With the outbreak of hostilities in Donbas, country's leadership adopted a policy of rearmament and modernization of military equipment inherited from the Soviet era. According to the global militarization index (GMI), in 2015, Ukraine was among the ten most militarized countries in Europe. Since the beginning of 2016, the army received some new military equipment, including an armored car, gun, armored vehicles, drones, and mortars. At the same time, needs of Ukraine’s Armed Forces still largely exceed the capacity of Ukrainian military hardware industry.
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)
In recent years, the theme of the use of UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) is actively developing for combat missions and reconnaissance. May 31, Ukraine has tested the UAVs. And before that, in February, the army received the first five drones "Fury."
Cruising speed of "Fury" is 65 km/h, maximum - up to 130 km/h, range - about 50 km. UAV is designed to work in daylight and night-time; it has a built-in thermal imager. It also has an electric motor-installation, the possibility of determining the coordinates of targets, online video transmission. Engineers plan to improve "Fury" with an automatic takeoff system and targeting.
The fighting in Donbas have proved the important role of a mobile mortars as powerful means of defeating the enemy. It took some two month for Kyiv factory "Mayak" to create a new 120-mm mortar "Hammer" on the basis of the Soviet developments. The army received the first batch in March 2016.
The mortar is equipped with a modern eye MUM 706 M, and it has a special fuse muzzle of double charging. Rate of new mortar is 12 rounds per minute, the range of destruction of enemy targets is more than 7 km. Weight of mortar in firing position is 210 kg.
In March, Ukrainian border guards have received new armored mine-protected car with mine-protected "Triton" system. The State Border Service stated that "Triton" is able to protect the crew at undermining anti-tank mine with capacity up to 6 kg of explosives. It is intended for surveillance and data transfer at the boundary. The machine is equipped with a ground reconnaissance complex, a radar and thermal imaging unit. "Triton" can carry up to four additional outfit to remote areas, where they might to serve up to 7 days in the off-line regime.
In May, the Ministry of Defense adopted new KM-7.62 machine gun. Upgraded machine gun KM-7.62 was developed by plant "Mayak" using the scheme of PKM. "The machine gun is designed to defeat enemy personnel and technical resources, as well as engage aerial targets," - reported at the plant "Mayak". KM significantly reduced weight and improved ease of use, compared to the original Kalashnikov machine gun. Weight of gun was reduced by 1.5 kg. Upgraded machine gun was named "KM". The basis of Ukrainian machine gun is a machine gun Kalashnikov modernized, which was adopted by the Soviet army in 1969, replacing the model of the PK. KM-7.62 machine gun is designed to defeat enemy personnel and technical resources, as well as to engage aerial targets. It has increased rigidity of the cover of the receiver due to the longitudinal ribs.
Armored personnel carriers
In May, National Guard under received the first batch of six modernized BTR-3E1D made by the Kyiv armored plant. The armored vehicles are equipped with the four-stroke six-cylinder water-cooled Deutz BF6M1015CP diesel engine and the Allison 3200SP-type automatic transmission. The BTR-3E1D is installed with a BM-3 Shturm turret system. The turret is fitted with a ZTM-1 30mm automatic cannon, and carries 350 rounds of ammunition. The ZTM-1 30mm gun can be operated remotely from inside the vehicle to reduce casualty to the troops.
The BTR-3E1D APC is designed to operate in almost all terrains and provide better ride and safety to the troops. The vehicle is armed with a 7.62mm coaxial machine gun with 2,500 rounds of ammunition. The BTR-3E1D turret is also fitted with six 81mm electrically-operated grenade launchers, three on each side of the turret, for better coverage of the field. It can also be fitted with a 30mm automatic grenade launcher.
On the frontline
Speaking of the Ukrainian military-industrial complex, today the main focus is on upgrading existing models of equipment and staffing units combat-ready weapon. However, as stressed by the director of Defence Express information and consulting company Serhiy Zgurets, Ukrainian Defense Industry (association of multi-product enterprises in various sectors of the defense industry of Ukraine) should be more active. "In fact, now everything is done in the framework of state order. During the first two years, we mainly focused on repair and modernization of the equipment from our arsenal. Further testing of new models are likely to be postponed to the second part of the weapons development program, which is designed for a five-year period," said Zgurets.
ATO soldiers complain that despite the arrival of new vehicles, old Soviet machinery, which needs renovation, remains at the forefront.