The head of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine or SBGS, Petro Tsyhykal announced in an interview with 5 Channel TV that Ukraine has begun negotiations with France on the purchase of 22 patrol ships for the SBGS.
“We are working on possible options for strengthening our naval units in the Sea of Azov. We have already repaired several of our ships and boats, including the [Ukrainian Command Ship] Donbas. Last year, UMC-1000 motorboats with improved running characteristics were put into service and it’s only the beginning,” he said.
Tsyhykal said that the SBGS wants to create “powerful and mobile groups of border ships and boats” in the Azov and Black Seas, which could perform law enforcement tasks and counter military threats.
“We are trying to find ways to accomplish these ambitious tasks. Negotiations are underway with French partners on the purchase of twenty-two modern patrol vessels with the help of the Internal Affairs Ministry of Ukraine. If all the contract issues are successfully resolved, it will give us an opportunity to completely secure and cover the maritime border,” Tsyhykal added.
The head of the SBGS also said that five towers had already been built on the coast of the Azov Sea to monitor the surface. They should be equipped with visual and radar reconnaissance within a year.
On July 14, 2018, the Internal Affairs Ministry of Ukraine signed a contract with Airbus Helicopters for the purchase of 55 helicopters of the models H225, H145, and H125. The Ministry also plans to buy thirteen An-74, An-32P and An-178 Ukrainian-made aircraft.