Canada ‘offers 83,300 CRV7 air-to-surface missiles’ to Ukraine

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There’s an intriguing proposition emerging from the political quarters of Ottawa, presenting a solution that resolves two problems at once. Here’s the issue: since the 1980s, Canada has been storing a cache of old CRV7 air-to-surface missiles. According to local sources and open-source references, the number of these decommissioned units is a staggering 83,300. 

Photo credit: ArmedConflicts

Maintaining these out-of-service relics since 2000 costs taxpayers a substantial amount in disposal or destruction expenses. To address this issue, Pierre Poilievre, the leader of the opposition Conservative Party of Canada, proposed the idea of transferring these missiles to Ukraine. 

If Justin Trudeau’s administration takes this proposal seriously, Ukraine could immediately receive 8,000 functional CRV7 missiles. Local sources confidently suggest these missiles are operational, with their warheads still intact. The potential provision of the remaining 75,300 spare parts to Ukraine could prove beneficial. Assuming transport to Kyiv is managed adequately, these spare parts might facilitate the repair of each operational missile, further maximizing their usefulness.

Two-in-one problem solved

By policy, this “two-in-one” solution appears most judicious. It not only provides an enhancement to the Ukrainian military forces via additional missiles but also spares Canadian taxpayers from bearing the cost of missile disposal.  

Canada ranks among the Western nations that have been actively supporting the regime in Kyiv since the outbreak of the Ukrainian armed conflict. It must be noted that Canada is home to a substantial Ukrainian diaspora, which significantly includes descendants of Ukrainians who fled in the aftermath of Nazi Germany’s collapse during the 1940s and 1950s.  

Photo credit: Wikipedia

You may be interested to know that BulgarianMilitary.com previously reported a delay in Canada shipping NASAMS anti-aircraft missile systems to Ukraine due to a missing agreement with the US. Analysts have observed that Ukrainian nationalists have a robust base in Canada and are thus urging the government to expedite the delivery of further military aid to the regime in Kyiv.

About CRV7

Allow me to introduce you to the CRV7, or as it’s affectionately known, the Canadian Rocket Vehicle 7. This air-to-surface missile, a product of Bristol Aerospace in Winnipeg, Manitoba, truly stands out in its category. It’s a favorite weapon of the Royal Canadian Air Force and has been warmly adopted by military forces worldwide.  

You might be curious about what makes the CRV7 so formidable. Get ready to be impressed! It boasts a trim 2.75-inch diameter and extends to a neat 6.6 feet in length. And don’t be fooled by its unloaded weight of 32 pounds. When it’s battle-ready with a warhead and propellant on board, its weight can increase to around 45 pounds. Its body, an innovative mix of fiberglass and epoxy, gives it a light yet incredibly robust structure.  

Photo credit: Magellan Aerospace

Never underestimate the versatility of the CRV7’s warhead—it seamlessly adapts based on the target. When the target is enemy infrastructure, a high-explosive warhead is the weapon of choice. When confronting personnel and light vehicles, a fragmentation warhead is selected. When armored targets emerge, a shaped-charge warhead steps up to the plate. Quite the adaptable warrior, wouldn’t you say?

CRV7’s engine and operational range

Powering the CRV7 is a highly dependable solid-fuel rocket motor. The appeal of this type of engine lies in its simplicity and reliability – it’s free of any moving components and demands minimal to no maintenance for prolonged periods. The speed at which it propels the missile exceeds Mach 2, which means it’s twice as fast as sound, making the CRV7 one of the fastest air-to-surface missiles currently available. 

Photo credit: Magellan Aerospace

What sets the CRV7 apart is its remarkable operational range. It can engage targets as distant as 8 kilometers, although its true effective distance is around the 4-kilometer mark. Owing to the combination of its exceptional speed and range, it can swiftly eliminate targets before the launching aircraft gets a chance to enter the range of most ground-based anti-aircraft systems. 

A variety of warplanes are capable of launching the CRV7. Originally designed for the CF-104 Starfighter, it’s now compatible with several other aircraft, such as the CF-18 Hornet and the CH-146 Griffon helicopter. On a global scale, other aircraft like the British Harrier GR.7 and the American A-10 Thunderbolt II are also equipped to deploy the CRV7.

Integration

Without a doubt, adapting such weaponry to the Western concept requires its integration with Soviet fighter jets. The Su-25, a strike aircraft ideally designed for this type of weaponry, could be one option. Similarly, the Su-27 and MiG-29 may also serve the purpose. 

Integrating the Canadian CRV7 missile with the Soviet Su-25 and Su-27 aircraft is a formidable task that involves countless steps. It starts with an in-depth compatibility analysis between the CRV7 and the hardpoints and weapon systems of the aircraft. This requires careful examination of the technical details of both the missile and the aircraft to determine the feasibility of physically connecting the missile to the aircraft’s hard points. 

Moving on to the next phase, it would be necessary to modify the aircraft’s weapon control system to recognize and deploy the CRV7 efficiently. This might require system reprogramming or the introduction of new software. It’s crucial to perform rigorous tests to certify that the system can accurately aim and launch the missile. 

Photo credit: Wkimedia

Additionally, one must analyze the aerodynamics of the aircraft when the CRV7 is mounted. The size and weight of the missile could potentially affect the aircraft’s performance and maneuverability. Therefore, carrying out wind tunnel tests and test flights would be essential to assess these impacts and apply any required modifications. 

However, it’s crucial to emphasize that such a process would likely require collaboration between the Canadian and Ukrainian governments. Potential involvement from the manufacturers of the CRV7 and the aircraft could also be necessary. Moreover, there might be legal and political challenges to surmount in facilitating this integration, owing to the differing military alliances and export control laws of the two nations.

What about the F-16?

Have you ever wondered if the F-16, an upcoming addition to Ukraine’s air force, can accommodate the Canadian missile beneath its wings? The likelihood is high, particularly the potential for the F-16 to carry the CRV7 air-to-surface missile, a formidable weapon generously supplied by our neighbors to the North. 

Photo credit: USAF

The Canadian CRV7 missile isn’t your run-of-the-mill armament. Its versatility allows for use across various platforms. Hypothetically speaking, with the right modifications and adjustments, integrating this missile with the F-16 – a fighter jet renowned for its multirole capabilities – is feasible. 

As indicated by experts, integrating this missile into the F-16 would likely follow a similar process to its past incorporation with Soviet warplanes.

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