US to Boost Artillery Production Sixfold With Eye on Ukraine

The US Department of Defense will increase production of artillery shells by 500 percent to replenish stockpiles sent to Ukraine, according to a report by The New York Times.

Before Russia’s invasion on February 24, the US produced 14,000 unguided shells per month.

The number was reportedly sufficient for the US military to support its combat needs.

However, the administration of President Joe Biden has provided billions in weapons and equipment to Kyiv, prompting the increase in artillery production.

According to the US Army’s top acquisition official, the service will now produce 90,000 or more shells per month to continue providing its European ally with the support it needs.

The massive increase will also increase stockpiles for possible future conflicts.

Investing $1 Billion Per Year

According to the report, the US will spend roughly $1 billion annually to fund new facilities that can produce artillery ammunition.

The budget will also be used to modernize ordnance production sites, increase automation, and improve worker safety over 15 years.

US Army Secretary Christine Wormuth said last month that the Pentagon is working closely with the defense industry to increase capacity and speed production.

Assistant Secretary Douglas R. Bush explained that the increase in production is vital since the US maintains significant reserves of weapons and ammunition for future wars.

“In previous conflicts, we had stockpiles that were sufficient for the conflict,” he told The New York Times. “In this case, we’re seeking to increase production to both maintain our stockpile for some other contingency but also supply an ally. So it’s a bit of a new situation.”

‘Not Backing Down’

The US decision to drastically expand artillery production indicates that the country will not back down from helping Ukraine, no matter how long the war lasts.

The US has provided 155-millimeter shells for Ukrainian howitzers and guided rockets for its High Mobility Artillery Rocket System.

Its latest $2.5-billion aid package includes much more such ammunition.

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