Mov­ing right along:

What ex­actly is be­ing pro­duced in Ukraine to­day, what does the army still need, and how much of this can be pro­vided by the do­mes­tic de­fense in­dus­try?

The Ukrainian Week - - CONTENTS - Volodymyr Zablot­skiy, De­fense Ex­press

An overview of new equip­ment de­vel­oped and pro­duced by Ukraine's mil­i­tary in­dus­trial com­plex

Rus­sia’s un­de­clared war against Ukraine is into its fourth year now, cost­ing, in ad­di­tion to hu­man suf­fer­ing, 4% of the coun­try’s ter­ri­tory and 20% of its heavy in­dus­try, es­pe­cially strate­gi­cally im­por­tant en­ter­prises that pro­duced am­mu­ni­tion, mil­i­tary de­vices, weapon guid­ance sys­tems, and so on, that were lo­cated in Crimea and oc­cu­pied Don­bas.

All this time, Ukraine has had to rely on it­self alone, since the bizarre—not to put it more strongly—pol­icy of the West to­wards the ag­gres­sor has also re­stricted Ukraine’s abil­ity to ac­quire weapons and mil­i­tary equip­ment. In­deed, those re­stric­tions re­main in place to this day. And so, on one hand, Ukraine had to pro­vide ar­ma­ment and mil­i­tary equip­ment for its fight­ing forces, and, on the other, to de­velop promis­ing mod­els of weapons, find a way to sub­sti­tute im­ports that used to be supplied by Rus­sia, and at the same time to re­form its en­tire mil­i­tary-in­dus­trial com­plex (MIC).

At this point, there have been some clear suc­cesses in th­ese ar­eas, along­side the re­vival of Ukraine’s armed forces. Cer­tainly, there re­main un­re­solved prob­lems, but Ukraine’s army has ev­ery­thing it needs to fight off the en­emy.

Over Septem­ber and Oc­to­ber, a se­ries of in­ter­na­tional arms ex­hi­bi­tions and con­fer­ences took place in Poland and Ukraine, in­clud­ing the XIV In­ter­na­tional “Arms and Se­cu­rity 2017” Show and the V In­ter­na­tional Con­fer­ence on “The Chal­lenge of Co­or­di­nat­ing Mil­i­tary Tech­ni­cal and De­fense In­dus­try Pol­icy in Ukraine. Prospects for de­vel­op­ing ar­ma­ments and mil­i­tary tech­nol­ogy,” held Oc­to­ber 10-13 in Kyiv. A closer look at Ukraine’s de­fense prod­ucts pre­sented at th­ese events, the con­fer­ence ma­te­ri­als on cur­rent is­sues in re-equip­ping the mil­i­tary, and mil­i­tary tech­nol­ogy co­op­er­a­tion with for­eign part­ners in Ukraine of­fers a num­ber of con­clu­sions. Given the un­cer­tainty over US prom­ises to sup­ply weapons such as Javelin anti-tank units, Ukraine’s De­fense Min­istry plans to in­crease the pur­chase of Ukrainian-made Stugna and Cor­sar anti-tank guided mis­sile sys­tems, as well as BTR-4Es and Oplot tanks.


Just at the last ex­hi­bi­tion, Ukraine’s MIC showed sev­eral dozen new mod­els of arms and equip­ment that take into ac­count re­cently-ac­quired bat­tle­front ex­pe­ri­ence: many of the sam­ples had just come back from the front. The most widely rep­re­sented were ar­mored ve­hi­cles, in­clud­ing: the up­graded T72AMT tank made at the Kyiv Ar­mored Tank Plant, a state en­ter­prise; the Strazh tank de­fender made at the Zhy­to­myr Ar­mored Tank Plant, the Kyiv Ar­mored Tank Plant, and the Artem Hold­ing Com­pany, all state-owned; an up­graded BTR4MN1 made at Kharkiv’s Moro­zov Ma­chine-Build­ing De­sign Bu­reau; a light ar­mored ve­hi­cles in the Kozak line, made at the Prak­tyka Re­search and Pro­duc­tion Union, a pri­vate com­pany. Also pre­sented were such sys­tems as the Bars-8 mo­bile mor­tar unit pro­duced by Bo­hdan Mo­tors; the Khortyt­sia mo­bile ra­dio and ra­dio sur­veil­lance unit and the Plas­tun 3D high-speed ra­dio mon­i­tor­ing and track­ing sys­tem made by the In­foza­khyst R&D Cen­ter in Kyiv; anti-UAV sys­tems from UkrSpet­sTekhnika, a state-owned com­pany; and the Kropyva com­bat con­trol sys­tem made by TOV Lo­hika Con­struc­tion Bu­reau.

Work­ing to­gether with in­ter­na­tional part­ners, Ukraine has be­gun to pro­duce new ar­ma­ments and equip­ment, in­clud­ing the Pol­ish-Ukrainian ZRN-01 Stokrotka 80mm MRLS called Mar­gary­tka; the new PT-17 Pol­ish main bat­tle tank, which will re­place the T-72 and PT-91; M4-WAC-47 au­to­matic ri­fles, and more. The new Mar­gary­tka was im­pres­sive, against both land and air­borne tar­gets like UAVs.

The ques­tion is how much of what the army needs can be pro­duced in Ukraine and what is needed to en­sure qual­i­ta­tive su­pe­ri­or­ity against the en­emy in the bat­tle­field? The De­fense Min­istry says that, at this time, the Army has enough ar­ma­ments and equip­ment to suc­cess­fully carry out the mis­sions it is be­ing as­signed. Still, it in­tends to re-equip the Armed Forces in 2018 with new and more ef­fec­tive mod­els.

The rapid devel­op­ment of tech­nolo­gies and the ap­pear­ance of qual­i­ta­tively new types of ar­ma­ment and equip­ment af­fect the way that mil­i­tary ac­tion is planned tac­ti­cally and has led to a re­assess­ment of the role and place of all the com­po­nents of the mod­ern bat­tle­field. At the top was the data com­po­nent— the re­con­nais­sance, con­trol and com­mu­ni­ca­tion sys­tems that de­ter­mine the speed with which com­mand de­ci­sions can be made. Cut­ting-edge dig­i­tal com­mu­ni­ca­tions sys­tems mean that a mo­bile unit from the US Armed Forces can be de­ployed 8 hours af­ter get­ting ex­ec­u­tive no­ti­fi­ca­tions, whereas its Rus­sian coun­ter­part needs 24 hours or more. This crit­i­cal is­sue is be­ing ad­dressed in Ukraine by procur­ing mil­i­tary dig­i­tal com­mu­ni­ca­tions sys­tems from Turkey, which are man­u­fac­tured

to NATO stan­dards. The sign­ing of a con­tract was pre­ceded by com­pre­hen­sive test­ing at a train­ing field where the Turk­ish mod­els proved the most re­li­able and most ef­fec­tive. What’s more, the man­u­fac­turer of­fered Ukraine a bet­ter deal than other providers, even Israeli ones.


Th­ese days, the qual­ity of a weapon is judged not only by its cal­i­bre and reach, but also its ac­cu­racy and speed in hit­ting a tar­get. Here, the ad­van­tage goes to high-pre­ci­sion am­mu­ni­tion that can hit a point tar­get such as a re­in­forced fir­ing po­si­tion, ar­mored ve­hi­cles, com­mand head­quar­ters, bridges and so on in one or two shots. This has the added ad­van­tage of se­ri­ously econ­o­miz­ing on am­mu­ni­tion and re­source con­tain­ers: to de­stroy one and the same point tar­get, or­di­nary am­mu­ni­tion may need as many as 100 shells. Mean­while, the speed with which a mis­sion can be car­ried out means that the gun can change po­si­tion and avoid re­turn­ing fire.

Among Ukrainian-made high-pre­ci­sion weapons with guided ar­tillery shells us­ing semi-ac­tive laser tar­get­ing sys­tems in­clude the 152mm Kvit­nyk-E and 122mm Kara­suk man­u­fac­tured by the state-owned Pro­gres R&D Com­plex. Th­ese two can de­stroy de­fended point tar­gets at a dis­tance of 20 and 12 kilo­me­ters. More­over, all their com­po­nents are Ukrainian-made.

The Piv­denne Con­struc­tion Bu­reau in Dnipro is in the process of com­plet­ing the Hrom-2, a mo­bile short-range bal­lis­tic mis­sile sys­tem that can strike 250-450 km. It is some­what anal­o­gous to the Rus­sian Iskan­der. This project is be­ing fi­nanced by an in­ter­na­tional buyer. Next year, plans are to put this SRBM through bench and field-test­ing. Based on the re­sults, Gen­eral HQ may de­cide to adopt this SRBM for the use of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. The do­mes­tic ver­sion of this weapon is ex­pected to have bet­ter tac­ti­cal specs than the ver­sion for ex­port be­cause of in­ter­na­tional re­stric­tions. And so Ukraine’s army will be able to rel­a­tively quickly have a very pow­er­ful non-nu­clear weapon in its arse­nal to hold back the en­emy.

Piv­denne is also de­vel­op­ing two new high-pre­ci­sion AAD sys­tems that can op­er­ate within a ra­dius of 250 km and is work­ing on com­pletely up­grad­ing its cur­rent MRL sys­tems. For in­stance, the Ukrainian ver­sion of the 300mm Smerch —code-named Vilkha—MRLS can hit tar­gets up to 120 km away. Its mo­bil­ity and pre­ci­sion are also be­ing im­proved.

The Luch Con­struc­tion Bu­reau in Kyiv has fin­ished prepa­ra­tions to test its do­mes­tic anti-ship cruise mis­sile (ASCM) called Nep­tune for the Ukrainian Armed Forces. This De­cem­ber the first such mis­sile will be launched to its max­i­mum range. This will be a coastal ver­sion and next to be de­vel­oped will be air­launch and ship-launch ver­sions. Once th­ese ASCMs are de­liv­ered to Ukraine’s Navy, its at­tack com­po­nent will be re­stored and com­bat ca­pac­ity qual­i­ta­tively im­proved.

Ukraine’s Air Force is more in need of trans­port and pa­trol air­craft, which can eas­ily be supplied by the do­mes­tic de­fense in­dus­try. There are also some op­tions for up­grad­ing the cur­rent fleet of he­li­copters and even de­vel­op­ing new mod­els at Mo­torSich in Za­por­izhzhia. Drone tech­nol­ogy is also ac­tively evolv­ing. The Antonov Cor­po­ra­tion is work­ing to de­vel­op­ing the Hor­lyt­sia drone, but sev­eral other man­u­fac­tur­ers, in­clud­ing pri­vate ones, have also been de­vel­op­ing UAVs.

On the other hand, re­plac­ing the cur­rent fleet of fighter air­craft is a real chal­lenge. Partly be­cause of the high cost of promis­ing fighter jets, the de­ci­sion has been made to limit them­selves to up­grad­ing and ex­tend­ing the life­spans of the cur­rent fleet of soviet-era mod­els like the SU-27, SU-25 and MIG-29 un­til 2030. Sooner or later, though, the ac­qui­si­tion of new air­craft will have to be on the ta­ble.


The mil­i­tary is in­sist­ing, how­ever, that the pri­or­ity be strength­en­ing the coun­try’s air de­fense sys­tem, up­grad­ing ex­ist­ing sys­tem and de­vel­op­ing new ones for seek­ing and de­stroy­ing air­borne tar­gets. This re­flect broader trends in the world to­day, where tech­no­log­i­cal progress has meant that air de­fense sys­tems en­sure the com­bat ac­tion of fighter air­craft and not the other way around, the way it was un­til not long ago. This was also tes­ti­fied by Ukraine’s use of mil­i­tary air­craft in the war zone in 2014.

To es­tab­lish an ef­fec­tive ADS, the gov­ern­ment un­der­stands that it needs to set up and sup­port an un­in­ter­rupted radar field over Ukrainian ter­ri­tory and the ad­ja­cent ter­ri­to­ries of neigh­bor­ing coun­tries at a wide range of al­ti­tudes. It also needs to con­stantly mon­i­tor and con­trol the use of its airspace.

To­day, Ukraine has the nec­es­sary re­sources and is ac­tively de­vel­op­ing new radar sys­tems. The Iskra R&D Com­plex in Za­por­izhzhia has taken the ini­tia­tive to launch one such sta­tion in the 80K6T class mo­bile 3D sur­veil­lance radar sys­tem, pre­lim­i­nar­ily called Leleka, at its own cost. This sta­tion can de­tect and track up to 300 tar­gets si­mul­ta­ne­ously at a dis­tance up to 500 km at all al­ti­tudes: air­craft, he­li­copters, bal­lis­tic and cruise mis­siles. The Leleka is cur­rently un­der­go­ing test­ing but has al­ready at­tracted the at­ten­tion of mil­i­tary at­tachés from a num­ber of coun­tries, in­clud­ing the US, where anti-mis­sile de­fense sys­tems are one of the top pri­or­i­ties.


Another crit­i­cal area is weaponry for Spe­cial Op­er­a­tion Forсes (SOF), es­pe­cially radar equip­ment and elec­tronic war­fare de­vices. The devel­op­ment of the lat­ter is lead­ing to a switch to mas­sive EW op­er­a­tions. There are al­ready EW de­vices in cir­cu­la­tion based on new phys­i­cal prin­ci­ples: elec­tro­mag­netic weapons and soft­ware weapons such as viruses, tro­jan horses, snif­fers, ex­ploits, and more.

In or­der to prop­erly de­velop weaponry for SOF in Ukraine, cer­tain op­tions are be­ing con­sid­ered in the devel­op­ment of elec­tronic weapons and in­creas­ing the ef­fec­tive­ness of com­bat­ing elec­tronic ter­ror­ism. This in­cludes “... ap­ply­ing new phys­i­cal and tech­no­log­i­cal ap­proaches in form­ing... small-scale high-en­ergy im­pulse sources that can gen­er­ate fa­tal elec­tro­mag­netic and ki­netic dam­age to the en­emy’s mil­i­tary in­stal­la­tions.”

Given that tra­di­tional weapons sys­tems are reach­ing the limit of their evo­lu­tion, ma­jor coun­tries have been fo­cus­ing more on de­vel­op­ing weapons sys­tems based on un­con­ven­tional op­er­at­ing prin­ci­ples. In Ukraine, the pri­or­ity has been to de­velop weapons that gen­er­ate elec­tro­mag­netic pulse or EMP for dem­i­ning, bombs, guided mis­siles and so on; sur­face-to-air and sur­face-to sur­face laser-based weapons; high en­ergy ra­dio fre­quency weapons or HERFs based on high-en­ergy gen­er­at­ing de­vices; and non-lethal weapons.

One in­ter­est­ing ap­proach used by Ukrainian spe­cial­ists is the in­tel­li­gent mon­i­tor­ing of land-based mo­bile and sta­tion­ary ob­jects us­ing multi-agent air-based sys­tems. This would use UAVs with com­puter vi­sion that can mon­i­tor from the air us­ing in­tel­li­gence soft­ware. This has a num­ber of ad­van­tages, in­clud­ing the ca­pac­ity to mon­i­tor a larger ter­ri­tory and re­duce the time needed for mon­i­tor­ing.


The top pri­or­ity for Ukraine’s Navy is to ex­pand its fleet of ves­sels as soon as pos­si­ble to at least the min­i­mum nec­es­sary num­ber. Un­for­tu­nately, it’s prob­a­bly the hard­est task. Firstly, the cost is enor­mous. Se­condly, mil­i­tary ves­sels have very lengthy pro­duc­tion cy­cles. The gov­ern­ment’s tar­geted de­fense pro­gram to de­velop weapons sys­tems through to 2020 has two short-

term ob­jec­tives: ex­pand­ing the build­ing of small ar­mored ar­tillery cut­ters and mod­ern­iz­ing the Het­man Sa­haidachniy frigate.

In the medium and long term, the pro­gram calls for build­ing Project 58250, the main mul­ti­pur­pose Volodymyr Ve­lykiy corvette, land­ing and counter sab­o­tage boats, a mid-range re­con­nais­sance boat and Lan-type mis­sile cut­ters. In ad­di­tion a coastal sur­veil­lance sys­tem is sup­posed to be set up, equipped with Ukrainian-made CP-210 Delta 360° radar tow­ers and mo­bile P-18 Mala­chite or Bure­vis­nyk-1M units.

Un­for­tu­nately, de­spite the an­nounced “pri­or­i­ties,” the promised fund­ing for 2017 to fin­ish con­struc­tion on the corvette was never re­leased, and there is no guar­an­tee that it will show up in 2018, either. This means that, for the fore­see­able fu­ture, there’s lit­tle rea­son to ex­pect good news re­lated to the corvette. It looks like, at the ear­li­est, the Navy will get its long-awaited corvettes af­ter 2020. In the mean­time, while the Het­man Sa­haidachniy is be­ing up­graded, Ukraine’s Navy will not have a sin­gle fully-func­tion­ing ves­sel in its mar­itime zone.

Another dif­fi­cult is­sue is equip­ping the ves­sels with weapons, in­clud­ing weapons that are not made in Ukraine. And while some ASCM and SAM sys­tems could grad­u­ally be pro­duced by the do­mes­tic de­fense in­dus­try, medium cal­i­bre can­nons, an­ti­ship tor­pe­does and mine-trawl­ing equip­ment will have to be bought abroad. Given the in­ter­na­tional re­stric­tions in place, the is­sue be­comes even more com­pli­cated.

Re­pelling Rus­sia’s ag­gres­sion ef­fec­tively is im­pos­si­ble with­out ex­pand­ing the coun­try’s ma­rine ca­pac­i­ties, which means mo­bi­liz­ing all re­sources and de­ter­mi­na­tion on the part of Ukraine’s mil­i­tary and po­lit­i­cal lead­er­ship. Alas, the lat­ter is very doubt­ful: the draft Ma­rine Strat­egy of Ukraine, which is key to de­vel­op­ing Ukraine’s navy and all the coun­try’s mar­itime ac­tiv­i­ties, and put to­gether by spe­cial­ists, has been gath­er­ing dust at the Cab­i­net of Min­is­ters for more than a year now.

Next comes ex­pand­ing the de­fense in­dus­try as part of the over­all econ­omy, re­form­ing Ukraine’s MIC, ex­pand­ing joint ven­tures in mil­i­tary tech­nol­ogy with for­eign com­pa­nies, and so on. Given Ukraine’s own mil­i­tary tech­nol­ogy po­ten­tial, the coun­try should be able to move up to the so­cial, eco­nomic and fi­nan­cial level of Euro­pean coun­tries and to be an equal part­ner on global mar­kets. This means joint ef­forts on the part of all stake­hold­ers—the gov­ern­ment, science and busi­ness—, iden­ti­fy­ing spe­cific steps to en­cour­age in­no­va­tion, and pro­vid­ing it with the nec­es­sary gov­ern­ment sup­port.

The gov­ern­ment also needs to pay more at­ten­tion to do­mes­tic crit­i­cal tech­nolo­gies, which are a par­tic­u­lar pri­or­ity in terms of en­sur­ing na­tional se­cu­rity and eco­nomic growth. Ukraine needs a state sys­tem run by a co­or­di­nat­ing agency and cus­tomer, a na­tional strat­egy, a crit­i­cal tech­nolo­gies devel­op­ment pro­gram, and mech­a­nisms for sup­port­ing it. Us­ing lead­ing EU coun­tries and NATO, de­fense CTs are the dom­i­nant fac­tor in na­tional se­cu­rity or the se­cu­rity of a group of na­tions, so state fi­nanc­ing is pro­vided at the na­tional level, while at the in­ter­na­tional level, a group of states fi­nances it, such as through NATO or the EU.

In ad­di­tion to sup­ply­ing the coun­try’s armed forces, Ukraine’s de­fense in­dus­try is a ma­jor player on global mar­kets, as this is one of the key ar­eas where high-tech prod­ucts are ex­ported. Ac­cord­ing to UkrOboronProm, the state-owned de­fense gi­ant, Ukraine cur­rently sup­plies dual use weapons sys­tems and equip­ment to 68 coun­tries and is in ne­go­ti­a­tions with another 83. As of July 1, 2017, to­tal or­ders were worth US $2.365 bil­lion.

What’s more, this is a chan­nel for com­mu­ni­cat­ing with po­ten­tial part­ners, and gain­ing ac­cess to new tech­nolo­gies and in­vest­ments. This is sig­nif­i­cant, as, right now, high-tech prod­ucts have only around a 7% share of all of Ukraine’s ex­ports. For­tu­nately, this share is grow­ing steadily.


Given the need for its en­ter­prises to ad­vance joint projects and ac­cel­er­ate the move to man­u­fac­tur­ing prod­ucts to NATO stan­dards, UkrOboronProm has been ex­pand­ing its co­op­er­a­tion with the Al­liance. Al­ready 70% of its com­pa­nies are cer­ti­fied to ISO 9001 stan­dards and are in­sti­tut­ing the AQAP 2000 man­age­ment and qual­ity con­trol sys­tems.

40 UkrOboronProm en­ter­prises have been given ac­cess to the NATO Master Cat­a­logue of Ref­er­ences for Lo­gis­tics. Ukraine is cur­rently car­ry­ing out 37 dif­fer­ent de­fense projects un­der NATO pro­grams, in­clud­ing at the Kyiv Po­litech­ni­cal Univer­sity. In De­cem­ber, Ukraine’s MIC will be pre­sented at NATO head­quar­ters in Brus­sels. The com­pany re­cently an­nounced its strat­egy for re­form­ing the de­fense in­dus­try—cor­po­ra­ti­za­tion, au­dits, clus­ter­i­za­tion, com­pre­hen­sive tech­nol­ogy se­cu­rity ac­tions, and the launch of HARDA, the Main Agency for Cut­ting-Edge R&D—and a large-scale pro­gram for im­port sub­sti­tu­tion that will in­volve 400 com­pa­nies in 21 of Ukraine’s oblasts.

At this point, the leg­isla­tive and reg­u­la­tory base needs to be im­proved. Al­though changes to the Tax and Cus­toms Codes have al­ready been in­tro­duced to stream­line the im­port process for all of Ukraine’s de­fense en­ter­prises, with­out ex­cep­tion, another 40 reg­u­la­tions still need to be re­vised. Key here is to adopt the Law “On co­op­er­a­tion in mil­i­tary tech­nol­ogy” and to amend Cab­i­net Res­o­lu­tion #170 dated March 16, 2016, “On the pro­ce­dure for im­port­ing, first de­liv­er­ies and tar­geted use of goods iden­ti­fied in Art. 287 of the Cus­toms Code of Ukraine for use in the man­u­fac­ture of prod­ucts for mil­i­tary use.”

A num­ber of key ques­tions also need to be leg­is­lated: • re­mov­ing leg­isla­tive re­stric­tions on set­ting up en­ter­prises on state-owned prop­er­ties;

• trans­form­ing state en­ter­prises into public stock com­pa­nies;

• ac­quir­ing the in­stru­ments nec­es­sary to re­struc­ture li­a­bil­i­ties;

• ap­ply­ing mech­a­nisms for pri­vate cap­i­tal to be in­volved in stock com­pa­nies;

• sim­pli­fy­ing the process of set­ting up a JV with for­eign cap­i­tal.

Last, but not least, there is the grow­ing role of pri­vate de­fense man­u­fac­tur­ers, which has be­come a se­ri­ous trend. Be­ing more flex­i­ble, ef­fi­cient and a lot less cor­rupt, pri­vate busi­ness is ca­pa­ble of rais­ing Ukraine’s MIC to a new level of qual­ity. Changes for the bet­ter are pri­mar­ily be­ing driven by the es­tab­lish­ment of hor­i­zon­tal ties and co­op­er­a­tion, the broader en­gage­ment of sci­en­tists, and the grow­ing ex­pe­ri­ence of the man­u­fac­tur­ers them­selves. The re­sult has been qual­i­ta­tive changes in the pri­vate part of the de­fense in­dus­try. To­day, it’s no longer just in­di­vid­ual prod­ucts, as be­fore, but en­tire de­fense sys­tems and as­sem­blies with high added value.

All that’s left is to hope that qual­i­ta­tive changes at its en­ter­prises will slowly but surely bring Ukraine’s MIC to a real hub. That, how­ever, can only prop­erly hap­pen af­ter fun­da­men­tal re­forms.


New ar­rivals. Strazh, a tank de­fender, from the Zhy­to­myr Ar­mored Tank Plant, the Kyiv Ar­mored Tank Plant, and the Artem Hold­ing Com­pany, all state-owned, is dis­played at the Arms and Se­cu­rity 2017 show

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