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Ukraine to ramp up production of ground systems in 2024, says minister

The massive production of aerial and sea drones has already been organized. Kamyshin said the next goal is to make the same with the autonomous ground systems.
Ukraine’s Minister for Strategic Industries Oleksandr Kamyshin. Credit: Pete Kiehart via Bloomberg.
Ukraine to ramp up production of ground systems in 2024, says minister

Ukraine plans to significantly increase domestic production of ground force weapons and military vehicles in 2024, including autonomous ground systems and drones, according to Minister of Strategic Industries Oleksandr Kamyshyn.

Speaking at the “Ukraine. Year 2024” forum on 25 February, Kamyshyn said that “last year we saw aerial drones and naval drones in large-scale action. This year will be the year when we see them on the ground.”

He also said that while developing advanced air defense systems takes more time than Ukraine can currently allow, the country has successfully created “hybrid air defense” by combining old Soviet systems with Western missiles and electronics, the minister explained. This allowed Ukrainian companies to provide timely and effective production.

Ukraine is also assembling BMP infantry vehicles, BTR armored personnel carriers (with German company Rheinmetall), and 105mm howitzers (with UK firm BAE Systems). Additional joint ventures will enable more foreign weapons manufacturing in Ukraine.

Kamyshyn stated Ukraine’s top defense priority is its domestic missile program. He confirmed Ukraine now has a 700-km range weapon, developed and produced locally, which has already been used successfully. However, he refused to provide more details.

Kamyshin also confirmed that Ukraine is going to achieve its 2024 goal to produce one million drones.

Kamyshin also added that last year, Ukraine increased the production of ammunition, and new positions began to appear. The increase in projectile production will continue this year as well. However, the Minister of Strategic Industries emphasized that despite the increase in production, the needs of the front are not being fully met.

No matter how much we increase production in Ukraine, the needs of the front are greater than the production capacities of the USA and the EU combined. But we will continue to build up,” he stressed.

According to Kamyshin, the Ukrainian defense industry generally consists of 500 enterprises that work on the design, repair, production, and maintenance of everything that helps fight against the Russian invaders. There are about 400 private companies and 100 state-owned companies. In total, nearly 300,000 people are working in the defense sector of Ukraine.

Kamyshin said that as of 24 February 2024, Ukraine has already contacted about half of the 2023 production volume. The minister said that the Ministry of Strategic Industries is working with the Ministry of Defense and the Defense Forces on further contracting.

As was earlier reported, according to open data and official statements, Ukraine’s state project, the Army of Drones, together with domestic industry, is currently providing hundreds of drones every day, and the production volume is rapidly increasing to meet the 1 million goal set for 2024. The variety of drones includes small reconnaissance FPV drones, kamikaze drones, and so-called heavy drone bombers such as R-18 or the formidable Baba Yaga.

Inside Ukraine’s campaign to crush Russia with combat drones

In addition, it was reported that Ukraine’s defense industry had reached the volume of production of six 155mm Bohdana howitzers per month as well as 20,000 120-mm mortar shells per month. Still, these numbers are far behind the army’s needs and the average number of artillery and mortar ammunition used by Russians.

Ukraine aims to bolster its defenses in the face of Russia’s continuing invasion by accelerating domestic production, from armored vehicles to missiles. Advanced homegrown weapons, supplemented by imports of NATO equipment, are expected to boost Ukraine’s military capability in 2024 and beyond.

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