(USNewsBreak.com) – The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) ensures its members have what they need to defend their territories successfully. To that end, the alliance regularly purchases weapons and ammunition to stock up the bloc. It recently completed a $1-billion-plus deal intended to achieve this goal and more.
On Tuesday, January 23, NATO issued a news release stating General Manager of NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) Stacy Cummings and Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg wrapped up contracts for approximately 220,000 rounds of 155-millimeter artillery shells totaling $1.2 billion. The ammunition, the most popular type sought after, will restock allies and provide Ukraine with additional rounds. However, the delivery of the ammunition isn’t a fast endeavor. Suppliers expect to take two to three years before delivering the rounds to NATO clients.
Speaking of the deal, Stoltenberg said that the Russo-Ukraine war “has become a battle for ammunition,” stressing the importance of not only stocking up allied members but also “continu[ing] to support” the war-torn country. This point has become especially true because Russia has a more robust arms industry and is expending far more munition rounds than its neighbor.
The European Union has also committed to producing more artillery rounds, up to one million annually, a goal it plans to reach by the end of this year. Over the summer of 2023, both sides in the war were firing tens of thousands of rounds daily. Stoltenberg said Russia cannot win because it “would be a tragedy for the Ukrainians and dangerous for all of us,” per The Associated Press.
Since July 2023, when the member nations approved the Defence Production Action Plan, the NSPA has signed several contracts and begun working on others. So far, the agency has agreed to spend $5.5 billion on 1,000 Patriot missiles and another $4 billion on anti-tank guided missiles, 155-millimeter artillery, and tank ammunition. It’s due to sign another contract this year to purchase half a dozen E-7A Wedgetail aircraft.
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