Ambassador Vadym Prystaiko of Ukraine in the UK visited NP Aerospace in Coventry on 10th July to thank staff responsible for manufacturing life-saving armour to support the frontline and to present a significant art initiative which aims to raise funds for charity.
The Ambassador was joined by key military and Government contacts, the Lord Mayor of Coventry and members of the Coventry Ukrainian Community.
Since 2022, with the support of NATO Governments, NP Aerospace has delivered and is on contract for over 90,000 sets of body armour plates. In addition, more than 86,000 NP Aerospace helmets and 80 Mastiff and Wolfhound Mine Protected Vehicles have been delivered in support of the Ukrainian effort, along with extensive demining and EOD equipment.
The ArtArmor initiative entitled ‘Spiritual Custom’ was set up by Ukrainian MP Oleksandr Kovalchuk, working with multiple artists, to highlight the importance of life-saving military support from around the world. Oleksandr joined the visit virtually from a Ukrainian military hospital alongside doctors, patients and volunteers. The artists involved painted several ballistic armour plates which have saved the lives of Ukrainians since the conflict started. Each plate was shot and did its job by stopping the bullets from penetrating, saving the life of the Ukrainian soldier wearing them.
James Kempston, CEO, NP Aerospace, commented: “It was an important moment for our staff to see the ‘reveal’ of these plates, as sometimes you forget when you’re making something, that it has a purpose, and in this case, the purpose is to save someone’s life. The data on the back of the plate painted by ArtArmor allows us to see who exactly in this factory worked on this plate and ultimately saved the life of a Ukrainian soldier.”
Vadym Prystaiko, Ambassador of Ukraine in the UK, commented: “We’ve been working with NP Aerospace for over a year, this is our way of saying thank you to not only the leadership team but everyone in the company that has made these plates. You can see the sparkle in people’s eyes when they touch a product they have made, come back after saving a life, making it a very spiritual thing.”
The painted plates are due to be auctioned for charity in October 2023 and were showcased to more than 100 staff in Coventry who have worked on armour developments to support Ukraine, in conjunction with NP Aerospace global employees in North America. NP Aerospace donated 30 sets of armour plates and carrier vests for Ukraine during the Ambassador’s visit.