Ukraine Aims to Emerge as a Key Defense Production Hub for the West

Ukraine’s Minister of Strategic Industries, Oleksandr Kamysyhin, has conveyed his goal to position Ukraine as a pivotal center for arms production for Western allies. In a discussion with The Associated Press (AP), he stressed that the urgency of enhancing defense systems has been underscored by both the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the Israel-Hamas conflict.

A Surge in Ukrainian Arms Production

Kamysyhin revealed that close to 500 companies in Ukraine’s defense sector, including 70 state-owned and over 200 private entities, are gearing up to escalate weapons production as a countermeasure to Russian threats. He articulated that Ukraine is focusing on creating a variety of weapons and ammunition, with opportunities to fine-tune and test them amidst the conflict. Kamysyhin, who took office about eight months ago and previously led Ukrainian state railroad Ukrzaliznytsia, recollected initiating local weapons production virtually from zero. He shared with AP that before 2022, Ukraine had a minimal local defense industry, relying chiefly on military support from allies.

Significant Growth in Specific Sectors

While Kamysyhin did not share exact production numbers with AP, he underscored marked growth in some segments. He indicated that the production of artillery ammunition and tanks has surged twentyfold and fivefold respectively in the last ten months.

International Alliance Bolsters Ukrainian Defense Industry

Despite the uptick in local production, Kamysyhin acknowledged Ukraine’s continued reliance on foreign supplies. He also referred to a recent international conference where over 60 companies, mainly from the US, UK, France, Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic, and Turkey, entered agreements to join an alliance aimed at strengthening the Ukrainian defense industry.

Image: 4th Rapid Reaction Brigade of National Guard of Ukraine, Khyzhak camo of NGU 01, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons, (no changes made)

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