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Britain and Ukraine Sign New Defense-Industrial Pact

Ukraine and Great Britain signed a new agreement to strengthen Ukraine’s military. This could mean British weapons, including artillery and drones, will be made directly in Ukraine.

Ukraine and Great Britain have signed a new defense-industrial pact, potentially paving the way for British weapons production within Ukraine. The agreement was signed during a Kyiv defense conference on April 8-9. Additionally, the Ministry of Defense of Great Britain has signed a contract with BAE Systems to maintain the Armed Forces of Ukraine’s howitzers.

According to Forbes Ukraine, the intergovernmental pact was signed by Minister of State for Trade Policy Greg Hands (Britain), Minister of Defense Rustem Umerov, and Minister of Strategic Industries Alexander Kamyshin (Ukraine). A total of 67 Ukrainian and 29 British companies participated in the conference.

“We are one step closer to British manufacturers being the first to start producing their weapons in Ukraine,” said Minister Kamyshin.

The agreement could focus on artillery, missiles, and drones, depending on Ukraine’s needs and British capabilities, said Minister Hands.

Andy Start, CEO of Defence Equipment & Support, noted Ukraine’s achievements in drone technology. Britain could assist with supply chains and components, as well as share its experience in advanced long-range and maritime drones.

The pact is expected to yield results both in the near future and long-term.

Contract With BAE Systems

BAE Systems, a multinational defense company, already supplies 17 types of weapons to Ukraine’s Armed Forces (including Challenger 2 tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, and artillery systems). The company recently opened a Ukraine office and signed a maintenance contract for L119 light howitzers.

“British equipment will be repaired by a British company at the expense of the British government, but here in Ukraine,” Minister Kamyshin explains.

BAE Systems aims to expand its Ukrainian operations significantly. This includes servicing all 17 types of its weapons used in the country, as well as establishing full production capabilities. “The L119 is a good example,” explains Gabby Costigan, Director of Business Development at BAE Systems Group. “We are starting with maintenance, but our long-term goal is to both maintain and produce weapons directly within Ukraine.”

Ukrainian Minister Kamyshin underscored this ambition, noting that opportunities exist to immediately begin L119 production in Ukraine.

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