Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Ukraine, United States begin to scrap Scud missiles stored in Vinnytsia region

September 21, 2010 (Interfax-Ukraine). Ukraine and the United States have begun to dismantle around 200 9K72 Scud missiles decommissioned in 1997 and stored at the 48th ammunition arsenal of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry in Vinnytsia region, the ministry said in a statement. The project, which is estimated at $2 million, is funded by the United States. The work is being conducted by Ukraine's Commonwealth Corporation under the supervision of Global Offshore Projects.Director General of Commonwealth Corporation Vasyl Mitishov said that around 200 missiles were to be dismantled at the arsenal within over five months. After the dismantling, elements of missile systems will be transferred to Ukrainian steel mills for melting and further sale as scrap metal. The Defense Ministry said that over 2,000 tonnes of scrap metal would be received after the recycling of missiles.Deputy Defense Minister Volodymyr Omelianchuk said that funds received from the sale of scrap metal would be sent to the ministry's special fund and then be used for the disposal of excess ammunition. He said that over 10,000 tonnes of ammunition had already been removed from the 48th military arsenal in 2010, and added that the base was to be liquidated in four years. As reported, the cooperation program was signed in the framework of the November 2009 Memorandum of Understanding between the Ukrainian Defense Ministry and the U.S. State Department.According to the document, the contractor of the project is U.S. Controlled Demolition, Inc. Implementation of the program on the elimination and disposal in Ukraine Scud missiles is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2015. In 1993 Ukraine and the U.S. reached a framework agreement to provide assistance in the elimination of strategic nuclear weapons.In 1998 the United States and Ukraine signed an intergovernmental memorandum of understanding on issues related to the regime of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). As reported, cooperation on the program to scrap and recycle Scud missile systems is carried out under a memorandum of understanding between the Ukrainian Defense Ministry and the U.S. Department of State signed in November 2009.According to the document, Controlled Demolition, Inc. is a contractor in the project. Three state-run companies and one private company are Ukrainian subcontractors, according to results of a tender. The project to eliminate and recycle Scud missile systems is to be completed by the end of 2015.