Unconfirmed: Bulgaria, the US and South Korea will Supply 155 mm Ammunition to Ukraine

Defense | August 1, 2023, Tuesday // 17:30|  views

The United States, together with Bulgaria and South Korea, will supply Ukraine with 155 mm ammunition, the Financial Times reported, quoted by the Ukrainian agency UNIAN and BNR.

The US has signed contracts with Bulgaria and South Korea, and is also trying to convince Japan to join the initiative to supply ammunition to Ukraine.

The US relies on its own production capacity for 155 mm caliber projectiles, as well as on the industries of Bulgaria and South Korea.

Production is planned to increase over the next two years.

US intentions are to increase ammunition production from 24,000 to 90,000 rounds per year.

The administration of US President Joe Biden is seeking to increase the supply of important ammunition to Ukraine to support its counter-offensive against the Russian occupation forces, writes the Financial Times, quoted by bTA.

The British daily notes that US officials say the arms effort is aimed at supplying more 155mm howitzer shells, which Ukraine has all along the front line. They also include supplies from international allies in the short term, along with plans to ramp up production in the US over the next two years.

US officials said the Biden administration had known for months that the rapid rate of ammunition used in Ukraine would begin to deplete supplies and had stepped up efforts to deliver the munitions to the front lines as the war entered a crucial phase. European stocks also ran out. This draws attention to the challenge of rapidly ramping up that production, especially when the US has so far not been focused on it, the paper noted.

Over the past 10 years, the Pentagon has requested to purchase only about 790,000 155mm rounds, mostly for use in training military exercises. That suggests the US has already supplied Ukraine with more than the amount it has procured for 155mm howitzers over the past decade, according to a report by the Center for a New American Security think tank in Washington.

The Financial Times reports that the effort by the US and its allies to secure ammunition comes as Ukraine steps up its weeks-long counter-offensive in the south and east of the country. At the end of last week, Kyiv announced that it had recaptured Staromayorske, a village in southeastern Donetsk region that had been under Russian occupation since the start of the full-scale invasion.

Frontline fighting has largely been reduced to "artillery duels", with both sides in the conflict firing thousands of shells every day, the British newspaper noted.

Read more from the 524th day of the war in Ukraine.

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Tags: Ukraine, ammunition, Bulgaria, South Korea, US


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