The Ammo Race in Ukraine: Western Production Can't Keep Up with Russia

World » UKRAINE | May 26, 2024, Sunday // 11:42
Bulgaria: The Ammo Race in Ukraine: Western Production Can't Keep Up with Russia

A recent analysis by Bain & Company reveals a stark reality: Russia's artillery shell production outpaces that of Ukraine's Western allies by threefold, and at a significantly lower cost. This disparity poses a significant challenge to Ukraine's armed forces, which heavily rely on US and European ammunition supplies to combat the Russian Federation.

The ongoing conflict in Ukraine has been characterized as a "firefight" due to the extensive use of artillery shells. Despite efforts by Kyiv's allies to ramp up production in their factories, Russia's manufacturing capacity still surpasses theirs, despite their combined economic strength outweighing Moscow's.

For every shot fired by Ukrainian soldiers on the front line, Russia can unleash approximately five shells in response. To counter this imbalance, defense forces have adapted by ensuring maximum effectiveness with each attack, aiming to destroy targets with as few shells as possible.

Senior Lieutenant Konstantin, commander of an artillery battery in the 57th Brigade, emphasizes the ongoing need for additional support to effectively deter Russian aggression and make every inch of contested territory costly for Moscow.

The study indicates that Russian factories are on track to produce or refurbish about 4.5 million artillery shells this year, dwarfing the total production of approximately 1.3 million shells in European countries and the United States. Furthermore, while NATO countries spend around 4,000 USD to produce a 155-mm projectile, Russia manages to produce a 152-mm projectile for just 1,000 USD.

A significant concern is the shortage of ammunition during military exercises in Ukraine, forcing soldiers to simulate firing weapons due to insufficient supplies.

Soldier "Bolt" from the 5th Brigade Reconnaissance Battalion expresses gratitude to Western partners for their assistance but underscores the urgent need for additional NATO ammunition.

Experts highlight that the outcome of the conflict may hinge more on factory production lines than on the front lines. Thales' assembly plant in Belfast, where NLAW systems are produced, has doubled its production capacity since the beginning of the year and has the potential for further expansion.

The delay in aid from the United States has directly impacted the situation on the ground, according to President Volodymyr Zelensky. While Ukrainian troops in the Kharkiv region finally received shells to halt Russian advancement, delays in aid delivery have underscored the urgent need for timely support in Ukraine's ongoing battle for sovereignty.

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Tags: artillery, shells, Ukraine, Russia

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