Boosting howitzer ammo for Ukraine

A year into efforts to boost production of 155mm artillery rounds for Ukraine, the U.S. and EU states are seeing radically different results. U.S. output has increased faster than forecast while European output has been slowed by the consensus-focused nature of NATO and the EU. [node:read-more:link]

Tomahawks approved for Japan

The U.S. State Department has approved a potential $2.4-billion sale to Japan of 400 RTX Tomahawk cruise missiles and associated systems and training. The department said today that Tomahawks, which can strike targets at a published 1,600 kilometres, have “significant standoff range that can neutralize growing threats.” [node:read-more:link]

Ukraine running short of fires

Ukrainian forces have been burning through 240,000 rounds of 155mm howitzer rounds a month but security of supply now is an issue as the U.S. has begun sending Israel stocks originally meant. The number of rounds being sent to Israel is reportedly close to U.S. monthly production capacity and EU states have emptied their bunkers. [node:read-more:link]

NATO pushes Ukraine support

Amid uncertainty about the durability of support for Ukraine with Russia’s invasion now in its 21st month, the NATO Military Committee met last week with the NATO-Ukraine Council. “Supporting Ukraine is in our own security interest, because the world would be a more dangerous place if President Putin gets what he wants,” said Dutch Admiral Rob Bauer. “NATO must remain committed to providing support, so that Ukraine can prevail as a sovereign nation.” [node:read-more:link]

European industries push back

Complaints by EU officials earlier this week that their industries had fallen short on munitions for Ukraine have been rebuffed by the Aerospace, Security & Defence Industries Association of Europe. “The double challenge for industry today – after decades-long underinvestment and the subsequent reduction of manufacturing capacities – is to ramp up production both to support Ukraine and to replenish and reinforce the stocks of armed forces in Europe (ammunition is only one element),” it said. “It is a complex process that requires meticulous long-term planning.” [node:read-more:link]

Ukraine ammo promise unfulfilled

European Union officials have acknowledged that several states have not fulfilled a commitment to send Ukraine a million rounds of ammunition because their suppliers have prioritized exports rather than increase output. “The one million will not be reached […] unfortunately” German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius said November 14, adding that he was warned some time ago that there could be problems. [node:read-more:link]

Germany replenishing anti-tank weapons

MBDA, the French-based multinational missile manufacturer, has resumed production of Cold War-era PanzerAbwehrRichtMine anti-tank munitions after Germany ordered thousands to replace stocks delivered to Ukraine at a cost of €68 million. “PARM will help Germany, as well as other nations, develop and expand their area-denial capabilities,” the company says. [node:read-more:link]

Major air defence deal

British and Polish companies have finalized an agreement to spend more than US$4.9 billion to develop a “next generation” extended-range air defence system for Poland. The British defence ministry says the aim is a system which could deal with threats “such as cruise missiles and fighter jets, at ranges of more than 40 kilometres.” [node:read-more:link]

Suspected arms shipments protested

Hundreds of pro-Palestinian demonstrators rallied at the Washington state port of Tacoma November 7 to protest a military supply vessel they had been told would be shipping weapons and materiel to Israel. A Defense Department would say only that the ship was being used to support the “movement of U.S. military cargo.” [node:read-more:link]

Russia tests sub-launched ICBM

Just days after formally withdrawing from the 1996 Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, Russia confirmed that it had test-launched an intercontinental ballistic missile from one of its newest submarines November 5. U.S. officials said it was launched off Russia’s northwest coast and struck a target thousands of kilometres away in the country’s remote northeast. [node:read-more:link]

Nuclear quip annoys Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suspended his Heritage Minister from cabinet meetings November 5 for seemingly being receptive to the idea of a nuclear strike against Gaza. When asked during a broadcast interview about such a possibility, Amihay Eliyahu replied “that’s one way.” [node:read-more:link]

Putin signs nuclear reversal

As expected after both houses of parliament approved legislation last month, President Vladimir Putin today signed off on withdrawing Russia’s ratification of the 1996 Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. The U.S. signed but never ratified the pact and Putin has said that despite growing international concern, he simply wants Russia on the same page. [node:read-more:link]

Longer-range missiles urged for Ukraine

Hawks within the U.S. Republican Party are urging President Joe Biden to send longer-range missiles to Ukraine, a show of support in the face of pushback from other members of Congress. In a letter dated November, the members of the foreign relations and armed services committees welcomed the administration’s provision of limited-range missiles but want the government to up its game. [node:read-more:link]

Russia importing ammunition?

The South Korean Intelligence Service believes that North Korea has shipped more than a million artillery shells to Russia since August but Pyongyang and Moscow have denied the claim. Lawmaker Yoo Sang-bum said after a briefing November 1 that munitions would represent two months of supplies for the Russians. [node:read-more:link]

Israel downs ballistic missile

A ballistic missile believed to have been fired from Yemen was intercepted over the Red Sea today by Israel’s Arrow defence system, its first use since Hamas attacked October 7. An earlier attack, also claimed by Houthi rebels in Yemen, was downed by the U.S. Navy. [node:read-more:link]


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