August 28, 2015:
The Ukrainian economy and military are a mess, but because the country energetically mobilized to oppose Russian aggression there has been one clear winner. The largest defense conglomerate (Ukroboronprom, which controls 137 companies) made a profit of $36 million in the last year, compared to a loss of $4.4 million the year before. Ukroboronprom made most of its money in the last year by building and refurbishing 2,000 vehicles and even more artillery weapons (guns, howitzers and rocket launchers). Another item in big demand is refurbished communications equipment. Ukraine has a lot of Cold War (pre-1991) era equipment which has been left unused and poorly maintained. This provided a pool of equipment that, with some skill and ingenuity, could be restored to usefulness.
Despite all this business for Ukroboronprom the Ukrainian military is still lacking the latest in electronic tech to cope with the post-Cold War Russian electronic warfare (jammer, eavesdropping and decryption) gear. Ukraine also needs modern radars and sensors. Some of this gear may already be sent to Ukraine, quietly and without fanfare. The U.S. sent Ukraine some artillery spotting radars in late 2014 and one was captured by the pro-Russian rebels and used by Russia to try and make the Russian invasion an effort to rescue Ukraine from “American aggression.” While the U.S. has said it will not give Ukraine weapons there has been a lot of other military support (training and “unspecified equipment”) provided. There may also be help (machinery and production tech) for Ukroboronprom to enable the Ukrainians to manufacture more modern weapons themselves.