Ukraine stop work on Sapsan tactical ballistic missile
The Ukrainian Defense Ministry has decided not to develop the Sapsan multi-purpose missile system. However, Pivdenne Design Bureau will continue to design an export version of the tactical missile.
PRESS: Ukrainian Defense Ministry freezes development of Sapsan missile system
The Ukrainian Defense Ministry has stopped financing the project to develop the Sapsan multi-purpose missile system, despite the fact that the program and all legal instruments to create the missile system have been approved, Director of Ukraine's Center for Army, Conversion and Disarmament Studies Valentyn Badrak told the Ukrainian weekly, Dzerkalo Tyzhnia (Mirror of the Week).
In order to save the project on the creation of the Sapsan tactical missile system, which is one of three main priorities of the modernization of the Ukrainian army along with the An-70 aircraft and the corvette, Pivdenne Design Bureau has started creating the export version of the missile systems financed by foreign customers, the expert said.
According to Badrak, Head of the State Space Agency of Ukraine Yuriy Alekseyev assured journalists at the Paris Air Show 2013 that there is technical and technological capacity to create such a missile. The project comprising 99% of Ukrainian components and involving 47 companies may be the basis for the formation of the national non-nuclear means of deterrence, Alekseyev said. He assured that though they hadn't yet conducted the testing of fuel for the tactical missiles, technologically the task has been solved.
Nevertheless, with all these formal achievements, there is no final design of the missile system yet, Badrak said.
Although, the head of the National Space Agency noted that only 10% of the planned funding has been provided for the project, experts of the Pivdenne Design Bureau on condition of anonymity told the newspaper that the Defense Ministry does not fund the project and has halted it at the executive level.
However, enterprises of the space industry are trying to save the project.
Chief Designer and CEO of Pivdenne Design Bureau Oleksandr Dehtiariov said that the missile complex is currently being created in the interests of a foreign customer under the name of Thunder. And thanks to the completion of the development of the Thunder project, the Sapsan missile project will make progress as well. The missile system designed for foreign countries will have a range of up to 280 km. The Ukrainian modification of the missile will have a range of up to 500 km.
"I suppose, Thunder will appear before Sapsan, Dehtiariov said, adding that the performances of both missiles should not be worse than those of Russia's Iskander.