Ukraine and the USA signed a memorandum on the joint production of weapons and the exchange of technical data
The announcement came during the two-day Ukraine Defense Industrial Base Conference in Washington, D.C. on December 6-7, 2023.
The event was co-hosted by the White House and US Commerce and Defense Departments, with about 350 US, Ukrainian, and European industry and government representatives among the visitors. Main topics for discussion were the collaboration between the US and Ukrainian governments and industry partners to support Ukraine’s fight for freedom against Russian aggression and strengthen Ukraine’s long-term self-defense capabilities.
As a result of the first day of the conference, the US Department of Defense, the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine, and the Ministry for Strategic Industries of Ukraine have signed a Statement of Intent on Co-production and Technical Data Exchange. The agreement focuses on addressing the urgent operational needs of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, including air defense systems, repair and sustainment, and production of critical munitions. The Statement of Intent will also increase cooperation between the USA and Ukraine, as well as facilitate the movement of investment deals between parties more quickly.
In addition, the US Department of Defense and industry partners will provide Ukraine with technical data to start local production of some FrankenSAM projects that seek to enable Ukraine’s legacy air defense systems by integrating certain Western munitions.
“Together with our allies and partners, we must continue working to help Ukraine repel Russian forces today and build a future force for Ukraine that can deter Russian aggression in the years to come. That will mean strengthening Ukraine’s defense industrial base, both to maintain Ukraine’s current war effort and to bolster Ukraine’s national strength and deterrence long into the future,” said US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin during his speech at the conference.
Austin also added that advancements implemented through industry partnerships will open pathways for Ukraine to produce spare parts closer to the point of need and more swiftly return repaired military equipment to the frontlines.
“We must also strengthen the logistical and information technology systems that bind all of these efforts together – a robust and resilient industrial base that has hot production lines with strong, secure supply chains,” stated the US Secretary of Defense.
Rustem Umerov, Minister of Defence of Ukraine, emphasized the importance of the following meeting and its positive outcomes for the Ukrainian defence sector.
“An important day. An important forum. I am grateful to the US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, the US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, our colleagues from the State Department, and the US National Security Council for their proactive and leadership position during the organization of the forum,” commented the Ukrainian senior official.
According to Umerov, the future development of the Ukrainian defence industry is one of the government’s priorities nowadays. In 2024, “an unprecedented budget” for developing Ukrainian defence production will be allocated.
On December 6, 2023, the US government also announced a new military aid package for Ukraine of $175 million. In particular, it includes air defense munitions; additional ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rockets Systems; artillery ammunition; High-speed Anti-Radiation Missiles; anti-armor missiles; and other capabilities. In total, as the US Department of Defense informed, the USA has already committed more than $29,8 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale war.