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29 January 2018

Innovations as the National Security Foundation

Yuriy Gusev

Advisor to the Minister PhD in economics

"The situation in the Eastern Regions of our countries has brought about the high demand in updating of the current weapons and means of warfare in the military community. As a consequence, the top priority directions include, first of all, development of modern technologies of military personnel and military facilities protection, development of innovative target killers and radio location facilities, development of hi-tech reconnaissance and combat means, and improvement of cyber protection technologies."

Republished from  ОБОЗРЕВАТЕЛЬ

 

The situation in the Eastern Regions of our countries has brought about the high demand in updating of the current weapons and means of warfare in the military community. As a consequence, the top priority directions include, first of all, development of modern technologies of military personnel and military facilities protection, development of innovative target killers and radio location facilities, development of hi-tech reconnaissance and combat means, and improvement of cyber protection technologies.

Speaking about the actual examples, their number tends to increase considerably year by year in Ukraine.

Based on Vilkha and Neptune rocket launch systems, LUCH Design Centre State-Run Company created the missile system which may hold down our Eastern neighbour, according to experts. Special features of the weapon positioning system and the ability to adjust the in-air rocket trajectory add to uniqueness of the missile system.

In terms of domestic developments for land operations, several remote controllable models have been announced:

SPARTAN Armoured Combat Vehicle designed by Infocom Ltd. in cooperation with AvtoKrAZ PJSC.

PIRANHA track-mounted warfare system designed by LENKUZNIA PJSC.

PHANTOM (6х6 drive) and PHANTOM -2 (8х8 drive) Multipurpose Vehicle designed by SpetsTechnoExport State-Run Foreign Trade Company in cooperation with the Innovation Development Platform, and expected to be manufactured at the plants of UKROBORONPROM Ukrainian Defence Industry State-Run Concern.

Unmanned aerial systems or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are another bright example here.

Due to the development in this direction, the Ukrainian Armed Forces have increased the efficiency of artillery reconnaissance and more confidently fend off the enemy machinery. The examples include:

Fury UAV designed by ATLON AVIA Research and Production Company. Fury can identify targets and follow them automatically.

Anser and Sparrow UAVs designed by SPAITECH Research and Production Limited Liability Company. These UAV models capture and process real-time photos and videos, and exchange data via secure radio channels.

PD-1 UAV designed by UKRSPETSSYSTEMS Company. It may carry various loads useful for military purposes.

Horlytsia UAV designed by ANTONOV State-Run Company. This UAV can stay in the air for 7 hours, deliver and coordinate fire aimed at enemy’s positions, and accomplish reconnaissance and other operations at the height of more than 5 thousand meters.

Speaking about the global practice of national security enhancement through innovations, it should be borne in mind that it is based on the institutions formed on the initiative of the government.

In the USA, it’s DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. DARPA took part in development of a great number of new technologies currently used by the US Army and in every household, including the Internet, GPS, and cloud technologies. The Agency’s organisational model allows development of innovative products meeting actual needs within shortest possible time limits.

In Israel, it’s the Office of the Chief Scientist that offers comprehensive support to innovation companies providing them with grants and scholarships for researches and developments.

Europe has EU programs analysing global technologies that may impact the community and economy development in general.

Thus, judging by the examples of the leading innovation countries, we may assert that development and implementation of innovative technologies are only possible if supported by the state. The USA and Israel proceeded with such initiatives when they faced a military conflict or a threat from a strong opponent.

The situation in the Eastern Regions of Ukraine prompts our adoption of the same way. We have to focus on development of innovative products critical for the national security, and we have good inputs for that. The Ukrainian defence industry has repeatedly demonstrated its readiness to take multiple leaderships in global markets. In the former Soviet Union, 80% of military developments were made in Ukraine.

The public-private partnership mechanism should become one of the significant elements of innovations development in Ukraine. The government has to initiate creation of platforms for development of Ukrainian military and civil start-up projects.

Other promising sectors of the economy should be supported and enhanced to ensure further progress. For instance, the agricultural sector should be supported in terms of hi-tech processing and growing of grains. Development of alternative energy sources and green energy is another example here. In addition, Ukraine has all chances to create another Silicon Valley of the Eastern Europe in the IT sector. The government has to direct long-term and short-term efforts into these sectors.

In my opinion, the initial critical steps would be:

  • Ensuring of the business environment wherein foreign innovation companies would comprehend Ukraine as a country attractive for investments to develop technologies and start-ups.
  • Deregulation of the tax climate, and creation of the infrastructure of company engagement, including determination of the relevant priorities by the government. The statutory and legal support of innovations should be improved. It can be also ensured by international financial organisations and the business sector in the state, in addition to the government.
  • Formation of the open infrastructure for development through creation of the relevant clusters, business incubators and science parks for sales of hi-tech products. In particular, new platforms, like the Innovation Development Platform should be formed.

Strengthening of the promising economy directions would enable increasing by the state of the budgets allotted to satisfy national security needs. And there is a long-term opportunity to live up to the expectations of becoming the regional leader in the Central and Eastern Europe in the aforesaid sectors. Such leadership would enable engagement of renowned international partners and, over the longer term, opening of a unique market for businesses that intend penetration to the European areas.