Ukrainian Aerospace Industry Finds Ways to Thrive – Aviation International News

During the Soviet period Ukraine was a distant second to Russia in terms aerospace system design bureaus. While the major aircraft, helicopter and missile design centers were almost all located in Moscow, the Ukrainian capital of Kiev was home to only one aircraft design bureau–Antonov. This disparity was reflected throughout the aerospace industry, with many of the developmental facilities for aircraft, missiles, radars, etc. concentrated in Moscow and only a few major defense development facilities located in Kiev.

The real capability that was resident in Ukraine was an extensive network of overhaul and repair plants. Many of these repair facilities soon began looking at the market opportunities presented by the considerable number of former Soviet-era aircraft, air defense systems and radars used by neighboring states and other former clients of the Soviet Union’s military assistance programs.

What they soon came to realize was that Russian firms were “fairly proficient at producing new models of weapon systems and aircraft. But those same Russian firms were not very well organized to be able to offer their existing customers upgrade options for products sold in years past,” said a Ukrainian aerospace executive who spoke to AIN on condition of anonymity.

Ukrainian firms have therefore made it their goal to improve on the basic designs originally developed in the Soviet period, to the point where the improvements that they are offering are functional equivalents to next-generation models of these aircraft and military systems.

Air Defense

Many of the examples are seen in the modernization programs that have been developed for legacy platforms like the SA-3 (S-125 Pechora) and SA-6 (Buk/Kvadrat) air defence systems by companies like Ukraine’s Aerotechnica. Another are the upgrades sold to users of the Mikoyan MiG-29 by the Kiev-based firm Radionix.  The company has developed a package of solid-state replacement modules that

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