Weapons industry is booming as Eastern Europe supplies arms to Ukraine: Report

Weapons industry is booming as Eastern Europe supplies arms to Ukraine, While some former Warsaw Pact members are still wary of their Soviet...

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Weapons industry is booming as Eastern Europe supplies arms to Ukraine
Weapons industry is booming as Eastern Europe supplies arms to Ukraine

Weapons industry is booming as Eastern Europe supplies arms to Ukraine

While some former Warsaw Pact members are still wary of their Soviet-era overlord Russia, others view aid to Ukraine as a matter of regional security.

Eastern Europe’s arms industry is churning out guns, shells, and other military materiel at a pace not seen since the Cold War. Governments in the region are leading efforts to assist Ukraine in its fight against Russia.

Allies have been supplying Kyiv with weapons and military equipment since Russia invaded its neighbor on 24 February, depleting stocks along the way.

“Given the reality of the ongoing war in Ukraine and the visible attitude of many countries aimed at increasing spending in the field of defense budgets, in the coming years we will enter new markets and increase export earnings. There is a real opportunity,” said Sebastian Chwalek, CEO of PGZ in Poland.

The US and UK gave Ukraine the most direct military aid between Jan. 24 and her Oct. 3, according to the Kiel Institute for World Economics tracker, with Poland in her third position. , the Czech Republic was her ninth.

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But more than a dozen government and business officials and analysts interviewed by Reuters said the conflict had created new opportunities for the region’s arms industry.

State-owned, his PGZ controls more than 50 of his companies that manufacture weapons and ammunition, from armored transports to unmanned aerial systems, and holds stakes in dozens more.

It now plans to invest up to 8 billion zlotys ($1.8 billion) over the next 10 years, more than double its pre-war target, Chwalek told Reuters. This includes new facilities located far from the border with Russia’s ally Belarus for security reasons, he said.

Shortly after the Russian attack, some Eastern European militaries and manufacturers began emptying warehouses of Soviet-era weapons and ammunition that Ukrainians were accustomed to, with Kyiv waiting for NATO standard equipment from the West.

As these inventories dwindled, weapons manufacturers ramped up production of both old and modern equipment to keep the supply flowing. The arms stream helped Ukraine push back Russian forces and regain swaths of territory.

Other manufacturers are also ramping up production capacity and competing to hire workers, companies and government officials from Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic said.

Weapons industry is booming as Eastern Europe supplies arms to Ukraine
Weapons industry is booming as Eastern Europe supplies arms to Ukraine

Chwalek said PGZ will produce 1,000 portable Piorun manpad air defense systems in 2023. This is not all for Ukraine, compared to 600 in 2022 and 300-350 in the previous years.

The company also supplies artillery and mortar systems, howitzers, bulletproof vests, small arms and ammunition to Ukraine, and his pre-war 2022 revenue target is likely to exceed Zloty 6.74 billion. he said.

The companies and officials interviewed by Reuters declined to give specific details of the military shipments to Ukraine.

The arms industry in Eastern Europe dates back to the 19th century, when Czech Emil Škoda began manufacturing weapons for the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Under communism, giant factories in Czechoslovakia, the Warsaw Pact’s second-largest arms producer, Poland, and elsewhere continued to employ people to produce weapons for the Cold War conflicts Moscow sparked around the world.

Weapons industry is booming as Eastern Europe supplies arms to Ukraine

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by News East India staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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