September 2023, the press service of the Ukrainian Armor private company notified of ongoing negotiations with General Dynamics European Land Systems on production of ASCOD infantry fighting vehicles in Ukraine, for the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
At that time, the Ukrainian soldiers had allegedly tested ASCOD and compared it to other options but no updates have been given since then. The reason is russian spies initiated countermeasures immediately after the announcement, so the Ukrainian side decided not to draw too much attention — Bohdan Petriv, the deputy chief engineer of JSC Ukrainian Armor, explained in an interview with Defense Express director Serhii Zghurets, as part of a joint project with Espreso TV channel.
The company's representative outlined the stage at which the project is right now. The Ukrainian Armor is currently addressing technical challenges associated with establishing the production of the IFVs while concurrently engaging in negotiation processes. The progress is somewhat slowed down by the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine which hasn't yet formulated specific requirements for an infantry fighting vehicle. However, Petriv assures that "a few more internal meetings, and this issue will be resolved as well."
Moreover, he underscores that the Ukrainian Armor's proposal for manufacturing ASCOD IFVs for the Ukrainian Armed Forces holds numerous advantages. Specifically, the company already has experience working on IFV concepts, understands exactly what the Ukrainian soldiers need on the battlefield, and provides a flexible response to feedback.
Also, Ukrainian Armor has what it takes to produce and deliver products as quickly as possible, a factor more important nowadays than cost efficiency.
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Petriv also highlights an important aspect — while acknowledging the challenges posed by the diversity of Western armored vehicles within the Ukrainian Armed Forces, he suggests that this complexity most likely isn't a decisive factor for the Ministry of Defense in procurement planning. Despite the potential problems associated with maintenance and repairs, the urgent need for a substantial quantity of armored vehicles overweights these issues.
The Ukrainian Armor's vice-chief engineer is positive that once the defense ministry finalizes decisions and sets up all the production cooperation processes efficiently, his company will be able to manufacture approximately 100 IFVs annually.