- In the US weapons industry, the normal production level for artillery rounds for the 155-millimeter howitzer, a long-range heavy artillery weapon used currently on the battlefields of Ukraine, is around 30,000 rounds per year in peacetime.
- In approximately two weeks, the Ukrainian soldiers fighting to invade Russian forces go through that amount. That is according to Dave Des Roches, an associate professor and senior military fellow at the US National Defense University, and he is worried.
Des Roches said that he was greatly concerned. Unless they have new production, which takes months to ramp up, they will not be able to supply the Ukrainians.
Europe is running low, too. Earlier this month, Josep Borrell, the EU’s high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, said that the military stocks of most European NATO member states have been. He was not exhausted but depleted in a high proportion because they had given the Ukrainians a lot of capacity.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg held a special meeting of the alliance’s arms directors on 27th September to discuss ways to refill the weapons stockpiles of the member nations.
Military analysts point to the main issue, i.e., Western nations have been producing arms at much smaller volumes during peacetime, with governments opting to slim down very expensive manufacturing and only producing weapons as needed.
Some of the weapons running low are no longer being produced, and highly skilled labor and experience are required for their production, which has been in short supply across the US manufacturing sector for years.
Stoltenberg said during the UN General Assembly of last week that NATO members need to reinvest in their industrial bases in the arms sector.
Stoltenberg said they are now working with industry to increase the production of weapons and ammunition. He added that countries needed to encourage arms makers to expand their capacity longer term by putting in more weapons orders.
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