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UK to fund the repairs of L119 howitzers in Ukraine

UK to fund the repairs of L119 howitzers in Ukraine

Artillery Cooperation Great Britain Repair and maintenance of military equipment Ukraine

BAE Systems has signed an agreement with the UK government to maintain and repair L119 howitzers in Ukraine.

This took place during a conference on the British-Ukrainian defense partnership, which Militarnyi’s correspondent attended.

The agreement will allow the repaired equipment to be transferred directly to the battlefield as soon as possible.

“This is the first part of the agreement that we intend to expand [in the future – ed.], which is very important to include more opportunities in the contract to repair equipment for Ukrainians and to transfer the final set to the front line,” Major General Anna-Lee Reilly, DE&S Director of Operations, stated.

The British company will repair the equipment at the expense of the British government in Ukraine.

“For my part, I can add that some opportunities have already been implemented, for example, we can already start production [of L119 howitzers – ed.]. This is a light gun of one of five calibers. So, the opportunities are already there, as soon as the contract is on the table, it can be started,” Oleksandr Kamyshin, Minister of Strategic Industries of Ukraine, noted during the agreement’s signing.

According to BAE-Systems, this cooperation opens up opportunities for repair and maintenance in Ukraine of other types of equipment manufactured by the company and used by the Ukrainian military.

“BAE Systems has seventeen different weapon systems currently in service with the Ukrainian Armed Forces. I would say that our ambition is that in the future, we will be able to repair as much of this [weaponry] as possible here in Ukraine,” Gabby Costigan, Group Managing Director, Business Development at BAE Systems, said.

She emphasized that these are, for example, AS-90 self-propelled howitzers, M777 guns, Challenger tanks, Archer self-propelled artillery systems, and Bradly infantry fighting vehicles.

Бойова машина піхоти Bradley українських військових з динамічним захистом BRAT. 2023 рік. Україна. Фото: 47-ма бригада

In addition, Costigan noted that BAE Systems will cooperate with Ukrainian companies to repair automotive equipment, which are already doing so within an agreement with the UK government. Therefore, the repairs and maintenance of the L119 guns is an important start in this cooperation. In particular, it will help establish links between Ukrainian and British companies.

“We’re starting with maintenance, but we’d like to see us move towards full production here in Ukraine,” said Gabby Costigan.

Christian Seear, CEO of BAE-Systems in Ukraine, noted that it is also about developing Ukraine’s economy, including creating jobs.

“Our strategy is to look at the economic development in the region where the company is located, to employ people, and give them the appropriate skills,” he said.

Previously, Oleksandr Kamyshyn, Minister of Strategic Industries, stated during a meeting with UK Secretary of State for Defence Grant Shapps that the British BAE Systems is expecting a contract from the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine to start production of 105-mm L119 howitzers in Ukraine.

Artillery Cooperation Great Britain Repair and maintenance of military equipment Ukraine