Aid to fighters 11/17/2023 Read 4 min

Metinvest Launches Production and Supply of Mine Trawls for Ukraine’s Armed Forces

As part of Rinat Akhmetov’s Steel Front initiative, Metinvest Group has launched mass production of mine trawls of a similar design to the KMT-7, which are attached to tanks to neutralise and detonate anti-tank and anti-personnel mines. After passing all the necessary tests with the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine, the trawls were transferred for use to units of the country’s National Guard and armed forces. Metinvest has already started supplying the equipment to the Ukrainian army, and the planned production volume is up to five trawls a month. 

Mine trawls are a purely Ukrainian product made from local steel at the Group’s enterprises in Ukraine. The country’s armed forces have a great need for trawls, given the dense mining by the enemy along the entire front line. In response to a request from the Ukrainian military, Metinvest’s engineers improved the KMT-7 minesweepers, making their own equivalent alternative: paired rollers mounted on tanks for neutralising or detonating anti-tank mines and anti-personnel mines. The cost of manufacturing one trawl is around UAH2.5 million, including additional equipment and installation of the device. 

Our defenders risk their lives every day to overcome minefields, which have become one of the biggest obstacles to our counteroffensive. We want to help to preserve equipment and, most importantly, save the lives of Ukrainian soldiers. As such, we have begun producing mine trawls for the armed forces of Ukraine. They have passed all tests and are already being used in the main flashpoints of the front, detonating mines instead of tanks and armoured vehicles. And this is only the first step for Metinvest in a major project to assist in demining Ukraine. We have done and will continue to do everything to help our country to win and return peace to our land.

— Rinat Akhmetov, shareholder of Metinvest Group

Together with partners, Metinvest began developing the mine trawl project and producing samples in summer 2023. One set of rollers is up to 6.5 tonnes in weight and 3.77 x 3.44 metres in size. According to the standards of Ukraine’s armed forces, one trawl is designed to withstand four to five anti-tank mine explosions. The trawls are attachable to the tanks most used by the country’s armed forces. 

The Group’s mine trawls will be supplied primarily to brigades of the National Guard and ground forces in the main flashpoints on the front. To enable combat brigades to quickly repair trawls after use and return them to action, Metinvest has also launched production of components. Repair kits contain a set of three wheels per trawl, as these parts experience the greatest load and damage during demining work.

When assessing the quality of the mine trawls after field tests, Andriy BELYAEV, commander of the Khortytsia 23rd Separate Public Order Protection Brigade of the National Guard of Ukraine, said: “Mine trawls are an important component of counteroffensive operations. They not only protect the crews of Ukrainian tanks, but also clear paths for infantry. The availability of such equipment, which can be manufactured by Ukrainian enterprises, is critically important for the country during the war. This gives the security and defence forces of Ukraine a reliable rear guard: in this case, Ukrainian metallurgists, miners and engineers of Metinvest, whose work has helped to provide the army with effective mine countermeasures.”

From the first days of the full-scale invasion, Metinvest has placed production on a war footing, systematically helping defenders and arming the Ukrainian army. Over more than a year and a half of military aggression, the Group has already allocated UAH2 billion to support the defenders as part of Rinat Akhmetov’s Steel Front initiative. This has covered 150,000 bulletproof vests (both made at own facilities and purchased), more than 280 mobile shelters, 250 high-precision models of military equipment and more than 30 “lancet catchers”, as well as thousands of drones, thermal imagers, cars, communication equipment and other military equipment. These have been purchased and transferred free of charge to units of Ukraine’s defence forces.