Czech, Ukrainian Companies Team Up For New Missile Engine

 AI-PBS 350, a 675-lb.-thrust turbojet engine
Credit: PBS Group

LE BOURGET—A Czech turbojet manufacturer has agreed to team up with a Ukrainian aircraft engine company to produce a new engine to power cruise missiles, anti-ship missiles and large uncrewed aircraft systems. 

The memorandum of understanding signed on June 19 between PBS Group and Ukraine’s Ivchenko-Progress launches joint development of the AI-PBS 350, a 675-lb.-thrust turbojet engine. 

“We see a bright future for the product,” says Adam Vysocky, director of product and business development for PBS, who unveiled an engine model at the Paris Air Show. 

The AI-PBS will offer twice the thrust of the TJ200, which was previously the Czech’s largest turbojet. Ivchenko-Progress is known for producing small turbofan engines, such as the AI-222, and a wide range of turboprops for Russian helicopters. But the Ukrainian company has not produced a turbojet engine before.

“We understand both of our companies have to do a lot of work to make this engine competitive in this market," Ivchenko-Progress CEO Igor Kravchenko says.

The AI-PBS 350 engine falls into the same size category as Kratos Turbine Technologies' family of turbojet engines in the 700-900-lb.-thrust class. But the Czech-Ukrainian model is advertised with a thrust-to-weight ratio of 6.8-to-1.

The schedule for delivering the new engine has not been disclosed. Ukrainian industry has been working on developing new, long-range weapons for the war against Russia. In April 2022, the Ukrainian military sunk the Moskva, the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea fleet, with the Luch Design Bureau’s Neptune anti-ship missile, which is powered by the 400-lb.-thrust-class Motor Sich MS400 turbojet.

Steve Trimble

Steve covers military aviation, missiles and space for the Aviation Week Network, based in Washington DC.