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Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Ukraine wants to catch up with Russia – at least in the production of weapons

“Ukroboronprom” given the task to create models of weapons, not inferior to Russian, and back positions on the world arms market. Once Ukraine is indeed among the ten largest exporters in the world, but thanks for this must first huge stockpiles left over from Soviet times. Do you have Kiev at least some chance to recover its position in the defense industry?

“Today the task of the state is to create modern high-quality weapons and military equipment, which are not inferior to the Russian counterparts,” – said the Secretary of national security and defense Council (NSDC) of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov during a visit to Kiev armored plant.

“The challenge today is to create modern high-quality weapons and military equipment, which are not inferior to the Russian counterparts”

The second task is working “Ukroboronprom”, is the resume positions in the world markets of arms and military equipment”. The concern unites 125 domestic enterprises of the military-industrial complex of the country.

In addition, Turchynov boasted that in two years the company has increased production capacity three times, however, the absolute figures are not named.

Once Ukraine had indeed become one of the largest exporters of arms and weapons. At least last year the Stockholm international Institute for peace studies (SIPRI) found that the results of military exports in 2009-2014 years, Ukraine was ranked ninth in the list of the largest. Since independence, Ukraine has earned the military export is 10.5 billion dollars, of which 4.2 billion in 2009-2014, the Volume of export of Ukrainian weapons in 2009-2014 occupied 3% of global sales. This, of course, incomparable with Russia’s position, which has been put on the second place after the United States. Then, she took 27% of the world export market of weapons against 31% in the US.

However, the report Swedes are very encouraged by the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, who in may last year demanded that the country is among the five largest arms exporters. “Someone we were subjected to some criticism that we should limit arms exports during the war. But, on the contrary, we today, thanks to the export, have the opportunity to buy the latest components, to assert the high level of Ukrainian armaments in the world. And I am absolutely not upset that “Ukroboronprom” entered the top ten arms exporters in the world. Strategic goal to enter the top five,” – said Poroshenko.

However, according to the official report of Ukraine to the UN Register on conventional arms for 2014 and 2015, Ukraine has long been not even in the top 10. In 2014, the year export revenues “Ukroboronprom” has decreased twice. In 2015 year decline in exports continued at a high rate.

According to SIPRI, exports of Ukrainian weapons to 2015, the year fell 22% to 323 million dollars compared to 2014, with goods on 72 million dollars were sold to Russia (although this is prohibited by Ukrainian law). “Ukroboronprom” give very different figures. According to them, Ukraine exported in 2015, the year of the weapons at $ 600 million, and this corresponds to the level of 2014.

However, this belies the official report of Ukraine to the UN Register on conventional arms for 2015, published by the State export control service of Ukraine. According to him, in recent years there is a sharp decline of exports.

Thus, the traditional Ukrainian export of goods – battle tanks – decreased by almost two times. It sold only 20 tanks that I bought Ethiopia, Nigeria and Thailand. Latest customer Ukraine has promised to supply 49 tanks “hold” before the end of 2014. However, until now, the Thais got only 10 pieces.

Export sales of armored combat vehicles fell in 2015 compared to 2014 half. Last year they received only Thailand and also under the old contract, from 2013. South Sudan bought five combat aircraft Mi-24V and Mi-24K, Indonesia – two missiles of “air-air” R-27. For comparison: earlier the Ukrainians had signed contracts for the delivery of several hundred of these missiles. Now the orders are estimated in units. About three times the drop in the export of small arms. It is, as a rule, military rarities taken from Ukrainian depots that are buying American companies for resale to collectors.

Ukraine remained at the level of “six”

Experts disagree agree Turchynov that Ukraine has the possibility to compete in the market of arms exports from Russia.

“First, Ukraine does not have some unique set of technologies that would be so attractive on the world market. In the Ukrainian defense industry by and large there is nothing Ukrainian, with a few exceptions. Ukrainian military-industrial complex is a large fragment of the Soviet military-industrial complex”, – said the Director of the Center for analysis of strategies and technologies Ruslan Pukhov.

“Second, the Ukrainian export miracle, which lasted from the early’ 90s to 2010 to 2012, was due to the fact that Ukraine is shamelessly dumping,” he adds. Such dumping was possible thanks to the enormous stocks of Soviet military equipment on the Ukrainian warehouses. “When the troops were withdrawn from Hungary, GDR, Poland, to a large extent, the technique has settled in Ukraine. Moreover, the resources of the technique was good, she was almost new, for example, was staged in the GDR in 1989, and in 1990, it has already brought”, – says military expert.

That is, Ukraine was selling her inherited gift of the legacy of the Soviet past at bargain prices and made huge money, while not investing in arms production a dime.

“Finally, in order to make the modern equipment, the right people, and specialists need to attract good salaries and working conditions. In addition, people need to see the future. And people with common sense quite obvious that regardless of how to develop Ukraine will disintegrate into six pieces, join Russia or become part of the EU), there is no place for the Ukrainian military-industrial complex. The classic example is the Czech Republic and Poland, which joined the EU where there are only two or three defense enterprises. In the Western world forge defense industry are the US, France, Britain and Germany, there is no place for Ukraine”, – said Pukhov.

The export of Ukrainian weapons fell not only because there was no Soviet reserves, but also because Kiev broke off cooperation with Russia. Just because Russia was the main buyer of Ukrainian defense products.

Finally, the quality of Ukrainian military products, even upgraded, was significantly worse. “Also, Kiev directs equipment in order to fight against their own citizens on Donbass. To do this, they pulled off some of the export contracts, for example, in Thailand and Nigeria, which affects the overall reputation of the Ukrainian supplier. Finally, there is a saturation of the market with this stuff, it is impossible indefinitely to trade even good, modernized “Zhiguli”, it is time to move on “Lada Kalina”. And Ukraine remained at the level of the “six” – says Pukhov.

“So all this is all just rhetoric for the people. In General, to compare Ukraine and Russia in the field of arms exports is not even funny. Here nothing to talk about. We are simply in different weight categories”, – concluded the source.

“I would not underestimate”

However, do not underestimate Ukraine, says military expert of the club Izborsk Vladislav Shurigin. “Of course, the military-industrial potential of Ukraine is undermined. After the rupture of relations with Russia is even more aggravated the situation, – said the expert. But I would not underestimate the capabilities of the Ukrainian military industry. She showed high survival in the period of disintegration of Ukraine, two years ago when everything collapsed”.

In his opinion, today Ukraine is, of course, is not able to produce equipment for serious export, it is not even your own army to supply the weapons. However, some resources in Ukraine is still there.

“The Ukrainian military-industrial complex all procjena, but there is a high level of education, lack of good engineers and designers, there’s air and missile school. Theoretically, at some expense in 3-5 years Ukraine is able to start creating weapons. Of course, this will not be supersavermeds technology, but Ukraine has always relied on creating weapons to third world countries. Serious position of the country was, as a rule, on the gray arms market”, – says Vladislav Shurigin.

“I think the export could be associated with missiles of short-range, antitank weapon systems, precision weapons of the battlefield, multiple rocket launchers, weapons that do not require sophisticated technology,” he adds.

According to Shurygina, ten years ago, Russian military industry was in similar condition, but over the years it raised its level very high. “But we then had fat years, and we were able to invest big money in retooling the military-industrial complex and the program itself. In Ukraine the situation is more complicated – she has no money,” – said Shurygin.

But even if a miracle happens and Ukraine to find billions to upgrade and create new weapons, to enter into the five of world leaders on the export of weapons she can’t, experts say. “It is obvious that Ukraine does not enter even in the top ten. But it can create in its budget a separate line – the arms trade,” – said Shurygin.


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