Ukraine's state enterprise Ukroboronservice is upgrading five BTR-80 armoured personnel carriers (APCs) at its own expense, in a bid to strengthen the country's defences.
Ukroboronservice director Sergey Mykytyuk said the company will upgrade four BTR-80 units and one similar vehicle, and then transfer them to the Ukrainian Army.
"Being under the difficult conditions for the state we, as special exporters, will contribute as much as possible to [the] army's rearmament and defence-industry development," Mykytyuk said.
Carried out by Kyiv Armoured Plant specialists, the work on the first four units is scheduled to be completed within two months, while more time is required for the overhaul of the fifth.
Decisions regarding the usage of the vehicles are expected to be made by the management of military structures, according to the company.
Manufactured by the Arzamas machinery construction plant of Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, the BTR-80 8x8 APC is designed for troop transport, close-fire support, reconnaissance, and combat support and patrol missions.
It is currently used by units that are incorporated with the Ukrainian Land Forces and Naval Infantry of Naval Forces.
Ukraine is currently battling a pro-Russian uprising in the eastern part of the country, including in the cities of Donetsk, Luhansk and Kharkiv, where activists have seized government buildings and called for a referendum on secession from the country.
Having already lost the Crimean peninsula to Russia last month, the country has vowed to resolve the crisis, either through talks or by force, in the next two days.
Image: The BTR-80 vehicle is designed to carry personnel on the battlefield and provide close fire support. Photo: courtesy of Ukroboronprom.