POLITICS + GOVERNMENT

As the war in Ukraine continues, Utah business leaders lend a hand

Apr 12, 2023, 5:24 PM | Updated: Jan 5, 2024, 12:59 pm

The war in Ukraine continues, Utah Aerospace and Defense Association plays an important role in the...

A Ukrainian soldier of a mobile air defence unit demonstrates his skills at the Antonov airport in Hostomel, on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, April 1, 2023. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

SALT LAKE CITY — As leaders in Ukraine plan to rebuild losses from the war, dozens of companies with the Utah Aerospace and Defense Association lend a helping hand. 

Aaron Starks, CEO of the Utah Aerospace and Defense Association, joined Inside Sources with guest hosts Marty Carpenter and Taylor Morgan to discuss the ongoing efforts. 

“This is a generational opportunity. We’ll never be able to help another country rebuild in the way we can with Ukraine in this industry,” Starks said. 

He goes on to say that Ukraine’s situation is unique because the association is working with a blank canvas. 

“It is a blank canvas. We can go in there because they’re rebuilding from scratch,” Starks explained. “So we can go in and say, ‘Look, let’s take a look at your air defense ecosystem; let’s look at your ground base radar systems.” 

Ukraine has an opportunity to take a look at legislative efforts and rebuilding business policies that are now in place, Starks added. 

One company the Utah Aerospace and Defense Association has been partnering with in efforts to help Ukraine is Fortem Technologies, which manufactures ground base radar systems using artificial intelligence. 

“If it detects through this artificial intelligence something coming through the atmosphere that is threatening, it will automatically deploy an autonomous drone that will go out and intercept another drone in mid-air through a net capture, and then tow it away so there’s no collateral damage below,” Starks said.

The technology was first introduced to Ukraine four months ago and is already impacting and shaping the country’s war efforts. 

Starks closed the conversation by saying the statewide effort of the Utah Aerospace and Defense Association to become the world’s premier ecosystem in aerospace, defense and security companies is well underway. 

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As the war in Ukraine continues, Utah business leaders lend a hand