Ukraine and the UK held a joint defense industry conference

On December 13-14, the UK – Ukraine Defence Industrial Partnership Conference was held in Kyiv. The conference was organized by the Ministry of Strategic Industries, the British Embassy in Ukraine, the UK Ministry of Defense and the UK Department оf Defence Equipment and Support.

The event was attended by state-owned and private Ukrainian defense companies, as well as six companies from the UK: AMC Integrated Solutions, Babcock International Group, BAE Systems, KBR, Thales, Callen Lenz, as well as representatives of both governments and the diplomatic corps. In total, the event was attended by about 180 participants.

The conference was organized to establish relationships and cooperation between Ukrainian and British defense companies.

“The UK defense industry has been supporting Ukraine since the beginning of the full-scale war and has been supplying world-class defense equipment. Developing strong partnerships with Ukraine’s significant defense industry will enable the exchange of knowledge gained in combat. Together, we can increase our collective capacity to produce the effective defense systems we all need,” said Andy Start, Chief Executive of Defence Equipment and Support.

According to Hanna Hvozdyar, Deputy Minister for Strategic Industries, Ukraine is actively increasing the pace of its own weapons production. The priority areas are ammunition, drones, electronic warfare, and robotic systems. However, Ukrainian enterprises, both state-owned and private, need the support of partners to develop production.

“Ukraine’s defense production has tripled this year compared to the first year of the full-scale invasion. We expect that in 2024 we will be able to increase production six times compared to this year. However, support and partnership are extremely important for us to jointly deter Russian aggression at the global level. Our interests lie in international cooperation: joint production, technology exchange, and supply of components. This is not about charity, it is about equal partnership,” said Hanna Hvozdar. 

She also noted that the transformation of Ukroboronprom from a state concern to a joint-stock company made the structure more flexible for international partnership.

According to Herman Smetanin, SEO of Ukrainian Defense Industry JSC, building anti-corruption infrastructure is one of the priorities of Ukroboronprom along with increasing production.

“We are open to transparent cooperation with foreign partners to build the arsenal of the free world,” said Smetanin.

Mark Goldsack, Director of the UK Defense and Security Exports, said:

“Despite Putin’s barbaric invasion, Ukraine remains resilient, optimistic and determined to win. The UK’s first trade delegation to Kyiv has demonstrated the vigorous desire of all parties to help Ukraine get its land back. The agreements already signed with our defense industry will help to increase the resilience of both countries’ industrial bases for years to come.”

DFNC1, DFNC: US Edition (held on December 6-7 in Washington, DC), the French-Ukrainian Defense Seminar and the Alliance of Defense Industries are parts of the DFNC ecosystem that unites events, companies and government agencies around the idea of building the Arsenal of the Free World in Ukraine.

The Ministry of Strategic Industries aims to establish high-quality communication between the defense industries of Ukraine and partner countries. It is thanks to such platforms as DFNC forums and conferences that new joint projects are born.