The United States of America will begin transferring Mark VI high-speed combat boats to Ukraine next year, President Volodymyr Zelensky has said.
He said this during the celebrations on the occasion of the Day of the Navy of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, which took place in Odesa region on July 4, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.
“Ukraine, together with the United States, the United Kingdom, the Republic of Turkey, and many of our friends and other countries, actively implements joint large-scale projects regarding the renewal of our fleet, the development of modern naval infrastructure, and the training of personnel ... In particular, the American side will begin transferring Mark VI high-speed combat boats to Ukraine next year,” Zelensky stressed.
According to him, for many years there was talk about the need for a new base for patrol boats, and "we stopped talking and started real work."
“In Pivdennyi Port, an infrastructure for basing patrol boats is formed, the management of the division of ships was deployed, and two boats of Island type are based. Reinforcement is also expected - at least three boats that are currently being upgraded in the United States,” the president said.
He specified that the memorandum of cooperation between Ukraine and Great Britain signed in 2020 is being filled with concrete actions. And shortly, the Ukrainian fleet will be reinforced by anti-mine ships and modern missile boats.
According to Zelensky, against the backdrop of Russian armed aggression, the combat capable naval forces are one of the most important components of Ukraine's defense capability and security and an important factor in military-political reality in the Black Sea Region.
"Therefore, one of my major priorities at the post of President of Ukraine is to build powerful naval forces equipped with modern ships and modern weapons, ready to respond adequately to challenges and threats to our national security," the president said.
According to the head of state, in order to revive the Ukrainian Navy, the reform of the Naval Military Office bodies under NATO standards was held in recent years.
Zelensky emphasized that the Naval Base ‘East’ in Berdiansk on the northwest coast of the Sea of Azov increases capacity and actively builds its infrastructure, and the Navy in the Sea of Azov is reinforced by two more combat boats.
"Strengthening of our maritime aviation is also successful. We expect to get modern and effective unmanned aerial vehicles "Bayraktar" shortly. Ukrainian crews for them are already completing training in the Republic of Turkey," he said.
In addition, in Turkey, the first corvette framework for the Navy of Ukraine was built. It will be completed in the Ukrainian shipyard by the end of 2023.
Also, an active build-up of the combat capabilities of the Ukrainian fleet will continue at the expense of domestic weapons and military equipment.
Marine infantry in cooperation with international partners continues to improve combat training, increases the landfill infrastructure and permanent dislocation points infrastructure.
On July 4, Ukraine marked Day of the Naval Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and Day of Sea and River Fleet Workers.