Ukraine and India expand their military-technical cooperation
A FORCE Report
Chennai: Ukraine made a strong pitch towards ‘Make in India’ by proposing to enhance the level of the present military technical cooperation through bilateral projects.
“These agreements concern, in particular, on transfer of defence technologies under ‘Make in India’ as well as joint participation in the modernisation of armoured vehicles and air defence systems in India,” the first deputy secretary of the national security and defence council and head of the Ukrainian delegation, Oleg Gladkovsky told FORCE. He added, “We will use any opportunity and will be working towards how to further develop our cooperation with India’s defence industry”.
The state concerns Ukroboronprom and SpetsTechnoExport, which together presented Ukraine’s interests, held several negotiations with the representatives of India’s ministry of defence (MoD), chief of armed forces, commander of the army, chief of naval staff, deputy commander of the air force and defence secretary.
“During negotiations we discussed the continuation of supplies and the joint development of gas turbine engines, servicing Ukrainian specialists of the aircraft carrier ‘Vikramaditya’, the projects of complex modernisation of T-72, BMP-2 tanks and air defence systems, the production of engines for Indian tanks, as well as other promising projects under the programme ‘Make in India’,” said General Director of the State Concern Ukroboronprom, Pavlo Bukin.
In yet another leap towards strengthening mutual relations, SpetsTechnoExport signed an agreement of cooperation with the Indian state company Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL).
“The agreement defines cooperation between the parties in the framework of modernisation and production localisation of components for armoured vehicles. The Indian company is planning to engage Ukrainian specialists in creating a new tank for the needs of India’s MoD, modernisation of radar and air defence system complexes, manufactured by the USSR; joint R&D projects, in particular in hydroacoustic and radar areas,” said Director SpetsTechnoExport, Pavlo Barbul.
Addressing a media gathering at the exhibition, he also said that Ukraine was interested in some Indian technologies and spoke about Ukraine’s readiness to transfer technology and make in India to help the country develop its capacity in armoured vehicles sector. He also talked about how Ukraine came to build ‘one of the most capable and the most cost effective UAVs in the world’, and which is already operational with Ukrainian military and has also been sold to the UAE. He offered it to India too.
“When we faced aggression from our neighbour back in 2014, our military was blind as we couldn’t see what was going on. So, we urgently required UAVs. We did number of trials of UAVs from various manufactures of the world but they were not developed to the level to counteract one of the strongest armies in the world. Also, many countries were not given export license to Ukraine, because of the conflict. Then, I united about 10 different manufactures of UAVs from universities, design bureaus, IT, etc. and gave them assignments to make UAVs. In those four years, we came up to the level where we built one of the most capable and the most cost effective UAVs in the world. It is unmatched in terms of quality,” he said.
At the exhibition, SpetsTechnoExport showcased the specimens and models of armoured vehicles, in particular BTR-3E1, the combat modules ‘Shkval’, ‘Castet’, ‘Stylet’, air-to-air missiles, aircraft and helicopters protection systems ADROS, anti-tank missiles ‘Kombat’, anti-tank missile system ‘Corsar’, models of armoured vehicles ‘KrAZ’ (‘HULK’, ‘FIONA’), three types of 3D radar systems, the active protection system ‘Zaslon’, an updated version of the assault rifle ‘Malyuk’.
According to SpetsTechnoExport, the company concluded new contracts with India worth USD 18 million, won new tenders and signed 10 memorandums of cooperation and further intentions to enter into contracts.
The delegation from Ukraine also held a meeting with Chairman Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Dr S. Christopher where both sides agreed to start cooperation in the creation of precision missiles and cruise missiles.