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US Congress doubles spending on artillery ammunition production

US Congress doubles spending on artillery ammunition production Illustrative photo (Getty Images)
Author: Liliana Oleniak

The US Congress has doubled funding for the purchase and production of 155-millimeter artillery shells to replenish stocks depleted by supplies to Ukraine and now Israel. In total, up to $6 billion has been allocated for the production of ammunition, according to Reuters.

Demand for 155-millimeter artillery shells has risen sharply since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022. Allies' stockpiles for their defense have been depleted as they have rushed to supply Kyiv, which fires thousands of shells a day.

By my math, the supplemental, we asked for about $3.1 billion related to 155 production and production increases. We appear to have gotten $6 billion. So that, I think, is a vote of confidence as we make our way to 100,000 shells a month." Doug Bush, the chief weapons buyer for the US Army, says.

The US Army included $3.1 billion for artillery shells and production expansion in the recently signed $95 billion supplemental spending bill.

According to Bush, the United States plans to increase the monthly production of 155-millimeter artillery shells to 100,000 units of ammunition by the summer of 2025.

Ammunition for Ukraine

At the end of February, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba called for a ban on the export of ammunition from Europe to countries outside the bloc, except for Ukraine. This was due to the growing shortage of ammunition for the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

In addition, Czechia organized a coalition of more than a dozen countries to purchase ammunition for Ukraine. In particular, in mid-February 2024, Czech President Petr Pavel said that the Czech Republic had found 800,000 155 mm and 122 mm caliber shells for Ukraine.

Recently, it has been reported that at the initiative of Czechia, ammunition purchased from non-EU countries may arrive in Ukraine as early as June.

According to The Washington Post, Kyiv has begun to produce its own mortar and artillery shells of the Soviet standard 122 mm and 152 mm caliber.