Ukraine’s military exports reached $1 billion in 2008 but it is not certain the country can repeat the feat, says French research agency ADIT.
Quoting the Ukrainian Defense Express of 18 February in its latest newsletter, ADIT notes the national industry is aging, and both product design and conception may be judged dated.
According to an unnamed international expert at the Centre for Army, Conversion and
Disarmament Studies 70-75% of the equipment exported are obsolete.
The expert adds that the Ukrainian defence industry that sees africa as a major market does not have the capacity to restructure itself, “and even worse, the technologies used by Ukrainian companies are totally outdated.”
As a result, Ukrainian market share “will probably shrink, notably concerning land vehicles as competition is getting tougher.
“However Ukraine still hopes to sell 2,000 T-72 tanks to the US in order to equip the Iraqi armed forces. Other sectors are in better shape such as aircraft engines, mainly because Moscow is still a good customer for its Mi-8MT, Mi-24, Mi-26, Mi-28, Ka-27, Ka-52 and Ka-60 helicopters, as well as the Yak-130 training aircraft for which Russia
and Ukraine plan to create the AI-222 engine.
“Concerning other aviation equipment, the situation is not very positive. But space rocket equipment and services should maintain stable till 2015, even if forecasts are rather uncertain.
“The growth area is shipbuilding. Ukrainian national industry works along with European major players (DCNS), and is involved in different projects. Furthermore, Ukraine provides several countries with its naval engines: for example China will equip its future aircraft carrier with a Ukrainian turbine. Last but not least, Ukraine is still competitive in the field of radar technologies.
“Ukrainian main projects for the years to come are the Kolchuga (an ESM system manufactured by the Topaz state joint-stock company), and the Pelikan 35D6 / 80K6 triple coordinate stations developed by the Iskra scientific production company. Even if Kiev might be able to keep good capabilities in the next few years on several technologies, it will be difficult to keep its rank considering the fact that its industry
is aging and needs important investments.”