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US opens plant to produce 155mm shells for Ukraine

US opens plant to produce 155mm shells for Ukraine A plant for the production of 155-mm shells for Ukraine was opened in Texas (Getty Images)
Author: Maria Kholina

The US Army has opened a new plant for the production of 155mm artillery shells in Mesquite, Texas. The facility will produce about 30,000 shells per month for 155mm guns, which are crucial for Kyiv's military operations, citing The New York Times.

To ensure the supply of artillery units for Ukraine, the Pentagon last year set a goal of producing 100,000 shells per month by the end of 2025. This goal represents nearly a tenfold increase in production compared to several years ago.

Plants in Scranton and Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, together produce about 36,000 shells per month. The new General Dynamics facility in Mesquite, Texas, will produce 30,000 units per month when fully operational. The defense firm IMT from Ohio is expected to make up the difference.

New plant

The enterprise, costing over $500 million, was funded by additional expenditures for the fiscal years 2022 and 2023 and includes advanced manufacturing technologies and automation for producing large-caliber metal parts.

Less than a year ago, the outskirts here in North Texas were just a muddy field. But thanks to millions of dollars from Congress, American defense firm General Dynamics managed to open the plant roughly 10 months after construction began.

Even as the first production line for 155mm shells was being completed at the Mesquite plant, workers were already setting up the second line in the same building.

The Mesquite plant will create about 350 jobs in the local economy when it reaches full production capacity next year.

Shells for Ukraine

Demand for 155mm artillery shells surged after the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. However, allies' stocks for their own defense were depleted.

William LaPlante, the Pentagon's chief procurement officer, stated that the U.S. has provided Kyiv with over three million 155mm shells since the war began in February 2022.

According to NATO Secretary General, Ukraine was firing between 4,000 and 7,000 such shells daily for several months in 2023 before infighting among Republicans in the House of Representatives delayed further funding for supplies. Large shipments of American artillery ammunition resumed in April after Congress passed a $61 billion aid package for Ukraine.