Vasyl Bodnar, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine to the Republic of Turkey, explained in the interview to the outlet Radio Svoboda (Radio Liberty from Ukrainian), what stage the construction of centers for assembling and repairing Bayraktars in Ukraine was at; when the corvette that the Turkish side was building for the Ukrainian Naval Forces to be ready. He also told the outlet about the potential joint production of the An-178 military transport aircraft. publishes the highlights.
Bodnar on production of Bayraktars in Ukraine
According to the Ambassador, work has already begun to find an appropriate land plot for constructing future centers for producing and repairing UAVs as part of the recently signed memorandum between the Ministry of Defense and the Turkish Baykar on the localization of the unmanned aerial vehicles Bayraktar production in Ukraine. It is still difficult to determine the exact time frame, but this refers to months, not years.
"The information that I have suggests a full-scale production of unmanned aerial vehicles from scratch that can be used both for the needs of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and for the supplies to the third countries’ markets. Many countries are now interested in Bayraktars, and there are already preliminary contracts with some European states," he says.
Bodnar also recalls that Ukraine has already "actually created a joint venture for producing a new type of unmanned aerial vehicles—Akinci". The Ukrainian side supplies engines and a number of components to these drones.
Bodnar on corvette for Ukrainian fleet
The Ambassador notes that Kyiv and Ankara are cooperating to create a corvette for the Ukrainian fleet. He adds that the parties also agreed to expand cooperation in the naval sphere.
According to Bodnar's estimates, we can see the "almost assembled" corvette for Ukraine as early as next year. Some of its equipment will be of Ukrainian production.
Bodnar on cooperation in aerospace industry
According to the Ambassador, negotiations continue between the Turkish and Ukrainian sides regarding the potential joint production of the An-178 aircraft.
"I can’t tell you the exact decision at the moment, since I am not involved in making final decisions—there are direct negotiations between the companies: Antonov from our side and the representatives of the military, gendarmerie, and some companies interested in the prospects of transferring production to the territory of Turkey—from the Turkish side. That is, it is already at the level of negotiations of the relevant experts on how, when, and at what price," Bodnar explains.
According to him, Ukraine offers Turkey to order aircraft at the local facilities of the concern to begin with, and only then it will be a question of partial transfer of production facilities to the Turkish territory.
"That is, you always have analize here—to involve a commercial component. How beneficial is it? To what extent can we share our technologies with Turkish colleagues for joint production? Or it is possible to split it, since Turkey is part of the Airbus A400 production cycle—it supplies certain parts to assembly points," the diplomat adds.
Context. In an August interview, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced the materialization of a large Ukrainian fleet by 2035. According to him, by the indicated year it will have "corvettes, military boats, and small submarines", as well as military bases.