Ukraine have gone through hard times in the last two years in terms of homeland defence. Simultaneously, UkrOboronProm (UOP), association of multi-product enterprises in various sectors of the defence industry of Ukraine, has commenced producing for export markets. We spoke with UkrOboronProm General Director Roman Romanov about the evolution of UOP and its strategy for cooperation with third countries.
C4Defence: You came to this position in July 2014. Reports related with the performance of UkrOboronProm demonstrate that you have made a remarkable difference in terms of profitability and organisational stability. How should we evaluate the UkrOboronProm today?
UkrOboronProm General Director Roman Romanov: In 2014, there was no demand from the domestic market for the production of Ukrainian enterprises in the defence industry. The only demand from external market was for the equipment in the stocks of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence. For this reason, in 2014, our major task was to make the army active again and to provide the army with the necessary technical services as well as equipment. And as you know, there was not a single country to provide lethal weapons to Ukraine. Thus, one of the first decisions that we made was to create 53 maintenance brigades, which provided repair works in operation zones. We only had 6.000 soldiers ready to fight and they did not have any technical equipment. Since then, we not only increased the number of soldiers in our armed forces but also repaired all military equipment. As of late 2016, we have at hand an army of 250.000 soldiers, equipped by Ukrainian domestic enterprises with hardware, equipment and technical services. We realised all these within two years. We did not have an army in 2014; according to results of independent research, our army ranks the eighth in Europe and 22nd in the world as of early 2017. We managed to accomplish these in only two years.