The Ukrainian defense industry: one foot in the USSR, another in NATO

Since its creation, the Ukrainian defense industry has kept very close ties with its Russian counterpart. The annexation of Crimea in 2014 and the support from the Russian Federation to separatist in Eastern Ukraine forced a brutal and rapid disconnection between the two industrial complexes. UkrOboronProm, the umbrella company for Ukrainian state-owned defense companies has set itself several objectives: provide the Ukrainian army with modern gears, replace Russia as a provider of components for the defense industries and important customers, reform the defense industry to make it competitive and finally move towards the adoption of NATO standards. The Ukrainian industry is also switching from a “Russian-inspired model” to a western model that involves a bigger share of private initiative. In order to succeed in this transition, the Ukrainian military industrial complex will need a great deal of internal and external political support, strong quality control mechanisms and the capacity to rebuild its reputation from the Ianoukovitch era.

Crédit photo: The Vast Soviet Tank Graveyard at Kharkov, Ukraine - Urban Ghosts Media (Tom, July 2015)