New money for ammunition in the west

Die United States are trying to remedy the chronic lack of ammunition for war equipment of all kinds with new powers for the Pentagon. The bipartisan draft National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) gives the Department of Defense permission to place orders for the purchase of munitions over a period of several years, rather than authorizing replenishments annually.

The military outfitters should expand their production capacity with this financial security. Pentagon buyers have long advocated devolving these powers. The because of the deliveries to the Ukraine dramatically declining ammunition supplies have eased Pentagon lobbying.

Congress has been reluctant to grant such powers. The American military is known for its inefficiency and lack of transparency, as well as its ability to strike. The military failed the financial audit mandated by Congress for five consecutive years. The NDAA has earmarked $2 billion to expand ammunition production capacity. In addition, there are another 2.7 billion dollars for their acquisition. The beneficiaries of the latest decision are the manufacturers RaytheonLockheed Martin and Boeing.

Americans are big arms suppliers

Overall, the NDAA plans $858 billion for 2023. That’s 8 percent more than the previous year and $45 billion more than the White House wanted. However, the fate of the law depends on the parties agreeing on a budget law by December 16. If all goes well, the US could nearly triple production of conventional artillery shells (155mm) from 14,000 rounds a month now to 40,000 a month within the next three years. According to Defensenews, the US has supplied 1 million artillery shells to Ukraine alone. Together, the Allies have supplied Ukraine with five annual productions of Javelins (bazookas) and 13 annual productions of Stingers (portable anti-aircraft weapons).

In Germany, the lack of ammunition is probably even more serious. Military officials estimate the ammunition needs of the armed forces up to 30 billion euros. That would be significantly more than a fifth of the 100 billion euro special fund for the equipment of the Bundeswehr. After representatives of the armaments industry met with politicians at the munitions summit in the Chancellery a few days ago, Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD) reported to Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) that she needed more money – the budget had only been approved a few days earlier. At the same time, armaments managers complain about a lack of transparency in demand planning. the military.

Rheinmetall will deliver later this year

In its meeting on November 30, the Budget Committee of the Bundestag approved the proposal for the procurement of more than 600,000 rounds of medium-caliber ammunition for the Bundeswehr’s Puma infantry fighting vehicle. The Düsseldorf outfitter announced on Thursday Rheinmetall that a framework agreement has been concluded. The order has a volume of 576 million euros, the first 25,000 cartridges are to be called off by the end of the year. The order is intended to secure supplies for the NATO Rapid Reaction Force. But cartridges are also needed for exercises and the training of Panzergrenadier troops.

Rheinmetall announced weeks ago that it would secure additional ammunition capacities by taking over the Spanish ammunition manufacturer Expal. The M-Dax group itself has a large ammunition plant in Unterlüß in Lower Saxony, and the company also produces ammunition in South Africa and Italy and plans to do so in Hungary as well.

Disagreements with Switzerland

Switzerland was also an important supplier of ammunition. According to figures from the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (Seco), Swiss industry delivered projectiles to Germany for almost CHF 27 million between January and the end of September. Rheinmetall also has locations there that the company actually wanted to expand. But the Düsseldorf project has been delayed.

Reason: Switzerland tightened the War Material Act more than a year ago. Since then, foreign transactions are not approved if the destination country is involved in a war. This arrangement has already fueled tensions with NATO after planned shipments of ammunition to Ukraine were blocked. According to information from Swiss radio SRF and NZZ, Rheinmetall is already beginning to relocate production lines abroad.

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