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Ukroboronprom is a state association of major defense conglomerates in Ukraine.

The defense industry of Ukraine is a strategically important sector and a large employer in Ukraine. After working for several decades mostly for the arms export markets, it has moved significantly into increased Ukrainian military procurement since the annexation of Crimea by Russia and the Russian-led invasion of the Ukrainian region of Donbass in 2014 stimulated investments into reforming and upgrading Ukraine's outdated military. Ukraine is also a significant player in the global arms market. Prior to the Russian-instigated conflict, Ukraine's export-oriented arms industry had reached the status of world's 4th largest arms exporter in 2012.[1] Since the start of the war, Ukraine's military industry has focused more on its internal arms market and as a result slipped to the 9th spot among top global arms exporters by 2015,[2] 11th spot by 2018[3] and the 12th spot among global arms exporters by 2019.[4]

History

Ukraine's defense industry was a major part of the Soviet defense industry, responsible for 30% of Soviet defense production and 40% of its scientific research.[5] At the time Ukraine declared independence in 1991, the country had 1,840 defense enterprises and research centers that employed close to 2.7 million people. A number of facilities had unique capabilities such as shipbuilding and missile production. In fact, most Soviet ICBMs were actually built at the Yuzhmash plant in the city of Dnipro, Ukraine.[6] And Russia's only aircraft carrier was also built in Ukraine, as well as a number of other Russian military ships.

Development

The key task of the government of independent Ukraine has been to form a coherent national defense sector from one that had previously been an integral part of the Soviet military–industrial complex. Defense industry of Ukraine is the most advanced branch of the state-controlled sector of Ukraine's economy. Ukraine's defense industry employs more than one million people and produces advanced hardware and continues to design and build new military systems.[7]

Structure

BM Oplot, produced by the KMDB guided onto a tank transporter

Ukraine's defense industry is organized around Ukroboronprom, a state owned conglomerate of over 130 companies. These companies include Soviet era giants such as Ivchenko-Progress aircraft design bureau that was opened in 1945, to newer companies such as RPC Fort which came into existence in the 1990s. The output of Ukrainian defense plants grew 58% in 2009, with largest growth reported by aircraft builders (77%) and ship builders (71%).[8] In 2013 Ukraine's defense sector manufactured a total of 11.7 billion UAH worth of goods, 10 billion UAH of which were exported. In the first 9 months of 2014 Ukraine's defense sector produced a record 13 billion UAH worth of goods, the increase was largely due to government orders for the War in Donbass.[9]

References

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