The Ukrainian government and BAE Systems have signed a local arms production agreement.
It follows Ukrainian leadership’s discussion of establishing a local production base with BAE representatives in May.
BAE also announced it is opening a representative office in Ukraine.
Local Production of L119 Light Gun
A framework agreement to locally produce and maintain the L119 Light Gun towed howitzer was also signed during the meeting.
Around three dozen UK-donated L119s have been operating in Ukraine since 2022.
The 105mm howitzer uses the M1 ammunition with a maximum range of 11.4 kilometers (7 miles).
A rocket-assisted projectile could reportedly strike as far as 17.5 kilometers (11 miles).
BAE Arms in Ukraine
Other BAE systems operational in Ukraine include the M777 155mm towed gun and the CV90 infantry fighting vehicle, which have received “extremely positive feedback from the Ukrainian military,” Ukraine’s presidential office stated.
“We highly appreciate when private companies open their offices in our country at such a time,” Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky said.
Local Defense Production Base
Zelensky said in May that the government discussed with BAE representatives the possibility of producing a range of military equipment in the country, including tanks and artillery.
“We discussed the localization of production in Ukraine. We agreed to start work on opening a BAE Systems office in Ukraine, and subsequently repair and production facilities for the company’s products,” Evening Standard was quoted as saying on Telegram.
“We are ready to become a major regional hub for the repair and production of various types of products of BAE Systems and are interested in making our relations more global.”
Rheinmetall Armored Vehicle Plant
Meanwhile, Rheinmetall announced in July it would open an armored vehicle plant in Ukraine within the next three months.
The 200-million-euro ($213 million) plant would be located in the country’s west with a capacity to produce 400 vehicles annually.
Rheinmetall will operate the plant in partnership with the Ukrainian state-owned defense firm Ukroboronprom.