Pentagon Orders Five-Fold Increase In Artillery Production For Ukraine

As a result of supply depletions caused by U.S. support of Ukraine, the Pentagon has announced plans to increase its production of artillery ammunition by 500% over the next two years. The New York Times reports the military said the procurement is necessary due to the millions of shells that have been sent to the government of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to aid in the defense against the almost year-long Russian invasion.

Since Russia’s military incursion into Ukraine, the U.S. has pledged to provide over one million 155mm artillery shells to the country. Before the increase in production, the U.S. Army produced 14,400 155mm shells per month. However, the new plan expects the monthly production to reach over 90,000.

The U.S. military-industrial complex will undergo a significant transformation to reach this goal, with factories being expanded and new producers being brought on board. The Army report describes the plan as “the most aggressive modernization effort in nearly 40 years.”

The 155mm shells fired from Howitzers are made up of parts produced by multiple arms manufacturers, including steel bodies from General Dynamics and explosives mixed by BAE Systems. American Ordnance pours the explosives into the bodies, and other contractors produce the fuzes that are inserted into the shells.

These plans demonstrate the U.S.’s commitment to supporting Ukraine against Russia long-term, indicating that peace is not expected in the region anytime soon. However, there are concerns about the program’s feasibility, as U.S. military officials are worried about the ability to arm both the U.S. and Ukraine simultaneously as the conflict continues.

Due to the high demand for artillery, the U.S. has had to turn to a secret stockpile of weapons kept in Israel and has requested supplies from U.S. forces stationed in South Korea.

As the U.S. continues to support Ukraine, some are questioning the decision to compromise America’s defense infrastructure at a time when the domestic border is in disarray, with millions of illegal aliens streaming into the country annually. Moreover, with the U.S. committing to providing military support to a country thousands of miles away, the long-term impact on defense readiness at home is entirely unknown.