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Telegraph: British defense firms seeking to arm Ukraine stymied by “nightmare” UK MoD

British defence companies seeking to provide arms and equipment to Ukraine claim lack of Ministry of Defence engagement and reviews of proposals have created barriers to them supporting the war effort against Russia, The Telegram says.
Ukrainian military soldiers frontline
Ukrainian military somewhere on the frontline. Credit: General Staff
Telegraph: British defense firms seeking to arm Ukraine stymied by “nightmare” UK MoD

The Telegraph says British defense companies seeking to provide weapons and equipment to Ukraine are eager to aid the war effort against Russia’s invasion, but these firms claim bureaucratic barriers and lack of engagement at the UK Ministry of Defense are obstructing their efforts.

Stalled US military aid due to Congressional Republicans has left Ukraine struggling in its war against Russia. Ukrainian President Zelenskyy cited a weapon shortage in the recent withdrawal from Avdiivka. Desperate for more arms, Ukraine is seeking replenishment from all sources.

UK PM Rishi Sunak pledged £2.5 billion ($3.1 billion) in military aid for Ukraine in 2024-25 to counter Russia’s invasion, but British companies seeking to provide arms are reportedly hindered by the MoD’s unresponsiveness, according to The Telegraph:

“Companies have complained that trying to get hold of officials to discuss how they can help the war effort is a ‘nightmare,’ with the MoD lacking the resources to look at proposals from smaller firms,” The Telegraph wrote.

Andrew Kinniburgh, director general of Make UK Defence, told The Telegraph that firms wanting to aid Ukraine were previously referred to the Department for Business and Trade, treating military hardware transfers as routine exports. He mentioned that while the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has recently provided industry briefings, they lack the capacity to handle member inquiries, hindering medium-sized enterprises and mid-tier defense companies from engaging effectively in aiding Ukraine’s industrial capacity. Kinniburgh emphasized that smaller companies with innovative products could significantly contribute to the effort.

A small defense manufacturer, speaking anonymously to The Telegraph, said his company was contacted by a Ukrainian firm to replace Chinese drone components. Despite needing only modest investment or help with regulatory duties, the project was abandoned due to a lack of Ministry of Defence support.

The Telegraph says an MoD spokesperson emphasized the department’s commitment to enhancing medium-sized firms’ access to defense opportunities

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