How to Ensure the Development of Defense Technologies in Ukraine

The assessment of the ratio of military capabilities of the Russian Federation (even without taking into account its nuclear weapons) and Ukraine is not in favor of our State. Both in terms of quantity and quality, the Russian military potential significantly exceeds the corresponding indicators of Ukraine. Joint development of two institutes - NISS and USSI.

1. Some Conclusions from the Analysis of Ukraine’s Defense Capabilities

The assessment of the ratio of Military Capabilities of the Russian Federation (even without taking into account its nuclear weapons) and Ukraine is not in favor of our State. Both in terms of quantity and quality, the Russian military potential significantly exceeds the corresponding indicators of Ukraine. In addition, the gap in their quality parameters tends to grow: in recent years, Russia has been rapidly updating the Arsenal of conventional means of armed struggle. So, at the beginning of 2019, the total equipment of the Russian Armed Forces with modern weapons and military hardware (WMH) increased to 61% (in the land forces – 48.3 %, in the Aerospace Forces-74 %, in the Navy Forces – 62.3 %, in the Airborne Troops-63.7 %).

At the same time, this figure does not exceed 10% in the Ukrainian Defense Forces. The basis of their technical equipment is made up of samples of WMH 70-80 years of the last century, which are morally and physically outdated. This significantly reduces the capabilities of our defense forces and limits their ability to develop new forms and methods of armed struggle performing, including asymmetric counteraction to Russian aggression.  This is one of the main conditions for deterring the enemy, which is significantly outnumbered and equipped, from further escalating the armed conflict, as well as committing a full-scale aggression against Ukraine.

Russian aggression has suspended the long-term stagnation of the Armed Forces and other components of the Ukrainian Defense Forces, including in terms of WMH equipping. The amount of funding for the Armed Forces of Ukraine has increased by more than 3 times, and the cost of developing the air defense system has increased by almost 9 times. However, the main financial, material and production resources in 2014-2019 were focused on repair, restoration of combat capability and partial modernization of existing weapons and military hardware. The production of new samples was carried out in a limited number, without proper system, sometimes chaotically, in some cases-with the priority of the interests of individual financial and industrial groups.

Therefore, the defense industry of Ukraine in most cases was forced to focus on the implementation of low-tech works related only to the repair and partial modernization of weapons. This focus on the efforts of the Russian Defense Industry, which was objectively conditioned by Russian aggression and a long period of stagnation of the defense forces, had a negative impact on innovation. And most importantly, Ukraine does not yet have an effective system of scientific research and the introduction of new technologies to create modern WMH.

Given this, in order to implement an effective system of organizing and performing the research on the creation of innovative defense technologies (hereinafter-DT) for the development of high-tech weapons based on them, it would be advisable to create a Central Executive authority – the Agency for the Development of Defense Technologies (hereinafter-the Agency).

2. Functions of the Agency

The Agency should organize the implementation of tasks to create new DT that can be implemented for the development and production of high-tech weapons (hereinafter-HTW), the most popular Defense Forces of Ukraine. The Agency should formulate what DT is needed for HTW, organize research and expert evaluation of such items, or organize the development of the necessary items.

3. Main Tasks of the Agency

The Agency’s primary task after its creation should be to audit the results of research and development work in public and, with their consent, private enterprises and scientific institutions for the creation of innovative technologies and their implementation in the development and production of HTW.

In the future, the Agency will carry out:

  • the implementation of the State Military-Technical Policy regarding the development of new Defense Technologies (for example, the US Agency DARPA, which operates as part of the US Department of Defense);
  • identification of priority research areas, selection of advanced ideas and innovative projects for accelerated DT development;
  • organizing the development of advanced technologies, stimulating development and implementing them in specific HTW models;
  • combining the efforts of scientific departments of the public and private sectors to integrate cutting-edge ideas and developments of DT.