Ukraine and Pakistan appear to be discussing several options for joint ventures and technology transfer following last month’s visit of Pak Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa to Ukraine where he was given a demonstration of tanks, anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM) and drones among others.
Weapons demonstrated to General Bajwa and his team include an ATGM system made by KB LUCH, the Oplot tank, anew amphibious armored personnel carrier, combat drones and several others.
Ukrainian Minister of Defense, Andriy Taran during his talks with General Bajwa on May 19 highlighted the most promising weapons systems being developed for Ukraine’s armed services. “Pakistan is keen to enhance defense cooperation with Ukraine on the basis of Transfer of Technology and Joint Ventures in future as both sides can benefit from each other’s experience,” Gen Bajwa was quoted as saying after the meeting.
The parties agreed to further enhance military-to-military ties, especially in the domains of defense production, training, counter-terrorism and intelligence. The next meeting of the Ukraine-Pakistan working team on defense and military technology cooperation will be held in Pakistan, a Ukraine MoD statement said.
Pakistan has demonstrated an independent procurement policy and not relied on China entirely to meet its weapons needs. Ukraine, known as a technology powerhouse during the Soviet era, is currently reforming its defense sector and upgrading its production processes as a means to achieving NATO membership.
Relations between Pakistan and Ukraine so far revolved about the T-80UD tank which Islamabad purchased in the late 1990s. In February 2021, Ukrainian state arms exporter, UkrOboronProm was awarded an $85.6 million contract to support the fleet of T-80UD main battle tanks of the Pakistan Army.
“Our armor-manufacturing companies are constantly updating their production capacity and improving technologies that ensure high-quality work and products,” said Yuri Gusev, CEO of Ukroboronprom. “We also discussed with Pakistan new orders for the supply of 6TD1 and 6TD2 engines.”
The 6TD engines power Pakistan’s “indigenous,” Al-Khalid MBTs which are derived from the Chinese Norinco Type 90IIM MBT.
A new element that has charged up Ukraine’s defence R&D is U.A.E.’s EDGE. The Abu Dhabi based investment company announced on February 16, 2021 that it signed a strategic cooperation agreement with UkrOboronProm and Ukrspecexport. The agreement will enable the three entities to develop technologies that could lead to over $1 billion worth of investments.