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​Manufacturers are Ready to Increase Production Once They Get Long-Term Contracts, Ukrainian Armor Maker Says

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2S22 Bohdana self-propelled artillery system is one of the most famed Ukrianian wartime developments / Illustrative photo credit: Artillery and Missiles troops of AFU
2S22 Bohdana self-propelled artillery system is one of the most famed Ukrianian wartime developments / Illustrative photo credit: Artillery and Missiles troops of AFU

According to a private weapons maker, creating conditions favorable for defense industry is more about regulations rather than finances

Bureaucratic issues undermine Ukraine's effort to expand the capacity of military production, insists Vladyslav Belbas, CEO of Ukrainian Armor LLC. During his speech at the Cipher Brief 2024 defense and economy forum in Kyiv, he urged the government to transition to long-term contracts, as it's the key incentive for manufacturers to invest in ramping up their capacity.

"Any private manufacturer is ready to increase production volumes in case it's awarded a planned long-term order. Then, it won't need investments from the state or sponsors, the manufacturer will be able to make plans, involve and invest, develop products and increase the volumes of weapons and equipment produced at its own expense."

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Against the backdrop of rapidly developing FPV drone manufacture, with Ukraine's government heavily investing in this sphere in 2024, he added:

"In my opinion, FPV drones are like 'new powder' for the war but we shouldn't forget about conventional weapons either, such as artillery. We have to prioritize domestic production, develop it in significant quantities in order to have a balance of capabilities on the frontline, including the artillery [capability]," said Belbas at the forum, as quoted by his company's press service.

Also, the head of Ukrainian Armor revealed a problem he faced when talking to international partners: foreign investors are not willing to take extra risk injecting their money into Ukrainian defense industry because important data about defense facilities is still available in the public domain, and russians could use this information to target industrial facilities.

Mortars from Ukrianian Armor LLC / Defense Express / Manufacturers are Ready to Increase Production Once They Get Long-Term Contracts, Ukrainian Armor Maker Says
Mortars from Ukrianian Armor LLC / Photo by Defense Express

"Engagement of external partners will be possible only after Ukraine has an understandable and transparent system of work, and the manufacturers' assets are protected. It is unacceptable that on the third year of war that public sources have information about the contractors fulfilling defense orders, their locations, volumes of implementation, etc. On the third year of war, this information should be classified and hidden from the enemy," Belbas insisted.

On the part of Defense Express, the issue with the openly available data of defense contractors has been discussed for a few months now, in particular, NAUDI — the National Association of Ukrainian Defense Industries — in February 2024 submitted an appeal to the Prime Minister of Ukraine, Denys Shyhal, to classify the said information.

Correction: the following photo was updated due to a caption mistake

2S22 Bohdana artillery system on 8x8 Tatra chassis with additional armor from Ukrainian Armor LLC / Defense Express / Manufacturers are Ready to Increase Production Once They Get Long-Term Contracts, Ukrainian Armor Maker Says
2S22 Bohdana artillery system on 8x8 Tatra chassis with additional armor from Ukrainian Armor LLC / Photo credit: Joint Task Force Command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine
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