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US Plans Threefold Hike in 155mm Shell Production

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The Pentagon is planning an over threefold increase in the production of 155mm artillery rounds from next year.

The US plans to produce 80,000 rounds per year from the current 24,000, Pentagon Press Secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said last week.

The planned increase is aimed at further bolstering Ukraine’s firepower against Russian forces while also fulfilling US requirements.

“So in — in terms of 155, we provided to date over two million 155 mm ammo rounds to Ukraine since the start of the fight,” Ryder revealed in a press conference.

“We’ve also enabled a rapid increase in 155 ammo production. So from 14,000 a month in February of ’22 to approximately 24,000 a month currently, and we plan to be at over 80,000 a month over the following year.”

Ukraine’s Artillery Consumption

The US has seen a dramatic increase in the production of 155mm rounds since the start of the Ukraine war.

However, Ukraine’s artillery shell requirement far outstrips its supply, with a daily consumption of an estimated 6,000 to 8,000 155mm shells, Ukrainian parliamentary member Oleksandra Ustinova told The Associated Press in April.

In a bid to bridge the gap, Washington in July announced the delivery of controversial cluster munitions to Ukraine as an alternative.

The Road Ahead

To increase production, the US is requiring new production lines be opened for shells and charges, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology Douglas Bush said last week.

Additionally, investment is required in packing the shells with explosives.

“So all of those things do have to come together,” Bush said.

“There are always risks in that. But I think we’re getting the resources, getting on contract, and just working really closely every day with our industry partners, trying to help them knock down barriers to get there.”

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