December 19, 2023
As part of Rinat Akhmetov’s Steel Front military initiative, Metinvest Group has given the airborne divisions of Ukraine’s armed forces a batch of equipment that will help to conduct naval special operations and defend the country’s maritime borders. These include 10 high-speed 9-11 metre RIB boats, 12 trailers for transporting them and 800 self-inflating life jackets. The total value of the batch is UAH53 million.

The RIB boats have inflatable sides and rigid bottoms, which are particularly valued by armed forces of various countries for their lightness, practicality and speed, along with excellent seaworthiness. In addition, given their design, the boats do not require special mooring equipment, which improves their operability in emergencies.

A Ukrainian soldier with the call sign “Student” commented: “These boats are extremely light and fast due to their engine power. A group can go ashore and, seconds later, into the water, and fulfil combat missions. A particular thank-you to Metinvest for the specialised trailers for these boats.”

Notably, the trailers alleviate work even more and allow operations to be carried out instantly. The soldiers explain that they enable boats to enter the water directly from the shore without the need for additional unloading equipment such as a crane. It took a long time to find the boats and trailers, as the soldiers needed particular specifications.

Oleksandr Vodoviz, head of Metinvest’s Project Office, said: “We considered several options and were looking for boats all over the world. It took around four months. We settled on one European manufacturer that could provide both the appropriate quality and delivery. These boats accommodate 10-12 people and are designed for use by defence forces in amphibious operations on the Black Sea.”

Additionally, Metinvest has provided marines with special vests. They automatically inflate on contact with water and are essential for preserving health and life, as they also have a special insulated hood, which is vital in cold weather.

Since the first days of the full-scale invasion, Rinat Akhmetov’s Metinvest has already allocated UAH4 billion to support Ukraine’s armed forces and citizens. More than UAH2 billion of this has gone to soldiers as part of the Steel Front initiative. The Group has manufactured and given armoured shields for 200 frontline vehicles and more than 300 steel dugouts, as well as purchased more than 500 vehicles, over 1,500 drones, almost 2,000 thermal imagers and 875 units of communication equipment for the military.

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