In the upcoming year, a six-fold increase in weapons production with the defence industry “becoming the engine of economic recovery” is planned in Ukraine, Oleksandr Kamyshin, the Minister of Strategic Industries, said during the press conference on Wednesday, Dec. 27.

“Today, the capabilities of the defence complex are about twice as large as the available funding. Therefore, together with the team of the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Finance, the Prime Minister, and the President, we are working on finding additional funding for this sector,” Kamyshyn said.

Currently, the defense industry has 300,000 employees and 500 enterprises, 400 of which are private.

Kamyshin mentioned that the production of weapons in Ukraine began only in recent years, as a result of Russia's full-scale invasion in 2022, with the emphasis made on producing artillery shells, drones, armored personnel carriers, and other military equipment.

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However, the domestic production of its own NATO-standard 155mm projectiles has lagged behind the needs on the battlefield.

“We have prototypes, but in this [155mm] caliber, we depend on partners and the supply of scarce gunpowder, which Ukraine has never produced,” Kamyshin said.

“We hope for the support of our partners in the issue of gunpowder. We are ready to start our production of projectiles – we have already mastered some of the elements,” he said.

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The minister said that Ukraine is working on developing Ukraine's own air defenses. Among its initiatives has been the development of its FrankenSAM (surface-to-air missile) hybrid air defense system.

Kamyshin said the FrankenSAM is a product of Ukraine's productive cooperation with American partners.

"We took our Soviet systems, integrated them with our Western partners, together with Western missiles, together with Western launchers, and got a new hybrid air defense system at the finish line," he said.

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“Everyone knows that developing a new air defence system takes five years. We are not waiting five years. We develop our systems: large, complex, expensive, and long,” Kamyshin added.

“In parallel, we are developing what we call a hybrid air defense system. These are quick solutions” that have produced results already this winter, Kamyshin said.

He also said the plan to manufacture a million FPV drones next year, as previously announced by President Zelensky, will be implemented. But with long-range strike drones (range 1000+ km), the situation is different.

“Unfortunately, it’s a painful story. Although Ukraine has developed thousand-plus kilometre capable drones, available since 2016, for some reason, it was not mass-produced,” he said.

“We started mass-producing them in August. Today, we produce dozens of them a month,” he explained.

According to him, there are already “Ukrainian Shaheds” – analogues of the Iranian drones the Russians are actively using to attack civilian and military objects.

 “We have more than five analogues of Shahed-131 that are in mass production, and there is one [drone] that is an analogue of Shahed-136. In this regard, you can choose any position, and all these are serial products that are both serially produced and improved,” Kamushin revealed.

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Kamyshin refused to comment on whether Ukraine has gained success in producing long-range missiles.

“This is the most secret, most important program in Ukraine. I will probably never talk about it.”

 “You may remember that the president said in September that we have our long-range domestic weapons. I think this [should] be enough for you.”

He also added that: “Even five years after the end of the war, it would not be worth revealing the details of where and which factories manufactured the missiles.”

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