U.S. plans to increase production of ammunition for Ukraine
On Tuesday, February 6, U.S. Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition Douglas Bush said that the US military intends to double the production of key ammunition used in Ukraine by October 2024
Defense One reports.
According to a report presented at an event by the CSIS think tank, the production of 155mm artillery shells in the United States is expected to increase from 28,000 last October - the last month for which exact figures were released - to about 37,000 in April and about 60,000 in October 2024.
The United States plans to rapidly increase production in 2025, from about 75,000 missiles in April to 100,000 in October.
According to Bush, this planned increase is partly due to the construction of a new plant in Texas, which will "have an entirely new way of making the shell, using entirely new tech we've never used before."
A shortage of ammunition, especially large-caliber 155 mm artillery shells, is hampering Ukraine's ability to respond to Russian attacks.
According to the publication, Ukrainian forces are currently firing about 2,000 shells a day, which is about one-fifth of Russia's rate. The United States has struggled to match Ukraine’s immense munitions needs while not running down its own supplies to dangerously low levels.
"If larger stockpiles are a way to mitigate risk for an extended conventional conflict, then that needs to be looked at," Bush said.
Bush added that investments in 155-mm shell production will help increase the US ability to produce other caliber shells. Thanks to the Ukraine-related investments, the US will have a "much healthier" industrial base for all types of conventional munitions.
However, the ability to produce 100,000 rounds per month depends on whether Congress can overcome political differences.
- The day before, the Biden administration and a bipartisan group of senators reached a $118.2 billion border deal that includes aid to Ukraine and Israel. According to Ukraine's ambassador to the United States, Oksana Markarova, the bill may be voted on in the United States on February 7.