The Pentagon is planning the biggest upgrade of the defense industry in 40 years

Since the start of Russia’s war with Ukraine, the Pentagon has increased production of artillery shells sixfold to provide military aid to Ukraine. And in the next two years, the US military department plans to increase its production by another 500%. This is reported by The New York Times (NYT).

In this way, the US plans to make up for the deficit caused by the war in Ukraine and create reserves for future conflicts. As a result, US ammunition production will increase to Korean War levels by 2025. The Pentagon intends to undertake “the most aggressive modernization” of the US defense industry in nearly 40 years, the publication indicates.

Prior to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the US produced 14,400 unguided rockets per month. This was enough to arm the US military, but now Washington regularly supplies weapons to the Armed Forces of Ukraine. So, the Pentagon tripled the production of shells in September, and then – Twice more in January. Ultimately, the US produces 90,000 or more oysters each month, writes the NYT.

In addition to unguided rockets for the howitzers, the United States also supplies Ukraine with guided missiles for the HIMARS launcher, thousands of anti-aircraft and anti-tank missiles, and more than 100 million rounds of small arms.

In September, the United States had already faced a shortage of some of the shells that Kyiv had asked to supply, CNN wrote. It was then mainly around 155-mm artillery ammunition and the Stinger man-portable anti-aircraft system. Some of the agency’s interlocutors also talked about the possibility of a dwindling stock of HARM anti-radar missiles, GMLRS surface-to-ground missiles and Javelin man-portable anti-tank systems.

The Wall Street Journal wrote in late December that Ukraine was expending shells “at a rate not seen since World War II”. According to him, the army fires around 6,000 shells a day. At the same time, the military production potential of the EU countries is not enough to ensure such an expenditure of weapons.

In the United States, the production of shells so far cannot be compared with the volumes of the Second World War period, writes NYT. The Pentagon relies on the capacity of six state ammunition factories. Whereas by the end of World War II, there were about 85 arms factories in the states.

The decision to increase production shows that Washington is indeed prepared to support Ukraine, no matter how long the war lasts, the NYT reports. The Ministry of Defense plans to spend about $1 billion per year on the production of artillery ammunition over the next 15 years. This will accelerate the production of ammunition. Since August alone, Congress has allocated $1.9 billion to the military for these purposes.

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