UK defense committee chair calls for ‘massive arms factory’ in Poland

By Grzegorz Adamczyk
2 Min Read

The construction of a major arms factory in Poland would transform procurement for Ukraine’s forces and could be necessary to make the Ukrainian war effort more sustainable and less dependent on Western aid, a U.K. Conservative MP has told Britain’s Telegraph newspaper.

In an interview with the newspaper, Tobias Ellwood, who also chairs the U.K. parliament’s defense select committee, argued Western governments have demonstrated a lack of strategic foresight in their plans for helping Ukraine. He welcomed the decision to deliver Western-made battle tanks but believes the model of transferring weapons to Kyiv with differing supply chains and types of ammunition, was not sustainable in the longer term. 

Tobias Ellwood the British Conservative Party MP and the defense select committee chairman said that building a major arms factory in Poland  could transform Ukraine’s armed forces into a more independent military. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

“It’s just not feasible in the long term.

“Tanks today, yes. But we need a strategy to make sure Ukraine can defend itself,” he said.

The concept being proposed by Ellwood is modeled on a microchip factory opened by Taiwan, which fears a Chinese invasion could cut it off from the West. He argued Ukraine should be helped to do the same so “they can procure their own equipment to their own specification, probably NATO standard, and have a constantly protected supply chain.”

Talks have already opened with Poland over hosting such a facility, and Ellwood proposed that Britain should take a leading role among Western governments to ensure any project is successful.

It is thought Ukraine would be able to use the factory to produce the German-licensed Leopard II tank. The move could also significantly ease pressure on Western arms companies struggling to keep up with the demand of the war in Ukraine, and the need to replenish stocks among NATO’s allies.

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