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Ukraine conflict: US developing framework for long-term Ukraine sustainment

The 405th Army Field Support Brigade's Tele-Maintenance and Distribution Cell-Ukraine in Jasionka, Poland, briefs a Ukrainian defence official. (US Army)

The Pentagon is working on expanding access to intellectual property (IP), sustainment training, and depot access for Ukrainians, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Sustainment Christopher Lowman told Janes on 29 November.

While the US has already begun providing some things to Ukraine, the country and the whole region will need more support in the coming years to adjust to the heightened security environment, Lowman said in an interview ahead of the Ukraine Defense Industrial Base summit on 6 December. The US is currently about “midway” through the process of having a final picture of Ukraine's defence industrial base, meaning that the US is not quite ready for the final stage of long-term sustainment – depots, he said.

“We're right at the front end of that – how do we enable depot-level maintenance in Ukraine for US-donated equipment,” he said. The US is developing a regional sustainment framework that will enable sustainment through joint ventures. The Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) is identifying Ukrainian partners both in Ukraine and in bordering countries such as the Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia that could be candidates for US capability production and maintenance, Lowman added.

The OSD has identified tactical vehicles, heavy combat equipment, main battle tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, armoured personnel carriers, artillery, and air defence as the priorities for depots, but the National Armaments Directors (NAD) will not know how many depots are needed until the size of the Ukrainian army is finalised, Lowman said.

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