The purchase of vehicles used for the Ukrainian fleet: pros, cons and international experience

Ukraine intends to buy abroad preowned warships. This was stated by commander of Ukrainian Navy Vice-Admiral Igor Voronchenko. While we are talking about the purchase of a mine-sweeping system to ensure safe navigation on the Black sea. According to experts, purchase to b/u of the ships is the usual international practice and is able to immediately close the gap in our Maritime defence. But it can harm the domestic shipbuilding.

SHIPS “USED CAR”. The commander of the naval forces of Ukraine Vice-Admiral Igor Voronchenko said that Ukraine is considering the purchase of warships, which are derived from the active fleet of some Western countries. “A group of officers of the Navy of Ukraine has returned from abroad, where it is positively considered one solution. For September we are preparing the second group,” — said Voronchenko.

According to him, within existing resources, it was decided to purchase mine-sweeping system for safe navigation in the Black sea. As explained by the Vice-Admiral, with only one trawler “Genichesk”, which has been brought from the Crimea, Ukraine will not be able to solve this problem. “Is fulfilled and the acquisition of ships for the coastal zone,” — said Voronchenko.

After the annexation of Crimea in March 2014, Ukraine will have to re-create his Navy. Russian invaders captured submarine “Zaporizhzhya”, corvettes “Lutsk”, “Khmelnitsky” and “Ternopil” missile boat “Dnieper” sea trawlers “Chernigov” and “Cherkasy”, anti-sabotage boat “Theodosius” and a large landing ship (BDK) “Konstantin Olshansky”. Igor Voronchenko also said that the Russians began to slowly dismantle captured in the Crimea Ukrainian ships. Parts BDK “Konstantin Olshansky” is already used for repair of Russian ships, and the corvettes “Lutsk” and “Ternopil” sent to guard the captured Ukrainian gas fields in the Black sea.

SOMEONE WHO BOUGHT. Former Deputy defense Minister Admiral Ihor Kabanenko said that the purchase of a used/vehicles — a common international practice. “At the time Poland bought used frigates from the United States, and Romania — in the UK,” he said.

In the field of view of the Polish military, among other things, were two American frigate “Oliver hazard Perry” (OLIVER H. PERRY). Eight ships of the same class purchased of the Turkish Navy. Head frigate of this series was launched in 1977. Prior to 2004, was built 71 ship of this class. Then they gradually began to be withdrawn from combat composition of the Navy of the United States.

Romania in 2003, has signed a contract for the purchase of two frigates of the British Navy HMS Coventry and HMS London. The contract value amounted to 116 million pounds. The ships were launched in 1986 and in 2002 it was withdrawn from the Royal Navy. In Romania, the frigate Coventry was named the Regele Ferdinand frigate and London — Regina Maria. Four ships of the same class were sold by British in Brazil and one in Chile.

Traded ships and countries of the former USSR, particularly Ukraine and Russia. Some cases concerned were not used, and unfinished projects. For example, in 1999 the Ukrainian side sold in China for $20 million aircraft-carrying cruiser “Varyag”, a willingness which was 67%. It was originally sold as a future floating hotel and entertainment center, but the Chinese still made it in that aircraft carrier, named “Liaoning”. Upgraded the ship was commissioned in 2012, and while the “Liaoning” aircraft carrier is the only Chinese armed forces.

There is also the fact of transfer of Ukraine to Georgia missile boats “Konotop”, inherited after the division of the Soviet black sea fleet. The ship was named “Tbilisi” and it became the flagship of the Navy of Georgia. According to sources, “Tbilisi” was destroyed in a naval battle during the Russian-Georgian war in August 2008, however, according to others, the boat did not participate in the battle, and was abandoned by crew and blown up by the Russians at the pier in Poti.

And finally, Russia sold to India your heavy aircraft-carrying cruiser (TAVKR) “Admiral Gorshkov”, which managed to be a part of the USSR Navy under the name “Baku”. In 1992, the CV was damaged by fire, and in 1994, began negotiating the sale of its India. The process of repair, modernization and sale was delayed until 2013, while the aircraft carrier was transferred to India, where he received the title “Vikramaditya”.

Also widely known is the epic of two helicopter carrier type “Mistral”, the construction of which Russia ordered from France, but in the end, both ships went to Egypt, since the French authorities decided not to transfer the goods to the customer due to Russian military aggression in Ukraine.

WHAT IS THE BENEFIT AND HARM FOR UKRAINE. According to Admiral Igor Kabanenko, from an economic point of view, the purchase of secondhand warships profitable for Ukraine. “They cost much less than new and allow you to close the gap in defence now, not when restored national shipbuilding complex. Technologically, they are still the best ships we have (most of the ships of the Ukrainian naval forces obsolete), so will contribute to the technological upgrading of our Navy,” — said Igor kabanenko. In addition, according to the Admiral, the purchase of ships in the West, will help to achieve faster compatibility with NATO standards, which is one of the main objectives of the reform of the armed forces.

On the other hand, according to a member of the parliamentary Committee on national security and defence, Dmytro Tymchuk, purchase to b/u of the ships, though, and is the most budget option of strengthening of the Ukrainian Navy, but still not conducive to the development of domestic shipbuilding and creation of new jobs. “I mean, it’s not really consistent with the national interests”, — said Tymchuk.

THE “MOSQUITO FLEET”. The defense Ministry said on another concept until 2020 to launch up to 30 new ships and boats. According to experts, this is the so-called “mosquito fleet”, the follower of which is Admiral Kabanenko: “This is a high-speed (up to 50 knots — more than 92 km/h) boat group, armed with modern naval weaponry, capable of performing relevant tasks in the exclusive Maritime economic zone, where there are major threats to the sovereign rights of our country.”

According to the Admiral, at the end of last month, Igor Voronchenko called the creation of “mosquito fleet” best option for the development of the Navy till 2020. “As a priority we need to consider the impact of boats with missiles and artillery, patrol boats, artillery, anti-sabotage and anti-mine weapons, as well as boats marine special operations forces,” — said Igor kabanenko.
Future “mosquito fleet” can be equipped with boats like “Gyurza”, “centaur” and “DOE”. At the end of 2015, the Ukrainian Navy has already received two “Viper”, combat unit armed with a 30mm automatic cannon, 30mm automatic grenade launcher, 7.62 mm machine gun and two anti-tank systems “Barrier”. “Centaur” is a kind of assault boats and “DOE” is a project of the boat with anti-ship missiles. According to the Director of information and consulting company defense Express Serhiy Zgurets, 6-8 “fallow Deer”, as well as approximately two dozen “Centaurs” and “Hurt” could serve as the basis for the “mosquito fleet” in the future “to minimize security risks in the Black and Azov seas”. Similar opinion is shared by Dmitry Tymchuk: “the Construction of small armored artillery boats in our conditions is the most viable option.”