Douglas Bush, who is the Army secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology, said on Friday that not having enough machine tools is hindering the ability to increase the production of weapons to send to Ukraine.
Bush said that the timeline for getting new machine tools “are often the long poles in the tent on getting capacity increased.” Bush went on to say that “These machines are the size of buildings. You don’t just go buy it from a parking lot somewhere.”
Ukraine heavily relies on contributions from the United States and other foreign allies as they use thousands of shells a day to fend off Russian attacks.
European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrel said on February 20th that the Ukraine could lose the war if they do not have adequate access to arms.
The United States does have extensive stockpiles of some key raw materials, like the precursor chemicals for explosives, Bush confirmed.
Bush said that the key question is how much raw material the United States should keep in reserve.
“It’s really a question of how much you can afford to do,” Bush said.
Bush went on to say that increased production in other countries could take some stain off the United States.
The U.S. has provided sizeable amounts of artillery ammunition to Ukraine, sending more than a million 155mm rounds, as per research conducted by Mark Cancian, who is a senior advisor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
U.S. officials announced in April 2022 that they were increasing the production of 155mm shells, which are the most common caliber of the U.S. and NATO-ally artillery guns being dispatched to Ukraine. Production is set to be ramped up to 20,000 shells per month by spring 2023, and 40,000 per month by 2025, Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth said.
Cancian said he fears that even this may not be enough. “This could become a crisis,” Cancian wrote.
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