Ukraine plans to increase the production of missiles, arms, and other military equipment several times next year, with a particular focus on air defenses, Deputy Defense Minister Ivan Havryliuk said on Nov. 30.
The air defense production will range from portable anti-aircraft systems to weaponry with a range of over 100 kilometers, such as Koral guided missiles, the official said on television.
The Ukrainian Koral missile project, designed by the Luch state enterprise and intended for use by medium-ranged systems, has been in development since 2016. A model of the missile was for the first time presented at Kyiv's Weapons and Security 2021 exhibition in June 2021.
"In addition, the approved budget for 2024 allocates about Hr 175 billion ($4.8 billion) for the purchase of missiles and ammunition so that our defense forces can properly resist Russian aggression," the deputy defense minister said.
With Soviet-era air defense missiles allegedly running low already in early 2023, Western supplies of systems and accompanying munitions like Patriot or IRIS-T play a major role in protecting Ukraine's sky.
Growing uncertainties about the stability of Western support and Russia's defense budget hike make domestic production of air defenses and other systems all the more crucial.
Last month, the state-owned Ukrainian Defense Industry concern announced the mass production of kamikaze drones with a maximum range of 1,000 kilometers.
Kyiv puts a great deal of importance on domestic high-tech weapons production, and poor performance in this area was reportedly one of the reasons for the dismissal of the Ukrainian Defense Industry's previous chief, Yurii Husiev, in June.