Member of the Board of the League Valentyn Badrak in an interview with UNIAN: «The level of self-defense needs of the army can reach 70%»
In an interview with UNIAN, the head of the Center for Research on Army, Conversion and Disarmament Valentin Badrak told why the Ukrainian anti-tank missile complexes “Skif” and “Corsar” are no worse than the American Javelin, as domestic radar stations will disable the latest Russian unmanned pilots in the Donbass and what modern high-precision weapons of domestic production will soon appear in regular units of the Ukrainian Army.
Recently Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council Oleksandr Turchynov said that today more than 50% of state defense orders are executed by private companies. Is it good or bad?
The war in general has been a very significant stimulus to a huge amount of development, and one of the major trends that have emerged is the emergence of a large number of private companies in the Ukrainian arena that began to develop and produce weapons. What is very interesting is an additional trend – unlike Soviet-type enterprises that have worked in a planned economy with a large number of staff, now the situation is such that in private companies that deal with defense, from two dozen to several hundred employees, depending on what they produce. For example, the Antonov State Enterprise has about 10,000 employees, but this does not save aviation from a major crisis and problems, while new privately owned arms manufacturing enterprises have a predominantly engineering structure and can handle a variety of technological tasks.
Our Center for Army, Conversion and Disarmament Studies is one of the co-founders of the League of Defense Enterprises, which was created to strengthen public-private partnerships and combine the capabilities of private and state-owned enterprises.
What are the recent developments in Ukraine in the field of defense and industrial complex development?
Let’s start with the strategic level – our most significant developments concern, of course, rocket technology. Rocket technology is actually something that can enhance our defenses. It is important that Ukraine, as a rocket state, can produce rockets without the help of any partners. This is a very important feature. In fact, the newest school of short-range missiles appeared at the State Design Bureau “Luch”, where since the 2000s began to develop and manufacture anti-tank missile systems (PTRK) and tandem munitions (tandem or dual ammunition is an explosive or metal device with two or more stages of the explosion, – UNIAN), which are high-precision shot through the trunk channel. Such a shot “Combat” (tank guided missile – UNIAN) appeared, which then transformed into various projects.
For today there is a whole line of PTRKs, among which the most well-known are “Skif” and “Corsar”. In the recent gunfire, when the American Javelin was shot, just used these two anti-tank missile systems and they demonstrated that they were not worse than the American ones and struck the targets as well – a 100% hit at distances of almost 2 km. Complexes have confirmed their high performance.
Similarly, the “Luch” DKBB is currently working on the missile system of the volley fire “Vielha”, which is already in the stage of state testing and capable of a range of 70 km to hit 12 targets simultaneously – within a radius of 2 km. A very powerful weapon is actually the weapon of the future for our troops. There is a prediction that by the end of this year the Ukrainian army will receive this weapon.
Similarly, KB “Luch” is developing a missile “Neptune” which can become a weapon of containment, that is, a system that can strike targets far into the enemy’s rear. It now has a range of up to 300 km, but Ukraine’s participation in the International Missile Technology Control (MKRT) regime allows us to produce missiles with a range of up to 500 km for the needs of Ukrainian defense, and I hope that our gunsmiths will use these capabilities.
In the future, I do not rule out that Ukraine can create missiles with a range of up to 1.5 thousand kilometers, and then it will be able to fly to Moscow. It will be a real weapon of deterrence. Such capabilities exist and, in fact, Ukrainian gunsmiths are ready to do this if at the political level it will be possible for Ukraine to create such missiles. In fact, it will be a medium-range missile, if it does.
How do you assess the export potential of Ukrainian OPK products, taking into account the opportunities of private enterprises?
Ukrainian OPK has a huge export potential. Missiles of KB “Luch” are bought by us from Belgium, Poland. When export contracts fit research and development work, then the issue of creating different weapons is also addressed.
For example: due to external contracts, the issue of modernization of the S-125 anti-aircraft missile complex (SRS) to the C-125M “Pechora” was solved, and this situation is now being used for the Ukrainian army. Such a new MRK of medium range will be created in the interests of Ukraine’s defense capability. Both state and private companies are involved here.
The modernized anti-aircraft missile complex C-125M “Pechora” was developed by the state design bureau “Luch” and the private company “Radionix”, which makes an active radar head for homing. The distant zone of the damage zone of this MRK is 40 km. This is a very important element of strengthening Ukraine’s air defense.
Another important project of such a plan is the creation of a Ukrainian helicopter, which will be able to fight at night. In particular, when several contracts for the sale of Mi-24 helicopters took place in Azerbaijan, the Ukrainian missile “Barrier-2В”, which was made by KB “Luch”, was integrated into the system of combat helicopter.
Earlier Ukrainian helicopters had only uncontrolled missiles. Now they have a guided missile of Ukrainian production with a range of combat – up to 8 km. By the way, I do not rule out that the Barrier-2B missiles will be used in the future in order to create an unmanned drone complex in Ukraine. Only six or seven states of the world can create shock drone complexes.
Today, Ukrainian gunsmiths overcame another milestone – the creation of an optoelectronic helicopter sighting system. Thanks to the public-private partnership, it was possible to create a fire control system called the 524P.
Thus, this year our combat helicopter will be able to fight at night or in bad weather conditions. This is a very big success, because that was not the case before. In the future, the school of general designer and general director of KB “Luch” Oleg Korostelev plans to integrate into the Ukrainian combat helicopter a “Alta” rocket, which will increase the range of 8 to 12 km, this will be a very powerful weapon.
What domestic developments in the defense industry are actively used in the war with Russia in the Donbass?
New radar stations. In particular, the newest radars create a very well-known enterprise “Iskra”. Also, I would note the private enterprise “Holding Company” Ukrspetstekhnika “, which created the newest radar” Malakhit “, which was very seriously used during the war on the Donbass.
Also, “Ukrspetstekhnika” began to develop systems aimed at the destruction of unmanned aviation complexes of the enemy, they managed to create such an “Enclave” system, which effectively disables foreign unmanned vehicles, which is a very serious complex operating on a distance of up to 40 km and in fact these systems were put in the army during the war. They have demonstrated in practice the ability to disable the latest Russian drones. Russia, as we know, created the production of drone weapons with Israel, so there are powerful systems there. By the way, Radar “Malakhit” and “Enclave” were created by designer-woman Svetlana Koshova.
The war on Russia in the Donbass is actively used by the radar radar stations, expert / photo UNIAN. In the war with Russia on the Donbass are actively using radar stations, expert / photo UNIAN One of the segments that we have been very seriously developed can also be called creation unmanned aviation complex of the battlefield. This is a private enterprise – one of the co-founders of the League of Defense Enterprises – “Atlon Avia”. He has a few employees, only a few dozen, the company recently noted the four years of existence, but they create an unmanned aviation complex (BPAK) A1-SM Fury, which is bought by the army, and the National Guard. These unmanned pilots have confirmed their high potential. This enterprise was actually born from scratch, having received technical requirements from the General Staff of the Armed Forces and managed to create such modern complexes.
Undoubtedly, we can not pass our educational institutions – NTUU KPI now has 15 research institutes and research centers and, of course, creates a lot of things. In particular, an unmanned aviation complex “Spectator” was created, which is used in the army, in the war. It is launched in batch production together with the enterprise “Meridian” named after S.P. Korolyov, which is part of the state enterprise “Ukroboronprom”.
By the way, Ukraine is one of the 5-6 countries in the world capable of developing and producing modern military transport aircraft. The latest An-178 is a very powerful car.
What achievements does Ukraine have in developing the latest armored vehicles? How far do Ukrainian tanks meet NATO standards?
Ukrainian tanks and a line of the newest armored personnel carriers – all this was created under the guidance of the former general designer of armored build-ing of Ukraine Mykhaylo Borisyuk. Today he has departed a bit, now the new team is working, but according to his work.
The Oplot tank, BTR-3 of various modifications and BTR-4 are machines that have confirmed their quality through a powerful export. They are all exported better than Russian competitors. The school of light armored vehicles, created by Mikhail Borysyuk at the Kharkiv Design Bureau for Machine-Building. O. Morozova, as well as the school of anti-tank missile systems at KB “Luch”, are the newest schools that have never been produced in Ukraine before.
The Oplot tank is extremely efficient – it is one of the most powerful systems in its class. The fact that it is extremely effective is evidenced by its export potential. Undoubtedly, there is still somewhere to be developed, the latest ideas are being developed – reducing the crew to two people and making the system of weapons. The main thing is that the tank is formed entirely by Ukraine, there are no foreign nodes in addition to the thermal imager. It is important to say that this tank can be a model of NATO. We have worked out the situation when T-84-120 “Yatagan” was created, adapted to the standards of NATO based on “Oplot”, and he participated in the tender in Turkey. The Oplot tank is one of the most powerful systems in its class.
It is very important to note the systems of protection of high-precision weapons, systems of armor protection. In Ukraine, earlier this was not produced, was not developed. After receiving Ukraine’s irregularity, the State Enterprise Microtech Center for Critical Technologies was formed, it is part of the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education and Science, and within the framework of this enterprise were created modern systems for the protection of tanks and light armored vehicles.
These systems, as soon as they began to be produced and appeared in Ukraine, immediately began to buy the USA. The “Knife” and “Zaslin” systems were purchased back in 2004 when the United States bought a small batch of tanks with these systems to learn how they do in Ukraine. Indeed, there are very serious developments here. After that, an anti-tandem system “Duplet” was created, which is capable of protecting the tank from modern ATVs. Now these developments are being continued and a new complex of active protection “Shershen” is made. Such systems are modularly based on armor and protect tanks very seriously.
The designer Vasyl Khitrik started these developments, and now he was supported by a new designer Sergey Shvidky. This school has gained great power, because foreign countries are actively buying these complexes. Security systems are purchased by Poland and other foreign countries that are not NATO members.
One more remarkable direction for Ukraine is the system of radiation, chemical and biological protection. Lviv Private Enterprise “Scientific and Production Private Enterprise” Sparing-Vist Center “is a Lviv private enterprise, it is known for its products being bought by 81 countries of the world. After the Fukushima accident in Japan, it has become one of the largest foreign buyers of these Ukrainian products. This is a very powerful development, one of their products got a NATO code, that is a real transition to NATO standards. They also make pyrotechnic items for the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.
In addition, Ukraine began to develop and create small combat boats – this is a new trend, here I can note the private joint-stock company “Smith on Rybalsky” (owned by President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, – UNIAN), which took the opportunity to create such boats. They will in the long run become missile boats and will be able to protect our marine area.
How much capacity of the Ukrainian defense industry can meet the needs of the Ukrainian Army?
A large number of weapons are only developed, say, missiles. Many weapons are already being supplied, many armaments of KB “Luch” are already in the troops and are fighting. Radar “Ukrspettechniki” already in the troops and fight, it is very important. Not so good with us with tanks – the newest tanks have not yet entered the troops, the newest missiles will only begin to be supplied to the Armed Forces.
In general, Ukraine is capable of providing itself somewhere between 60 and 65%, since it never produced warplanes, drums or any other unmanned aerial vehicle, anti-aircraft missile systems, and is now only mastering these areas. That’s why it can not be very quick in the short term, but if there is political will and funding, then I hope that in the future the level of self-defense needs of the army can reach 70%.
Only the issue of combat aircraft and some elements in the filling for unmanned aircrafts will still need to be resolved by import, the rest of Ukraine will be able to produce on its own. 70% self-sufficiency is a very high rate, countries such as France and Germany provide for themselves 80-85%, so we can approach these countries by providing them with the latest systems.
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