Canada Sending Sidewinder Missiles to Ukraine

By Ethan Cole on
 June 7, 2023

In a world feeling the growing tension of the Russia/Ukraine conflict, Canada has decided to send Sidewinder missiles to Ukraine.

This move, uncharacteristically bold for the typically passive nation, will surely add to the growing global tension. Time will tell if this decision will be a net gain for the wartorn Europian region or if it will only further provoke Putin.

Shifting Sands: A Change in Canadian Foreign Policy

Traditionally, Canada has positioned itself as a fairly passive player on the global stage.

Its decision to send Sidewinder missiles to Ukraine, however, denotes a pretty radical shift in this stance. Furthermore, this bold move aligns Canada with a more active defense support role rather than its usual passive or peacekeeping role.

Navigating the Complexity of Global Politics

Global politics is a complex web of relationships, and Canada's decision is a cog in this machinery.

By supplying sidewinder missiles to Ukraine, Canada is not simply making a heroic stand. Rather, it is likely reading the room and attempting to participate in the global condemnation of the Russian invasion.

Of course, this move isn't without it's downsides. Supplying such lethal weapons to Ukraine will surely be seen as an aggressive move by Russia. Hopefully, Canada is coordinating this move with it's allies to ensure minimal global impact.

Weighing the Consequences

While this move may bolster Ukraine's defense, it could certainly escalate tensions. This decision is not without its risks and potential backlash.

Consequently, Canada must weigh the long-term implications of this shift in policy.

In essence, Canada's new approach will have to be nuanced. It's not about heroism but about maintaining balance in a precarious global situation. The country's shift from a passive, peacekeeping role to more assertive actions is a complex maneuver, reflecting the intricate realities of global politics.

The AIM-9 Sidewinder Missile

The AIM-9 Sidewinder is a U.S. made, short-range air-to-air missile. It entered service in 1956, initially with the U.S. Navy and later adopted by the U.S. Air Force in 1964​​. The Sidewinder is the most widely used air-to-air missile in the West, with more than 110,000 produced for the U.S. and 27 other nations​.


The Sidewinder has a length of 9 feet 11 inches and a diameter of 5 inches. It weighs 188 pounds.

The warhead weighs 20.8 lb and uses an IR proximity fuze for detonation. The missile uses a Hercules/Bermite Mk. 36 solid-fuel rocket for propulsion, providing a maximum speed of Mach 2.5+ and a range of 0.6 to 22 miles.

Its guidance system uses infrared homing (most models) and semi-active radar homing (AIM-9C variant)​​.

Use Cases

This versatile missile launches from multiple platforms. It springs into action from aircraft, naval vessels, and even ground vehicles. Its readiness to deploy exemplifies the readiness of our nation to defend our liberty at any cost.

This deadly weapon is a short-range air-to-air missile primarily used for dogfighting, or engaging enemy aircraft in close range combat.

Its infrared homing guidance system allows it to lock onto the heat signatures of enemy aircraft, making it an effective tool for shooting down enemy fighters.

The Birth of a Super-Weapon

In 1946, William B. McLean, a U.S. Navy physicist, began crafting a game-changer. He assembled an innovative infrared guidance system. This system found its home in standard 5-inch air-to-ground rockets. Just seven years later, in 1953, the Sidewinder proved its mettle. It successfully downed its first target drone in training​.

By 1956, the AIM-9 Sidewinder was ready for action. It proudly entered service as the world's first heat-seeking missile. This 9-foot marvel could hunt enemy aircraft with its internal guidance system. It truly was the pinnacle of technology for its time​.

More Informatino About the Sidewinder Missile


A Bold Move During a Complicated Global Situation

In the complex and often unforgiving game of international politics, Canada's decision to supply Sidewinder missiles to Ukraine is a bold one.

This move will likely boost Ukraine's defense capabilities and send a message to Russia that their actions will not be without consequence.

While the move is not without controversy, there is a precedent for supporting the people of Ukraine in their war against Putin.

As always, let us know what you think in the comments below.

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