Polish WB Electronics company signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ukrainian Antonov facility, regarding the potential joint cooperation, within the scope of development of tactical UAV systems for the Ukrainian Armed Forces. According to the president of the Antonov company, Mikhaylo Gvozdov, “signing the document marks the beginning of a new, international programme, which, besides enhancing the Ukrainian defence capabilities, is also going to provide the Antonov company with some opportunities within the new markets”.
The document was signed in Kiev, during an international defence-industrial summit. The companies belonging to the Ukrainian Ukrobronprom concern have signed several documents during the event. The agreements involve numerous companies, including FLIR Systems or Aselsan. One of the agreements signed with the Trextron company concerns an in-depth modernization of the Humvee vehicles, operated by the Ukrainian Army.
However, the most interesting agreement has been signed between the Kiev-based Antonov facility and the Polish WB Electronics company. According to the agreement, the Ukrainian company, which (so far) has been gaining its reputation by manufacturing numerous types of transport and passenger aircraft, has been, for some time now, carrying out works, the aim of which is to develop a UAV system for the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
WB Electronics is going to be responsible for implementing its own solutions, which are going to be based on the Ukrainian platform, including the guidance systems, radio communications suite, along with the data transmission encryption system, and other key elements of the whole UAV platform.
The signed agreement expressly indicates that Ukraine is interested in cooperation with the Polish companies, not only within the scope of replacing the products or technologies which - so far - were being acquired from Russia, but also within the area of implementing and developing new, indigenous programmes. Not only do the companies look for the new export markets, they are also willing to manufacture brand new products. The Antonov company is known mainly for producing the An-124 or An-70 aircraft. Currently, the Ukrainians are looking for possible new paths for development. The UAV market is the most dynamic branch of the aerospace industry and - should the offer be interesting, price and technology-wise - the Ukrainian company may gain some successes within that area, especially if Antonov is going to be cooperating with a subject which has already gained some proper reputation within the unmanned aerial vehicles markets, such as the Polish WB Electronics company.