Ukraine’s state arms producer, Ukroboronprom, announced Wednesday it was launching joint artillery shell production with an unnamed NATO country, a step that reflects the alliance’s deepening cooperation with Kyiv.
Ukroboronprom said it began producing 120-mm mortar rounds with a NATO member, which it declined to identify. The company’s spokeswoman, Natalia Sad, said the joint production was just the first step in NATO-Ukraine cooperation on arms production.
“The emergence of this shell is the first product of our joint cooperation with a country from the (NATO) alliance. It will not end with shells, we will soon show you other products produced with partner countries,” Sad said. “This is the onward movement and integration into cooperative chains with the North Atlantic alliance.”
The announcement came a few days after The Telegraph reported that British defense industry executives recently visited Ukraine to discuss producing British weapons inside the country. But Sad said the NATO country involved in the artillery shell production is in central Europe, ruling out the UK as a possibility.
The Telegraph report said arms makers in other countries were looking to produce weapons inside Ukraine, including companies in France and Germany. Any factories producing NATO weapons would be targets for the Russian military. Sad said that 10 Ukroboronprom employees have been killed while working during the war as Russia has targeted weapons production and storage sites.