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Ukraine Defense Industry - Land Combat Systems

Ukrainian armored vehicles have been actively developing in recent years - tanks have been modernized, new armored personnel carriers, wheeled infantry fighting vehicles and armored vehicles have been created. However, the number of machines was not enough to qualitatively re-equip a significant number of units. Both the repair of Ukrainian armored vehicles and the service of foreign ones are partly carried out outside Ukraine - so it is safer. It is possible to create a new military-industrial complex through the use of land lease programs.

The situation with artillery and its ammunition is more complicated - Ukraine does not produce barrels for guns and artillery systems.

Despite the fact that the Ukrainian defense industry still struggles with the Soviet legacy, the lack of qualified personnel and resources, experts are unanimous: Ukraine is technically capable not only of protecting its borders, but also of competing in the world market. According to the ranking of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), in 2016 Ukraine was among the ten largest suppliers of military goods in the world. "Ukraine has intellectual, scientific and engineering potential, which is quite enough to become a leading developer of weapons in the world," says Dr. Philip Karber, president of the Potomac Foundation (USA).

Many were sure, especially in Russia, that it is not possible to manufacture major caliber artillery barrels in Ukraine. First, the country had no experience, and secondly, there are only about ten countries in the world that have the appropriate technologies and no one will share them. Nevertheless, contrary to estimates and statements, domestic enterprises, including "Starokramatorsk Machine-Building Plant" and "Kramatorsk Plant of Heavy Machine Building", still managed to master the production of 155 mm barrels. Ukraine independently designed and manufactured a tapping machine and created (partially purchased) all the necessary equipment for the production of the barrel for the newest self-propelled guns. Moreover, for the production of the entire range of barrels, both artillery and tank calibers from 100 to 155 mm.

Before the birth of the Ukrainian 125-mm tank guns, which were equipped with the T-80UD, the appearance of which was a real technical and production victory of the domestic military industry, the collectives of the following enterprises were involved:

  • SE "Plant named after V.O. Malysheva" - the main producer;
  • HKBM named after O.O. Morozova - design support;
  • JSC "SMNVO named after M.V. Frunze" - co-executor in the manufacture of barrels and supplies of blanks for the breech and wedge;
  • PJSC "Dniprovazmash" (Dnipro) - co-executor for the supply of blanks for the breech and wedge;
  • PJSC "Dniprospetsstal" (Zaporizhia) is a supplier of gun steels for the manufacture of smaller parts.
The high-quality metal in terms of its technical properties means a strong and more wear-resistant barrel. So, for example, on the "125" caliber, stability was achieved much better than during the times of the Soviet Union. At that time, the barrel could withstand 600 shots, and the Ukrainian one already has a guarantee for 1200. The security illusions associated with the status of a neutral state and the guarantees of the signatories of the Budapest Memorandum, which prevailed in Ukraine for two decades, hindered the development of precisely those areas of the defense industry that were primarily focused on the needs of Ukraine's national defense and security, and not on the export of products.

The economy of Ukraine occupied an extremely important place in the militarization of the industry of the Soviet Union. In the 1930s, machine-building and metalworking enterprises of Ukraine, which employed 572,500 workers,began reconstruction and construction of new shops for the production of guns, mortars and other weapons. In December 1939, a new T-34 tank manufactured by the most powerful in the USSR - Kharkivskyi was adopted by the Russian Armytank plant named after Comintern. In June, the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Ukraine (b) adopted the resolution "On the production of T-34 tanksin 1940, which required the serial production of the combat vehicle to begin. The people of Kharkiv were released before the end of the year117 new tanks. At the beginning of 1941, all tank and tractor factories were involved in serial production of the T-34. ForIn 1940-the first half of 1941, they produced 1,225 T-34s and 636 KV heavy tanks. In 1941, the production capacity of the tank industry was 6.5 thousand tanks.

The defense industry of Ukraine was a major component of the unified military industry of the USSR. As the director of the Army, Conversion and Disarmament Research Center (CDACR) V. Badrak emphasizes, "Ukraine, which inherited about 30% of the Soviet military-industrial complex, was "doomed" to be present on the world market of weapons and military equipment (OMT). at the time of the collapse of the Soviet Union, there were three areas of the defense industry in Ukraine that met world standards and were leaders. These are strategic missile complexes, armored complexes, shipbuilding.

In 2014, the Ukrainian army faced an unexpected challenge - a military threat from Russia. The annexation of Crimea and the first battles in Donbas came as a shock to the Ukrainian armed forces and "defense" in general. There were no modern guns, no efficient tanks, no basic protection for the soldiers. Volunteers collected money to equip the soldiers, and citizens bought government bonds to provide the army with weapons.

In 2014, more than half of the defense industry factories were on the verge of bankruptcy, and the rest provided their products to the Russian military-industrial complex. Russian aggression forced Ukraine to urgently stop cooperation with the aggressor and focus all its forces on ensuring the successful defense of the state.

The Soviet system of management, outdated technologies and a shortage of skilled workers were the first obstacles that the Ukrainian military industry had to overcome in 2014. But already in 2015, Ukraine began to actively produce tanks, armored vehicles, armored personnel carriers, navigation complexes and various types of guns. According to the DK "Ukroboronprom", the production of 30-mm automatic guns increased by 2.5 times, and the production of combat aircraft (Su-25/27, L-39) was modernized to NATO standards. The next test of the Ukrainian defense industry was the refusal to cooperate with Russian plants. Ukrainian manufacturers were forced to look for new partners and open other sales markets.

The needs of the military are much greater than the number of weapons produced by Ukrainian factories. The reason is banal - Ukraine manufactures as much military equipment as the state budget allows. The potential of defense plants significantly exceeds the volumes of the state defense order.

One of the easiest ways to remove the burden of defense production from one's own budget, experts say, is to increase the export of military products. After all, potentially, the Ukrainian defense industry has every chance to become one of the most important revenue items of the state budget. "Our strategic goal is to enter the top five arms exporters," President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko commented on the Ukroboronprom product catalog for 2016-2017. And such a strategy, according to experts, is profitable for Ukraine for several reasons.

First of all, the more orders for tanks and armored personnel carriers factories receive, the more profit they will receive. According to information from Ukroboronprom, in 2016, defense enterprises sold arms abroad for the amount of 769.5 million dollars (25% more than in 2015). As the director of the Army, Conversion and Disarmament Research Center Valentyn Badrak notes, factories can reinvest money from exports in the development of production, in particular in new technologies, as well as create better working conditions, raise wages for employees, etc. Moreover, in the event of an increase in the Russian threat, the factories will already have a stock and will easily be able to produce more units of equipment.

Second, by increasing military exports, Ukraine will gradually push the Russians out of this market. In the conditions of a hybrid war with the Russian Federation, this is another front against the aggressor. By the way, Ukraine successfully sells Oplot tanks to Thailand, and entered international markets with BTR-4.

Third, foreign orders also allow more innovations to be introduced for the Armed Forces. Valentyn Badrak emphasizes that "a number of countries are ready to include and pay for research and development works as part of export contracts." In particular, in the field of aircraft construction and aircraft armament, Ukrainian "defense" can use the opportunities of cooperation with Saudi Arabia and China.

It was not by chance that prospects also appeared on the market of Indonesia, with which in 1997 "Ukrspecexport" signed the first contract for the repair of a batch of armored vehicles. Now, DC "Ukroboronprom" expects to develop the idea of licensed production of floating wheeled armored personnel carriers BTR-4M with the wheel formula 8x8. Kyiv lost the Iraqi market - both because of the quality of work and due to the activity of Russian special services. Of those promised by Baghdad 2, 4 billion dollars only 640 million dollars were used.

According to the information of the Ukroboronprom DC, in 20142017, the enterprises of the concern created a number of the latest models of armored military equipment, including combat modules for it, such as the multi-purpose unmanned armored personnel carrier (APC) "Phantom", BTR4 MV1, a modernized combat vehicle infantry (BMP 1UMD), combat modules "Duplet", "Kastet", "Taipan", etc., equipped with various means of fire impact on enemy ground and air targets (cannons, machine guns, grenade launchers, rocket weapons), digital fire control system "Myslyvets" etc. As of the end of 2017 the specified samples of military equipment were at various stages of their testing. Some of these weapons were presented at international exhibitions of weapons and military equipment.

Ukrainian troops must have the best domestic tank "Oplot". This was stated by the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, Oleksandr Turchynov, during an introduction to the production of armored vehicles at the SE "Zavod named after V.O. Malysheva" in Kharkiv. The Secretary of the NSDC of Ukraine noted that the new State Defense Order for 2018 must provide for the supply of Oplot tanks to the Armed Forces of Ukraine. "Today, the plant produces the entire line of Ukrainian tanks, in particular, the best domestic tank "Oplot", which, due to its high cost, is produced only under export contracts. These tanks should be in service with the Ukrainian troops in order to reliably defend our country," he emphasized. Some 40 Ukrainian enterprises are involved in the production of the tank.

"The enterprise, which until 2014 was considered unpromising and which was planned to be dismantled for scrap metal, is working and is once again becoming the flagship of the Ukrainian defense industry," O. Turchynov noted. The Secretary of the NSDC of Ukraine emphasized the importance of investing in production, finding resources that will allow the plant to be equipped with new equipment, "which will allow for an order of magnitude increase in the number of tanks produced at the plant's production facilities and will help improve their quality." O. Turchynov also visited SE "Kharkiv Design Bureau of Mechanical Engineering named after O.O. Morozov" and reported that the design bureau is currently "developing a new generation of weapons in closed mode."

Naturally, all these factors lead to a disruption in the supply of weapons to the Armed Forces. According to the information of the Minister of Defense, in 2016, the Kyiv Armored Plant delivered 26 BTR-3DA armored personnel carriers instead of the proper 42. Morozova" - half of the ordered simulators for the T-64 tank, State Enterprise "Artillery Weapons Design Bureau" delivered 98 units within the terms specified in the contract. 82-mm mortars instead of 140, PJSC "Mayak Plant" - 250 units. 120-mm mortar "Hammer" instead of 280. Disruption of deadlines for the fulfillment of contracts by enterprises and the number of undelivered equipment and weapons significantly affect the combat capability and defense capability of the Armed Forces.

The State Enterprise "Kharkiv Armored Plant", which is part of the Concern, sent a batch of T-64 tanks to the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Work on these machines was carried out within the framework of the state defense order for 2021, "under conditions of limited funding", as the press service of the Concern separately emphasized. The machines underwent a major overhaul with elements of deep modernization, thanks to which the combat capabilities of these T-64s increased, the reliability of assemblies, units and weapons was increased. KhBTZ had already handed over nine restored T-64 tanks of the 2017 model to the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Thus, this year the army received 14 updated tanks, or one and a half company sets, from the Kharkiv Armored Plant.

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Page last modified: 22-04-2023 18:37:46 ZULU