Ukrainian Weapons – What Local Factories are Producing for the Army

The Ukrainian defense industry has what to offer to the Army. Photo: ukroboronprom.com.ua

The Ukrainian defense industry has what to offer to the Army. Photo: ukroboronprom.com.ua 

2015/05/26 • Analysis & Opinion, Military analysis

Article by: Nikolai Gorokhov

Since the beginning of Russian aggression Ukraine, consistently ranking in the top ten exporters of weapons in the world, driven by the necessity to completely re-equip its own army, is replacing the weapons inherited from Soviet times. GordonUA has chosen several new products of the Ukrainian defense industry which are already deployed to the front or which may be deployed in the future.

Small arms

Assault rifle “Fort-221” (TAR-21)

Development of the Israeli TAR-21 is produced under license in Vinnytsia at RPC Fort. The rifle uses a “bullpup” configuration, in which the bolt carrier group is placed behind the pistol grip; this shortens the overall length but does not sacrifice barrel length. As a result, the TAR-21 provides carbine length, yet achieves rifle muzzle velocities. The housing is made of impact-resistant plastic reinforced metal which helped to significantly reduce the weight.

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Photo: fort.vn.ua

 

Formally, the production of the “Fort-221” under Israeli license began in Ukraine in 2009, but until recently these assault rifles and a shortened variant, the “Fort-224”, were only purchase in small quantities  for Special Forces of the SBU (Ukrainian Security Service).  It is known that, after the beginning of the conflict in Donbas that the “Fort-221” appeared among the weapons used by the “Tornado” battalion of the MVD (Ministry of Internal Affairs).  The Defense Ministry reported on its intention to purchase about 500 of these weapons.

Effective range 550 m, 5.56 mm caliber, 750-900 rounds per minute, mass with magazine is 4.3 kg.

Sniper Rifle “VPR-308”

This modified version of the “Zbroyar” Z-008 Ukrainian sport/hunting rifle is made in Kyiv at the “Mayak” production factory.  It can be operated with either single cartridge or with a 5-10 round magazine.  Compared with the heavier, traditional Ukrainian rifle SVD which the army inherited from Soviet times, this weapon is only 4.5 kg versus 5-7 kg for the SVD, but has a greater sighting range of 900 m versus 800 m).

vpr-308_04

Photo: day-omega.com

The first samples were presented in 2012 and the company commenced mass production in spring of 2014. The first lot entered service with the National Guard in July.

Effective range is 900 m, 7.62 mm x 51 mm caliber, 15 rounds/min, mass with magazine of 5-7 kg.


Rocket-propelled grenades and anti-tank weapons

Grenade launcher “UAG-40”

Developed in Kyiv: the first prototypes were produced at the plant, “Lenіnska kuznya“, in 2010. The first Ukrainian portable automatic belt-fed grenade launcher.  Fully compliant with NATO standards but, in contrast to Western models, is much easier to use. It is supplied with a tripod mounting structure which allows for rapid weapon deployment.  High level of portability and easy preparation of operating site allows for quick change of firing position both in the open air and in an urban environment.

Photo: militaryreview.su

The Ministry of Defense was interested in domestic development and conducted tests of the grenade launcher, however there is no current information on deliveries of this model to the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

Technical characteristics:

  • Max length:  960mm
  • Weight: 17 kg
  • Shooting cycle: 400 shot/min

Stugna-P

The Stugna-P is an anti-tank missile system designed and manufactured in Ukraine. Stugna-P has been developed by Kyiv-based, Luch, design bureau to compete with foreign models of the same class. Round comprising “STUGNA” antitank guided missile is intended for firing from the tank T-55 or antitank artillery gun MT-12 against stationary and moving modern armored objects with combined, incomplete or monolithic armor including ERA (explosive reactive armor), and also against pinpoint targets like weapon emplacements, tank in a trench, lightly armored objects. The Stugna-P is also capable of destroying low-altitude, slow-moving aerial targets. The laser-guided system has a range of 5 km and can penetrate armor up to 800 millimeters thickness. The operating temperature range is from – 40° to +60°C.

Photo: justus.com.ua

In October 2010, the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine ordered from GKKB “Luch” ten systems “Stugna-P” for testing.  In February 2015, the mobile version of the “Stugna-P” was presented, mounted on the chassis of a light vehicle.  In March 20, 2015, mass production of anti-tank systems “Stugna-P” was begun.

 


 

Armored Vehicles

“Bars”

Bars was developed in 2014 at the Design Bureau of the Cherkassy automobile factory and demonstrated in December 2014 at the National Guard site near Kyiv.  This vehicle is capable of carrying 4-6 people in full uniform in addition to a two-man crew.  The housing consists of steel plates welded together at angles such that the vehicle provides protection against 5.45 mm and 7.62 mm munitions.  The four-wheel drive vehicle is powered by an Isuzu engine.

Photo: trucks.autocentre.ua

The Ukrainian National Guard announced their intention to purchase 90 “Bars”.  In addition, this vehicle will participate in the Ministry of Defense tender for the purchase of light-armored vehicles.

Highway speed of 100 km/hr and a range of 600 km.

“KrAZ Kuguar”

This vehicle was developed by the Canadian company, Streit Group, at their manufacturing facility in Ontario, Canada.  It is based on a Toyota Landcruiser chassis and is currently being manufactured in Ukraine at the Kremenchuk Automobile Plant (KrAZ) in Kremenchuk, Ukraine.  The Cougar is a multi-functional Light Armored Vehicle with cross-dimensional characteristics which allow it to be used in a wide variety of applications including military, police and tactical.  It has been designed to withstand ballistic assaults as well as to protect the occupants against mines and grenade blasts because of the reinforced under-carriage.  In early August 2014, Ukraine’s Ministry of the Interior ordered 21 of these vehicles for the National Guard.

Photo: uk.wikipedia.org

The Kuguar has a shielded weapon mount on the roof. It can be armed with 7.62-mm, 12.7-mm machine guns or 40-mm automatic grenade launcher.  Vehicle accommodates up to 9 troops, including the driver. Troops enter and leave the vehicle via side or rear doors. There are some observation windows and firing ports provided for the troops. Alternatively it can carry up to a 1 000 kg of supplies.  The Kuguar is powered by either a 4-liter Toyota turbocharged diesel engine, developing 240 hp, or 4.5-liter petrol engine, developing 218 hp. There is also a Toyota 4-liter petrol engine, developing 228 hp. Engine is mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. Vehicle has a 4×4 configuration with full-time all-wheel drive capability.


 

Heavy Armored Vehicles

BTR-4 “Bucephalus”

The brain-child of Ukainian designers at the Kharkiv Morozov Machine Building Design Bureau is the BTR-4M, which was first demonstrated at the weapons exhibition IDEX-2013 in the UAE.  The vehicle has a conventional layout similar to western designs like the German TPz Fuchs in which the driver’s and commander’s compartment are at the front part of the hull, the engine and transmission compartment in the middle, and the troop compartment at the rear. Personnel enter and leave the vehicle either through the rear doors or the roof hatches, and the driver and the commander are provided with doors located on the sides of the hull.

Photo: nevsepic.com.ua

The BTR-4 has a maximum speed of 110 km/h and can cross water obstacles at a speed of 10 km/h. The vehicle is powered by a 3TD diesel engine with 500 hp.  It was reported to being hit by several rpg rounds and multiple small-arms fire with no consequences. Slat armor can be fitted for maximum protection against RPG attacks.

Several dozen BTR-4 are already in service with the National Guard.  These vehicles have also been sold to Iraq, Kazakhstan and Nigeria.  On 4 June 2014, company officials revealed that the BTR-4E was being used in military operations in the Slavyansk area. Its armor had withstood hits from large-caliber machine guns, counter-HEAT side screens protected the crew from anti-tank grenade launchers, and armored glass sustained direct hits from sniper rifles.

Max speed:

  • 110 km/h (road)
  • 10 km/h (in water)

Tank “Oplot”

The Oplot-M is another development of the Kharkiv engineers and produced at their plant.  This tank is based on the T-84 main battle tank and is armed with 125 mm smooth-bore cannons, coaxial machine guns and a KT-12.7 anti-aircraft gun.  The main gun can also fire laser-guided missiles against battle tanks, armored vehicles and helicopters.  It is equipped with an automatic fire control system, thermal imaging sights, including three forward-facing periscopes in front of the driver’s dome.  The center periscope can be replaced with a night-vision scope.

Photo: nevsepic.com.ua

The protection system can include multi-layer passive armor, Nozh-2 explosive reactive armor, and the Zaslon active protection system.  The tank can also be equipped with Varta optronic countermeasures.  The Nozh-2 system protects against anti-tank grenades, stationary grenade launchers and recoilless guns, TOW-2, MILAN and Shturm-S anti-tank missiles, HEAT projectiles, and APFSDS projectiles fired by 125 mm tank guns.

The Oplot M is powered by a 6TD-2E 6 cylinder turbocharged liquid-cooled engine, which delivers 1200 hp. The tank has a maximum speed of 70 km/hr and a range of up to 500 km with additional fuel tanks.

 

Source: Gordon

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  • puttypants

    With all this equipment why has Ukraine been asking USA for more? With all this equipment why aren’t they completing well against Russia in eastern Ukraine?

    • On the Balcony

      Look at the quantities being ordered – it gives an indication of the “mass” manufacturing capabilities. To put things in perspective, ALL of the separatists tanks could be destroyed on a single day and every single one of them could be replaced the very next day from Russia’s arsenal…. Add to that Russia’s ability to throw in a few thousand fresh troops where and as needed and you begin to see why Ukraine is taking a largely defensive stance.

      • Dagwood Bumstead

        It takes time to properly train tank crews. Tanks are no longer T-34s which could be manned by farm hands with minimal training. If Koloradstan loses 500 tanks, they are easily replaced the next day, but the crews aren’t. Even Koloradstan doesn’t have unlimited numbers of troops at its disposal.

    • Jack McColley

      Russia does not care about troop losses. Like they did in WW II, their strategy is to throw masses of soldiers at the enemy. If 75% are killed, it does not matter. Throw more. This is one of the reasons why Soviet losses in WWII were 50 times allied losses. They have not changed their tactics, but they do NOT have enough people to use as cannon fodder. Their old tactics will destroy them.

      • Yogesh

        LOL!

      • Dagwood Bumstead

        Don’t forget that politics also played a part in Soviet losses. Dwarf 1 insisted that the Soviet army retake Kyiv before Nov. 7th 1943 so that he could announce it at the celebration of the October Revolution. Kyiv would have fallen anyway with fewer losses by waiting a few days, but the symbol was far more important to Dwarf 1 than the extra losses.

      • Larrie Veith

        You’re right Jack. Total allied forces killed were about 800,000, with about 400,000 civilians while killing over 1.5 million Germans and over 2 million Japanese. On the Eastern front Germans lost 3.5 million losing to the Soviets who lost almost twelve million. By the way over two million of those were actually Ukrainian, so they were the primary cannon fodder, losing over twice what Russia lost by population percentage! To put Stalin’s insane tactics in perspective, more Russians died in the battle for Stalingrad than the allies lost in both Europe and the pacific in the entire war! China too also used the same war tactics and so lost over 4 million soldiers and 18 million civilians. That huge loss of human life in China is rarely mentioned in the West in regard to WWII.

        • Jack McColley

          Russia has used the same stupid WW II tactics in Donbas, and China did the same in Korea. Their mantra is “people are totally expendable. Sad eh?

    • Larrie Veith

      Puttypants, Ukrainian corporations manufacture this equipment just like Boeing and McDonald-Douglas do in the US. Like the US government the Ukraine government has to buy it from those companies. Unlike the US government, Ukraine doesn’t have a $600 billion dollar defense budget. When Yanukovich fled the country and the new government took over and the war started, Army depots were discovered to be mostly empty instead of having all the tanks, etc. that records said were there. Since then investigators have found that Ukraine military brass had been stealing and shipping the country’s weapons out of the country for years by the ship load. It left Ukraine mostly left over junk to try to fight Russia with. All the new good weapons were gone.

  • Vol Ya

    It is good to see that Ukraine is building these weapons for itself. In the end Ukraine can only rely on itself for a supply of lethal weapons. Plus this creates jobs for people in Ukraine. It should be more economical to produce these weapons in Ukraine(if possible) than to purchase they from abroad. I hope the Studna anti tank missile lives up to its billing. It is portable and certainly cheaper to build than a tank. Let’s hope the Stugna can take out a lot of Russian tanks. I also hope that the Ukraine army gets proper training in using these weapons so that they can get the most out of them.

    • Adrian S

      Ukraine has always had this industry up and running. It never stopped producing weapons such as these for the past few decades. The question is about volume, can they handle the extra demand, fast enough and respecting export quality criteria?

      • Dagwood Bumstead

        Right now their No.1 priority should be getting the stuff to the troops in sufficient quantities ASAP. If they aren’t working round the clock to do so somebody should get a HARD kick up the you know what. The country as fighting for its very surival and this is no time for peacetime routines. “Action this day!” as Churchill would say.

        • Adrian S

          The British empire was a financial powerhouse, well supplied, well stocked, well connected and very credible on the market for loans, in case it needed resources when it lacked the liquidity. Ukraine cannot say the same. It’s economy, based on GDP per capita, is 25 times less efficient than that of the US, 5 times smaller than that of Russia. Those plants don’t run on ideals. Endless money forms the sinews of war.

          • Dagwood Bumstead

            Given the financial constraints, the Ukrainian army has to prioritise what it needs. The new assault rifle is nice, but it doesn’t really do anything that much better than the AK-47 which the army already has. The antitank missiles are definitely top priority and should be delivered ASAP. If the country can only afford 500, then the 500 should be made as fast as possibe.

          • Adrian S

            This is why I’m in favour for outside help to Ukraine. They should receive defensive weapons, not just non-lethal equipment. Anti-tank weapons carried by infantry is such an example. But they need quite a lot of help to get their s&^%t together.

          • Dagwood Bumstead

            Sadly it won’t be coming from Germany. Merkel is downright hypocritical. She is happily supplying arms to the Kurds including Milan antitank missiles, saying “The Kurds have a right to defend themselves”. At the same time, she refuses to supply the same antitank missiles to Kyiv. She clearly thinks that the Ukrainians do NOT have the right to defend themselvesand doesn’t care whether 10,000 Ukrainians die defending their country, but heaven forbid that even ONE Russian soldier or mercenary is killed while attacking the Ukraine- especially if that Russian is killed by a German missile.

          • Adrian S

            The geopolitical situation is a lot more complicated than it seems. I don’t think it’s about what Merkel wants (Putin’s head on a pike), but rather what she has to do. Russia is not ISIS, it has the nuclear bomb and looks desperate enough to use it. US/Germany play a little bad cop/good cop, but in the end, there’s not much they can do – but I have no doubt they are 100% in the same boat and against Russia. The UK had their rows with Russia in the past ten years and is also in this 100%. China? I’m not so sure, they’ve delayed contracts too, not just France – but is it in its interest to take sides? No. Germany can’t act more than they do atm, because they need to protect their own financial interest. Everybody does the same, why should they be any different? The US has the ability to hurt Russia acting alone. But can they really afford to cripple Russia’s economy? Think how the situation looked there in the ’90s! It was so bad, that criminals were smuggling nuclear warheads outside Russia and the other big nuclear powers had to chase these weapons down all over the planet. Can the world really afford to destroy Russia economically? No. Can they afford confronting Russia? No. Is the solution to give them arms? Never in the history of the UN did it prove smart to arm one or both the combatants, it only prolongs the conflict. Placing an embargo on both sides and assuming the ensuing humanitarian crisis is what resolves the situation fastest, this is what experience tells us, but it’s not an option, as Russia is already arming one of the combatants and an embargo on both sides also favors Russia. This is why I think this whole thing is F-ed up, whatever they do from now on, and it’s also why all parties will follow their own interests, rather than acting on what they truly want. Ukraine can be armed by those who don’t have a vested interest in Russia that can’t be retracted overnight.

          • Czech Friend

            no, Putin must go and the sooner the better. No argument of wild 90s should save his ass. It is OUR survival we are playing with by letting the paranoid schizo rule in Kremlin.

          • Adrian S

            Does this look from Merkel say she has time to deal with his BS?
            https://youtu.be/mcDKefbX7js

          • Raphael Semmes

            It sounds like Merkel has earned the nickname ”Frau Ribbentrop”

  • Dagwood Bumstead

    No mention of the Korsar, a short-range (2500 m) antitank missile also made by Luch in Kyiv. Isn’t this in service with the Ukrainian army as well?

  • Murf

    A couple of thoughts on the Ukraine arms industry;
    UA factories are repairing, refurbishing or building 230 odd a week including 40 armored vehicles.
    Oplot production is set to rise to 40 vehicles, almost a brigade, this year up from 10 last year. Next year it will be 100+. The Oplot is claimed to be the fastest in the world. The 6TD-2E engine has a lot of power and the vehicle has every goo “pep”. Each vehicle sells for roughly 5 million USD.
    UA industry is getting back into service roughly 30 T-64 tanks per month. The equivalent of a battalion.

  • Dalton

    How is it people can remain so ignorant or are you just stupid? You obviously have internet access yet you haven’t used it to research anything beyond RT or whatever other kremlin garbage propaganda network you gleened from. “Fascist Ukraine”.. what an imbecile, Do you even know what “fascist” means? Looking at your previous comments, it seems you’re nothing but a miserable human being that wants to spread your misery. Pathetic idiot.

    • Dalton

      Yeah that must be it Einstein. You tune into RT and know everything that happens in Ukraine. We get it.

      • Dalton

        I rest my case. Sheeple and putineer. Why don’t you hang out on RT where you can keep the brain mush growing?

      • Andrew Chmilewsky

        “I will certainly know more from RT than I would one this website.”

        Probably learned “the Anglish” from RT as well…. besides your reasoning ability….

        Speak English, you dumb Russo-mongoloid!

  • Murf

    Antonov has just made several lucrative deals. Azerbaijan is buying 10 An 178s, China wants to buy two an start production in china under license. Antonov and Saudi Arabia have a deal to build planes.
    Plus the Ukraine government will be buying new planes to replace thier ageing fleet.
    Plus the lease they get for 4 An 124s form NATO.
    So they are doing good.

    • Murf

      the An124s are newer than the US C-5 Galaxy, which is a POS. And the Air Force will tell you that. The lease brings in about 100 million year. personally the US should scrap the C5 and buy the 124. Even if they have to be taken grounded due to age. NATO needs the lift capiblity. NOBODY else can produce a plane like that.
      China MAY rip them off. The same warning holds true for Russia’s arms sales to them. Given that China can’t even produce copies of jet engines that preform well parts of the deal are secure. Often the components are shipped in and the finally assembly is done in country. China has to modernize their whole regional commuter air fleet so this can be a huge order.
      The Azeri order is for 10 planes at 25 million a piece A C130 can run up to 100 million a piece. That ain’t chimp change and will keep the assembly line going for a year or more. More order can easily follow. Antonov and Azerbaijan have a long history.
      The An 70 is on hold last year it passed it’s certification.
      The Saudi MAY fall through. Given the tech transfer that Antonov is providing and the Saudi goal of building up it’s domestic aviation industry It looks pretty solid.
      As for Ukraine being broke. That is a broad generalization that has taken on the illusion of fact. Ukraine is struggling. But their debt to GDP ratio is 75%. China’s is 284% and nobody is talking about them being broke. Antonov is an important strategic asset. Spending 50-100 million to keep it going and replace lost or worn out planes is a good in vestment in high value jobs.
      The devaluation to the currency has made Antonov’s products even more attractive.

      • Murf

        That is 10 planes at 25 million Dollars a piece, 250 million, initially.
        Doesn’t to save Ukraine just the company.
        IF e were to buy it I think maintenance training could be arranged. Considering Russia used to trust them to maintain their SS 18 ICBMs I think they could handle it.
        You do realize that the Ukrainians build satellites, rockets, the gas turbines for Russian ships and helio engines. One of the fastest tank in the world the Oplot? They can build ICBMs, super carriers, the 75k ton Uylanya class, and the largest plane in the world?

        You mistake mismanaged for non capable

        • Murf

          10 last year, 40 this year. 120 net year with a good market for over seas sales.
          The Armata has a lot of cool toys on it but if you knew any thing about REAL tank warfare you would know that it has a lot of flaws not the least of which is that they could modernize their T90s for a whole lot less. Given they are tapping their precious reserve fund to buy the POS, I say have at it!
          The important thing is they have the designs, the facilities to build them and the skills alo of which Russia lacks. Russia can’t even complete their new Frigate class because Ukraine WAS going to build the turbines.
          Now, not so much.
          Then there is the the farcical Supper Carrier. They had to have the French build ship half the size and about a quarter the complexity.
          Again, have at it! Money that can’t be spent on something useful.
          What about getting into a war with your biggest arms supplier sounded like a good idea.

          • Murf

            At least you grasp the situation.
            Good for you.

          • Murf

            Well you have made a true enemy out of a solid friend.
            Smart move.
            Just remember to keep your guard up because you know what they say about pay backs?

          • Larrie Veith

            @David Haines. You seem to be stuck in old Soviet mentality. “Ukraine” the nation does not build these weapons. Unlike Russia, Ukraine is a free capitalist democracy. Private companies are the ones raising capital through private investors, hiring Highly skilled and educated Ukrainian workers and designing, building and selling these weapons all over the world. Also David, Ukraine, unlike Russia is not a paranoid, wanna-be third world empire, going around invading their neighbors and killing people. They just want to be left alone!

          • Dagwood Bumstead

            Since when is liberating the Donbass and later the Crimea taking somebody’s land? They are both part of the Ukraine, a fact which is recognised by almost every nation apart from crackpots such as Fidel and Mugabe. One can hardly take what one already owns.
            Heck, not even Lukashenko recognises Dwarf 2’s grab of the Crimea- and he is, supposedly, Dwarf 2’s greatest ally.

      • Andrew Chmilewsky

        Wow…. no shame in your game here.

      • Larrie Veith

        Murf, while not giving up on the C-5, the US military is one of Antonov’s best 124 customers. The US also used the An-225 Miyra to fly all their helicopters to Nepal for the earthquake rescues because it could haul more than the C-5 and believe it or not though much bigger it could get in and out of Nepal’s high altitude short runways better than the C-5, so, Antonov got the job. Antonov and Saudis announced that their deal is on. The result will be almost a clean slate redesign of the 178 which the Sauds will own since they are paying for it but Antonov will get a break on licensing it to sell to other customers. Even though they won’t own that design, just the technology transfer from developing it in-house at the Saud’s expense will give Antonov a leap forward in capabilities. BTW, David Haines, you’re a complete idiot or a liar or both! Though Russia may not now buy their order of 60 An70’s, it isn’t dead. It still has a bright future in it’s AN112KC tanker version which will cost not much more than half as much as Airbus’s A400m tanker. Even less until Ukraine’s currency value rises.

    • Andrew Pate

      I wonder where they get the money to do all this but with the price of the Hyrnia going down it will certainly make it good for exporting.

    • Andrew Chmilewsky

      You keep up and know this stuff…. I can see how the Russo-mongolians like you a lot.

  • Larrie Veith

    More lies from David. Antonov just started their new AN176 in prototype test flight trials. They also got a contract to develop Saudi-Arabia’s new fleet and build a new plant for the Sauds to build them under license in that country. Russia generations ahead? Yeah, Russia has almost caught up with America’s 1982 military technology. They can’t even design their own drones but buy them from Israel. They can’t even design or build their own ships but TRY to buy them from France. Their naval industry will have to start from scratch now that Ukraine won’t be designing and building their ships anymore. Russia doesn’t have a shipbuilding yard big enough to even build a missile destroyer, let alone a small carrier.

  • evanlarkspur

    It was kind of Russia to send over some units against which ukrIne can test it’s new armaments.