14.02.2023 – Translated from Ukrainian via Google
After the visit of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to London and a meeting with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, British arms manufacturers have become quite active. The Telegraph writes that the British even visited Ukraine in order to create joint ventures that produce weapons and military equipment under license.
The British publication claims that other European defense companies, including German and French, are also negotiating with Ukraine, but British companies are eager to get ahead of competitors and take first place in the queue. It is worth noting that they have a chance, because such international enterprises are impossible without the approval of the authorities of both countries, and official London has shown better speeds than Paris and Berlin in this regard since the beginning of the war.
By the way, such joint ventures are not something new for Ukraine. For many years , KrAZ Cougar , KrAZ Cobra and KrAZ Spartan military armored vehicles , as well as special armored vehicles jointly developed by KrAZ-MPV Shrek One , KrAZ Feona and KrAZ Hurricane , have been produced at the Kremenchug Automobile Plant under the license of the Canadian-Emirati company Streit Group for the needs of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the National Guard.
OBOZREVATEL invites you to familiarize yourself with what Western partners can offer Ukraine and what Ukraine itself is interested in.
Despite the fact that it is cooperation with the UK that is now well-known, no specifics are given on the range of possible weapons that will be produced in Ukraine under license. However, it can be assumed that this will be something that is in demand primarily in Ukraine. First of all, these are air defense systems and missile weapons. Britain can offer both the first and the second, as well as something to boot.
Initially, we are interested in rockets. Britain is the developer of a number of missile weapons, both existing and future ones. These are Brimstone 1 anti-tank missiles (range up to 20 km) and Brimstone 2 (up to 60 km), as well as SPEAR 3 aircraft missiles (up to 140 km) and Storm Shadow (up to 560 km), which, if desired, can be adapted for firing from ground launchers. Although the latter are a joint development of Britain and France, therefore, certain organizational issues may arise here.
Not the last priority for Ukraine is air defense installations, which will be relevant even after the end of the war, because with a neighbor like Russia nearby, you can always expect rocket fire or bombardment by kamikaze drones. Here, Britain can offer Starstreak and Martlet man-portable air defense systems , which are designed to shoot down both low-flying aircraft and helicopters, as well as kamikaze drones and cruise missiles, which also have a relatively low flight path.
You can also remember how, back in 2020, the domestic media wrote that the UK wants to build missile boats on the territory of our state according to the British project for the Ukrainian Neptune missile weapons, together with Ukraine. These were supposed to be 50-meter missile boats with a displacement of about 400 tons, which could be armed with up to eight Ukrainian anti-ship missiles of the Neptune type or their analogues. They wrote that Great Britain is so interested in the project that it is ready to provide our state with a loan for construction.
Of course, one should not brush aside the joint production of armored vehicles. At the same time, these can be both Stormer armored personnel carriers , armed with the already mentioned Starstreak missiles, and Challenger 2 main battle tanks , if the UK wins the competition from Germany.
Deputy Defense Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Gavrilov, at the National Defense Industrial Association’s annual conference on the potential of the armed forces in September 2022, called on Western partners (primarily the United States) to use the war in Ukraine to test their pilot projects in the field of weapons and military equipment .
So far, nothing is known about the interest of the United States, but Germany responded to this proposal, namely, the arms concern Rheinmetall, which does not exclude the supply of its latest weapon models to Ukraine, primarily promising KF51 Panther tanks and heavy infantry fighting vehicles KF41 Lynx .
“Ukraine is interested in Lynx and Panther – the most modern infantry fighting vehicles and battle tanks. Negotiations with Kiev on this topic are already underway,” said Armin Papperger, executive director of the Rheinmetall concern, in a comment to the German publication Handelsblatt Business Daily .
The KF51 Panther tank in Germany is called the successor to the main battle tank Leopard 2, although it is very different from the classic NATO tank models and is designed to introduce new technologies and solutions. Now it is on the list of promising and exists only in the form of a few prototypes.
It is possible that the subject of negotiations with Ukraine is either the testing of these prototypes in combat conditions in the near future, or the production of a small experimental batch for further testing in Ukraine, or even the future mass production of these tanks for the needs of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (after all, everyone is well aware that it is too early how late these tanks will be brought to the required condition and put into mass production), perhaps even on the territory of Ukraine.
The main armament of the KF51 Panther is a new 130 mm Rh120 smoothbore gun with a length of 52 calibers, which should replace the current 120 mm NATO standard guns. The gun should work together with the new automatic loader, which is designed for 20 rounds of ammunition. It is located in the aft niche of the tank turret. The HERO 120 loitering ammunition launcher has also been integrated into the turret.
The tank is designed for a crew of three: a commander, a gunner in the turret and a driver. There is also an additional workplace for the unit commander or UAV operator (the tank has a control system for aerial reconnaissance drones, which should increase the situational awareness of the crew).
As for the KF41 Lynx , it is a 44-ton heavy infantry fighting vehicle designed to be delivered to a combat zone and subsequently supported in combat by an airborne force of up to 9 people. In this case, the crew of the car is three people.
The BMP is protected by armor from 30 mm projectiles in the frontal projection and from 14.5 mm in the side ones. The bottom guarantees explosion protection with the equivalent of 10 kg of TNT. The power plant of the BMP is a Liebherr D9612 engine with a capacity of 1470 horsepower, which allows it to reach a speed of 70 km / h. The cruising range on the highway is 500 km.
Its main armament is a LANCE turret with a 30mm or 35mm cannon and an anti-tank missile launcher, which can be equipped according to customer requirements.
But here it must be remembered that if agreements are reached between official Kiev and the Rheinmetall concern, the consent of the German government will still be required. And this, given the indecision of the current German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, may be delayed in time.
Against the backdrop of British and German interest , the news went almost unnoticed that on February 6, the State Concern Ukroboronprom and the Czech manufacturer of military equipment VOP CZ reached agreements in the field of armored vehicles and signed the relevant bilateral documents with a specific schedule for their implementation.
This cooperation involves the production of military equipment, an increase in the production of ammunition of various calibers (both at existing facilities and at newly created facilities in safe places), the development of service hubs for the maintenance and repair of weapons and military equipment, as well as cooperation in the field of high technologies, in in particular, the creation of common research centers.
Ukroboronprom claims that the agreements reached with VOP CZ are the fulfillment of the agreement on the creation of a joint defense cluster with the Czech Republic, which the Ukrainian state concern concluded with the Intergovernmental Defense Cooperation Agency (AMOS) at the Czech Ministry of Defense at the end of last year.
A little over a year ago, on February 3, 2022, Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov announced that Ukraine and Turkey had signed a framework agreement on the construction of a plant for the production of Turkish Bayraktar drones on the territory of our state. Even earlier, on September 22, 2021, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba reported that this issue had already been resolved at the level of the presidents of the countries – Vladimir Zelensky and Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Of the details of this agreement, Reznikov said only that Turkish drones would use Ukrainian Motor Sich engines. And the then adviser to the head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Oleksiy Arestovich (even before the first dismissal) even stated in an interview that the plant was already being built in Vasilkov, Kiev region and would produce both Ukrainian and Turkish drones, not only Bayraktar TB2 , but also heavy Anka drones , which are in service with the Turkish army. According to Arestovich, the first combat drones were supposed to roll off the assembly line of the Ukrainian-Turkish plant before the end of 2022.
Again, this issue was raised in the media in February already in 2023. Borys Zakutny, Ukrainian Ministry of Defense spokesman for land issues and financing, told the ArmiyaInform Defense Ministry news agency that despite the ongoing war, the issue was re-settled following meetings with investors and other interested parties.
In particular, it was agreed where exactly in Ukraine the future plant of the Turkish company Baykar Makina will be built. A draft “Road Map” was also created on the issue of transferring a land plot and settling the joint use of an airfield. It is emphasized that the construction of such a plant will provide for the “transfer of high technologies and localization of production” of modern drones on the territory of Ukraine.
In addition, the parties have determined where exactly the Center for maintenance, repair, modernization and training of personnel of the Bayraktar line of drones will be located – we are talking about models such as Bayraktar TB2 , Akinci , Kizilelma , as well as a number of small reconnaissance UAVs.
The project is expected to invest $95.5 million over the next 10 years, with the first production rolling off the assembly line in 2025.
France is also referred to in the media as a country showing interest in the joint production of weapons and military equipment in Ukraine. So far, no specifics have been called, but given that France is a country that fully provides itself with weapons of its own production – from cartridges to aircraft carriers, the space for cooperation here is more than extensive.
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On all fronts, Ukraine’s future is looking bright. What better nation to build weapons in than the one that showed so much bravery, brilliance and brawn as Ukraine?!
The future of warfare is happening in Ukraine now, I believe. Drones, robotics, communications, real time satellite imagery and taking out probably the #1 ground force on earth. Everything Ukraine makes moving forward will be fashionable in world capitals.
I agree. Ukrainian military in every form will be a high-dollar export item in the coming years. Everyone wants to learn how to fight like a Ukrainian.
After Vlad is swinging in the wind we will have to thank him for motivating and unifying Ukrainians behind their flag.
Not only will Ukraine be able to export things with official TIU, DIU, BIU designations (tested in Ukraine, developed in Ukraine, built in Ukraine) that will appeal to anyone going up against Russian equipment, but it will easily be able to export to many markets using those ports that Russia so covets.
Liked Sir OFP’s, Sir RSM’s and Honestly’s comments.