The LLC Ukrainian Armor is developing an alternative, analog, or entirely new type of vehicle to replace the Varta wheeled armored personnel carrier, the company's CEO Vladyslav Belbas told Military Courier Ukraine.
The decision to abandon the Varta project was announced a few weeks earlier, this time the company's chief added that a few alternative vehicles are being prepared. Belbas provides no further details, particularly, what chassis the new APCs will have, leaving that until public presentation.
Read more: Over a Thousand Mortars, Updated Varta APC, and a New Interesting Project from Ukrainian Armor
The issue of chassis is a crucial one. Varta was based on a 4×4 two-axle truck supplied by Minsk Automobile Plant (MAZ).
"Since the full-scale invasion broke out, we have no relations with MAZ but, unfortunately, hence no Varta production, either," Vladyslav Belbas said.
Defense Express memo: with belarus being effectively on the russian side in the war against Ukraine — manifested in providing its airfields, territories for deployment of russian forces, technicians to maintain russian military equipment, etc. — many Ukrainian companies have cut ties with belarusian partners.
Belbas noted that Varta was "really good" from the design perspective and optimal cost made it competitive:
"The vehicle was reliable, simple, and it was the whole concept: to use quite a widespread MAZ chassis which has always been and will be easy to find its spare parts to, and which is easy to maintain at any service center."
He underlined the role of the Varta APC in the 2014–2022 period. At that time, the country relied on its own resources to fight against russia and had a much smaller defense budget, so Varta was an affordable option to equip the Ukrainian Army.
For a reminder, LLC Ukrainian Armor is currently supplying the Armed Forces of Ukraine with another type of APC called Novator. The manufacturer has recently revealed a new modification of this vehicle with enhanced mine resistance, reinforced chassis, and a modular design supporting even air defense systems.