Wednesday 9/29/21
DEFENCE

Ukraine plans major upgrade to Black Sea fleet

"We are preparing to break the blockade of the Black Sea region," President Zelensky said, referring to the dominant presence of Russia
18 June 2021, Ukraine, Odesa: The Royal Navy destroyer HMS Defender arrives in the port of Odessa. The Russian military warned away the British Navy's HMS Defender warship with bombs and gunfire after it allegedly entered Russian territorial waters near the Crimean Peninsula on Wednesday, the TASS news agency reports. Photo: -/Ukrinform/dpa
British Royal Navy destroyer HMS Defender arrives in the Ukranian port of Odessa. Photo: Ukrinform/dpa/File photo.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has announced plans to massively upgrade the country's Black Sea fleet by 2035.

"Our task is to build a professional, powerful fleet capable of countering any adversary," the 43-year-old said in an interview with several Ukrainian media outlets on Thursday.

The head of state said this would include smaller warships, speedboats and submarines.

"We are preparing to break the blockade of the Black Sea region," he said, referring to the dominant presence of Russia.

With the Russian annexation of the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea in 2014, Ukraine lost Sevastopol, the most important port used by its fleet.

Ukrainian shipbuilding has been in the doldrums for years due to a lack of orders.

Shipyard bankrupt

In June, a court declared a traditional shipyard in Mykolayiv bankrupt. In Soviet times, cruisers and aircraft carriers were built there.

Currently, Kiev is buying decommissioned naval vessels from the United States and Britain. Kiev had also asked Germany for warships.

According to an announcement in July, Ukrainian warships are also to be built in Turkey.

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