08:28 25 Jan 2023

US to increase artillery production sixfold for Ukraine – NYT

Photo: The New York Times

The US Department of Defense plans to increase artillery ammunition production by 500%, producing 90,000 shells every month for two years, The New York Times reports.

"The Pentagon is racing to boost its production of artillery shells by 500 percent within two years, pushing conventional ammunition production to levels not seen since the Korean War as it invests billions of dollars to make up for shortfalls caused by the war in Ukraine and to build up stockpiles for future conflicts," the publication says.

The effort, including expanding plants and bringing in new manufacturers, is part of "the most aggressive modernization effort in nearly 40 years," the Army report said.

The publication reports that "while the Pentagon has focused on fighting wars with small numbers of more expensive precision-guided weapons, Ukraine is largely relying on howitzers firing unguided shells."

Photo: The New York Times

The NYT notes that the US Army produced 14,400 unguided projectiles per month before russia's invaded Ukraine on February 24.

However, the need to supply the Armed Forces of Ukraine prompted the Pentagon leadership to triple production in September and then double it again in January to eventually produce 90,000 or more shells per month.

"The Army's decision to expand its artillery production is the clearest sign yet that the United States plans to back Ukraine no matter how long the war continues," the NYT article says.

As the publication stressed, the United States has provided Ukraine with not just the 155-millimeter shells for howitzers but also "guided rockets for HIMARS launchers, thousands of antiaircraft and anti-tank missiles, and more than 100 million rounds for small arms."

Artillery shells can't be produced as fast as consumer goods. Even though newer technology and automation may contribute to increasing production, the process is the same, the NYT reports.

Due to this, the US Defense Department will allocate funds to new facilities to make artillery ammunition. The department is spending around $1 billion a year over the next 15 years to modernize government-owned artillery production to increase automation, improve worker safety, and make shells faster.

"We are really working closely with industry to both increase their capacity and also the speed at which they're able to produce," Christine Wormuth, the secretary of the Army, said last month, adding that this includes identifying "particular components that are sort of choke points" and "sourcing those to try to be able to move things more quickly."

If you have found a spelling error, please, notify us by selecting that text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

Add comment

E-mail is already registered on the site. Please use the Login form or enter another.

You entered an incorrect username or password

Sorry, you must be logged in to post a comment.

Spelling error report

The following text will be sent to our editors: