Defense exports: a new dawn or the sunset
After long years of Ukraine’s cautious behavior regarding the foreign assembly of domestic military and special hardware, export companies have swamped the government with proposals for the conveyance of technologies to joint foreign companies, reads an article in the latest KW issue. Chef of UkrSpetsExport Yevhen Perehudov announced mid-June the start of negotiations about the joint assembly of Ukrainian armored personnel carrier BTR ZE on the territory of Thailand. UkrSpetsExport specializes in the export and import of military and special products and services. The total cost of supply of APCs of this class to Thailand is more than US $110 mn, although the number of APCs that will be jointly assembled in Thailand has not been disclosed.
IN early May, Ukraine unveiled another joint project on the supply of BTR 4 to Kazakhstan to the tune of approximately US $150 mn. The news was announced by Minister of Defense Dmytro Salamatyn, who is a native of Kazakhstan. Just as in the case with Thailand, the media did not get information about the share of the vehicles that will be assembled in Kazakhstan.
If these deals come out, export of licenses and production technologies shall substantially exceed finished products in the overall export of weapons and special hardware, that now bring Ukraine more than US $1 bn annually.
What this new trend mean for the nation’s defense exports, the article asks in conclusion. Pessimists say somebody wants to sell out Ukraine’s top defense technologies abroad. Optimists argue that the Ukrainian defense industry is learning to keep up with the times.