Major defense contract for BAE giant paves way for artillery build-up in Ukraine | World | News
BAE Systems, the UK manufacturer of naval vessels and fighter aircraft, has finalized an agreement that paved the way for Britain to design light artillery in Ukraine.
Following a meeting in Kyiv between its CEO, Charles Woodburn, and the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, the prominent defense business listed on the FTSE 100 has agreed to establish a legal entity within of Ukraine.
Mr Woodburn said the deal “paves the way for us to work together to provide more direct support to the armed forces of Ukraine,” meaning BAE plans to expand into local manufacturing and create direct contracts with the Ukrainian military.
Ukraine’s Minister of Strategic Affairs, Oleksandr Kamyshin, thanked BAE Systems for its strong commitment to stand by Ukraine against Russian aggression and help shape the defense sector the country.
Under authorized licensing arrangements, Ukrainian defense enterprises could manufacture BAE Systems’ weapons, or they could engage in local assembly of components made elsewhere.
Other options include establishing joint ventures within Ukraine.
In the case of a domestic facility, this decision would be based on a significant investigation, and the actual site would likely be protected as a security measure.
BAE Systems is now providing much of the equipment that was given to the Ukrainian armed forces through donations from Western governments.
It includes Swedish-made equipment such as the M109 automatic howitzers, the M777 artillery unit, and the truck-mounted Archer system.
On Wednesday, a four-hour wave of drones that Moscow blamed on Ukraine struck an airport near Russia’s border with Estonia and Latvia, damaging four Il-76 military transport planes, according to local reports.
The airport is in the Pskov region of Russia, about 400 miles north of the Ukrainian border.
In all, six Russian divisions were targeted in the blockade during the 18-month war.
Kyiv officials generally do not claim or deny responsibility for attacks on Russian soil, although they sometimes mention them openly. What Zelensky said was the clearest hint that Ukraine was behind the strike.
The attack forced the closure of Pskov airport, although it reopened on Thursday, according to Russian transport officials.
Another drone intercepted overnight near Moscow led to flight delays at several airports around the Russian capital, officials said Thursday.
No injuries were reported.