forces in current operations.

Expansion of defense and surveillance technology

The relationship has diversified into command and control systems as well as satellite communications, and Canada has incorporated Elbit technologies into its aircraft and vehicles. In particular, Canadian refueling aircraft have been equipped with DIRCM (Directed Infrared Counter Measures), a laser-based missile defense solution.

Transport Canada has also adopted Elbit UAV technology, leasing the Hermes 900 Starliner, a drone capable of integrating into civil airspace without the risk of interfering with commercial air traffic.