April 8, 2014 defense-aerospace.com
(Source: Ukraine Ministry of Defence; issued April 7, 2014)
The head of the Parliament, acting President of Ukraine, the Commander-in-Chief Oleksandr Turchynov said: “The twenty-first century highlighted presence of many local and regional conflicts in the world and today’s Ukraine cannot exist without a modern army.”
The exhibition of the domestic defense industry’s innovations was held at the firing range near Kyiv with involvement of the senior state and military management. Many examples of armor, armaments, communication and personal protection devices, small arms, etc., all made by the Ukrainian manufacturers, were demonstrated during the exhibition.
Quite frequently, the exhibits demonstrated by the manufacturers are equal or better than the best foreign alternatives. For example, the bulletproof personal protection Ukrainian plates have the same strength as the best world’s alternatives and can withstand more impacts than what is required under the NATO’s norms. We have a lot of good domestic equipment which does not need to be purchased from abroad.
The battle capabilities of Ukrainian weapons, armaments and military equipment were demonstrated at the firing range; it is planned that this equipment will soon be delivered to the Ukrainian Armed forces. Firing power and mobility of military equipment were also shown to the visitors.
Tanks «Oplot» and «Bulat» delivered precise shots from all types of armaments while moving and stationary. BTR-3 and BTR-4 competed head-to-head, hitting one target after another. Planes and helicopters repeatedly swept into the air, demonstrating coordination, maneuvering capabilities, imitation of targeting, evading air defense systems and other maneuvers.
The head of the Parliament of Ukraine, O. Turchinov liked what he saw. Today, according to him, fast and competent rearmament of the Ukraine’s Armed Forces is on the top of the agenda and the existence of such intellectual and industrial capabilities is extremely valuable.
During the final briefing Alexander Turchynov said that the twenty-first century highlighted presence of many local and regional conflicts in the world and today a modern country cannot exist without a modern army. He also stressed that in recent years the attitude to the Armed Forces of Ukraine was poor and the financing needs of the Ministry were always the last ones to consider.
O. Turchynov stated: “During the last four years, the Ukrainian Army was systematically destroyed at the demand of another country. The Ukrainian Army has been going through a complete disarmament and the best specialists were gotten rid of. When the aggression against our country started and the occupation of Crimea began, Ukraine faced serious problems in the defence area. Today we have to rebuild our army. The Armed Forces of Ukraine were put on alert on short notice and are ready for a fight, but the rearmament of the Armed Forces is firmly on today’s agenda.”
According to Turchynov, very promising examples of weapons were demonstrated on the training ground, from small arms to battle tanks. He also highlighted the importance of the fact that all these weaponry is made in Ukraine. O. Turchynov also noted that the Ukrainian defense industry, which encompasses a complete production cycle for making weaponry, will be revitalized and will receive a large order from the government. He also added that despite the difficult economic situation the government will allocate funds not only to support the Ukrainian army but also to rearm it. This is a strategic task which must be completed.
Turchynov’s statements were supported by the representatives of the Ukrainian military industry. In private conversations every senior manager stated that the best help to the industry would be regular government orders rather than tax incentives and grants. For example, an armament factory which produces armored vehicles is barely making a dozen of them per month, but it is capable to make many more if an order is received.
As the production volumes increase, the budget revenue and employment will increase, while the costs of the weaponry will decline. This is also true for the production of tanks, machine-guns, vests, helmets, radio communication devices and re-equipment of MI-8 helicopters.
“The tasks given by the Ukrainian people to the Armed Forces of Ukraine will be completed. In the near future, the Ukrainian Army will become such as the people of Ukraine want it to be,” summarizes the Head of General Staff, Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Lieutenant General Mikhailo Kutsin.