UK signs agreement to support enhancement of Ukrainian naval capabilities

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VIPs gather on the Flight Deck following the signing of the Memorandum of Implementation on board HMS Defender. Photo by LPhot Dan Rosenbaum

In a trilateral agreement signed onboard HMS Defender, which was in Odesa as part of the Carrier Strike Group deployment, the UK, Ukraine and industry will collaborate to boost Ukraine’s naval capabilities.

Minister for Defence Procurement Jeremy Quin and First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Tony Radakin were joined by Deputy Minister of Defence of Ukraine, Oleksandr Myroniuk and industry representative David Lockwood from Babcock on the Type 45 Destroyer, where the Memorandum of Implementation (MOI) was signed.

Building on the agreement signed on HMS Prince of Wales in October 2020, the two nations and their industrial partners will now push Ukrainian naval capabilities enhancement projects (UNCEP) forward.

These projects will include; the introduction of new capabilities through the delivery of new naval platforms and defensive shipborne armaments, the training of Ukrainian Navy personnel, the creation of new naval bases, and the purchase of two Sandown class mine countermeasure vessels.

Signing the MOI on behalf of the UK, Minister for Defence Procurement Jeremy Quin said:

The UK and Ukraine have a close defence relationship, and we continue to strengthen this partnership to help deter shared threats.

I am delighted that British and Ukrainian industry will work together on these projects, which will provide world-leading capabilities and provide opportunities for both our nations to boost our shipbuilding enterprises.

Babcock International will lead British and Ukrainian industrial partners to assist the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence in delivering these projects, with funding made available by UK Export Finance (UKEF).

The Ukrainian Ministry of Defence said:

Ukraine and the UK are good friends and allies. Today’s Memorandum gives a new impetus to our co-operation in naval industry and will facilitate further development of the Ukrainian Navy. We appreciate the British support and value your experience.

Commander Vince Owen (left) greets First Sea Lord and Chief Of Naval Staff Admiral Tony Radakin (right) KCB ADC. Credit: LPhot Dan Rosenbaum UK MOD © Crown copyright 2021

Contractual work will now begin to implement the following projects:

  • Missile sale and integration on new and in-service Ukrainian Navy patrol and airborne platforms, including a training and engineering support package.
  • The development and joint production of eight fast missile warships.
  • The creation of a new naval base on the Black Sea as the primary fleet base for Ukraine and a new base on the Sea of Azov.
  • Babcock will participate in the Ukrainian project to deliver a modern frigate capability.
  • A Government to Government sale of two refurbished Sandown class mine countermeasure vessels.

Signing the MOI on behalf of industry, David Lockwood, CEO Babcock International said:

We are very proud to support Ukraine with their Naval Capabilities Enhancement Programme. This marks the beginning of a new international relationship for Babcock, bringing together our new ship capability, our infrastructure and support capability and our new strong relationship with the UK Government. I know that we can bring our collective experience and knowledge together to achieve some really great things.

Our strengthened relationship with the UK Government has been instrumental in underpinning this significant agreement which is supported by UK Export finance and we continue to work with them on a number of international opportunities.

The UK and NATO are committed to Black Sea regional security, stability and prosperity, and to Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, which is exemplified by HMS Defender’s visit to the port of Odesa as part of the UK’s Carrier Strike Group deployment.

During the visit by Ministers a trilateral exercise between the UK, Ukraine and the US took place on board the ship, showcasing our support to maritime capability development and interoperability.

The UK enjoys a strong bilateral relationship with Ukraine and is committed to securing its security. Since 2015, the UK has trained over 21,000 Armed Forces of Ukraine personnel in medical skills, logistics, counter improvised explosive devices (C-IED), leadership, planning and infantry tactics as part of Operation Orbital and the UK-led Maritime Training Initiative.

Source: UK MOD © 2021

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