Espreso. Global

Ukraine has increased artillery shells production and created domestic air defense system: Minister Kamyshin's year in review

28 December, 2023 Thursday
13:00

Minister for Strategic Industries Oleksandr Kamyshin speaks about achievements in the military industry in 2023

He said this at a closed press conference, Espreso TV reports.

The Minister noted that Ukraine is working on developing its own air defense systems, in particular hybrid air defense systems. "The story called FrankenSAM is about our productive cooperation with American partners. In cooperation with  Western partners, we took our Soviet systems, integrated them with Western missiles, launchers, and ended up with a new hybrid air defense system. Everyone knows that the development of a new air defense system takes more than 5 years. We are not waiting for 5 years, we are developing our own systems: large, complex, expensive, long. At the same time, we are developing hybrid air defense systems. These are quick solutions that give us results right this winter," Kamyshin added.

According to him, the defense industry employs 300,000 people and 500 companies. 200 of them manufacture drones (FPV, medium-range, long-range and reconnaissance). The minister added that a million kamikaze drones will be produced next year. The situation with medium-range and long-range UAVs is not so optimistic: 10 thousand medium-range and one thousand long-range drones per year. "We have only one plant that has produced 45,000 (FPV drones - ed.) - this is only one production facility, only one site. We are constantly building up our capabilities. The best motivation was the program under which the government allocated a billion dollars - 40 billion hryvnias - to purchase drones. The major part of the purchases under this program is already being made for Ukrainian-made drones. When we talk about long-range drones, unfortunately, it's a sensitive story. The state has had this development for a thousand-plus kilometers since 2016, but for some reason, it was not mass-produced. We started mass production in August. Today, we produce dozens of them a month," noted Kamyshin.

The minister refuses to comment on long-range missile production. "This is the most secretive, most important program in Ukraine. I will never talk about it. And you may remember that the president said in September that we have our own long-range domestic weapons. I think this will be enough for you," Kamyshin said.

He added that Ukraine has increased mortar round production 42 times and artillery shell production almost three times. They have also started producing 125 mm tank rounds and 73 mm caliber rounds separately. But 155 mm is still under development. This caliber will start mass production next year. "Unfortunately, in this caliber, we depend on the partners' supply of scarce gunpowder. Because Ukraine has never produced them. We hope for the support of our partners in the issue of powders and are ready to start mass production," Kamyshin said.

According to him, the country's domestic vehicle production has also increased: 6 units of Bohdan self-propelled artillery systems per month, 3.5 times more armored APC vehicles than last year.  He added that state-owned plants have increased armored personnel carrier production fivefold. Overall, the defense industry has tripled its production this year. According to Kamyshin, this figure is expected to double next year.

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