Kyiv looking to start production of Western drones domestically
Paris Airshow (Photo: EPA)

Ukraine is in talks with Western arms manufacturers to increase production of weapons, including drones, and could sign contracts in the coming months, reported Reuters with reference to Deputy Minister for European Integration of the Ministry of Strategic Industries Serhiy Boyev.

The Ukrainian official announced Kyiv is negotiating with manufacturers from Germany, Italy, France, and Eastern Europe about their production of weapons in Ukraine.

"We are in very detailed discussions with them. And we are certain that we will have the contracts agreements signed within the next few months," Boyev told Reuters on the sidelines of the Paris Airshow.

As noted, the organization of arms production in Ukraine by foreign companies will help Kyiv to more efficiently meet its needs in weapons, develop the defense industry, and create jobs for Ukrainians.

"The future deterrence of aggression will require a strong defence industry in Ukraine, a strong Ukrainian armed forces," Boyev said.

He added that foreign production of weapons on Ukrainian territory will make Ukraine part of the security system of the free world.

According to Reuters, at the Paris Airshow, a representative of the Ministry of Strategic Industries spoke with drone manufacturers, from large international defense firms to small companies. He declined to say which producers he met with.

"We are discussing different levels of cooperation. And some of the companies say that they are willing to come and invest and produce drones," Boyev said.

A senior source in the European defense industry, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters that European rules and standards on drone testing could make it harder for companies to get approval to manufacture and test drones in Ukraine.

But Boyev hopes that the country will be able to attract foreign drone manufacturers and said that the Ukrainian government will offer them substantial support.

On August 8, 2022, the ambassador to Turkey Vasyl Bodnar announced that the Baykar company will build a plant in Ukraine and has already bought a plot of land for this purpose.

In February 2023, the Ministry of Defense approved the location of the Bayraktar service center in Ukraine.

On May 20, 2023, German Rheinmetall announced plans to produce Fuchs armored personnel carriers in Ukraine.