The Pentagon is examining how to meet its supply requirements while still equipping Ukraine.
According to numerous military sources who spoke to the Wall Street Journal on the condition of anonymity, the US military is running low on some types of ammunition after the White House approved and sent billions of dollars in “lethal aid” to Ukraine in February.
Washington has provided Kyiv with a significant amount of ammunition, including up to 806,000 155mm howitzer rounds, in addition to thousands of guns, drones, missiles, artillery platforms, and rocket launchers. Unnamed Pentagon official told the Journal that the latter bombs’ stockpiles are “uncomfortably low.”
“It is not at the level we would like to enter the war,” the official continued, adding that the 155mm rounds had not yet reached “critical” levels because the US is not now directly engaged in any significant conflict.
The Army is conducting a “ammunitions industrial base deep dive” to assess how to sustain its supplies while continuing the current rate of aid to Ukrainian forces due to the drawdown in supplies. Nearly $14 billion in direct weapons shipments from the US to Kyiv have been made in just this one year.
Although the WSJ claims that shortages are not due to a lack of funding, since US President Joe Biden’s latest budget request of $773 billion is likely to cover replenishment costs, the Pentagon has also requested that lawmakers approve $500 million in upgrades for Army ammunition installations.
A senior industry insider told the Journal that while more complex weapons, such as missiles, are expected to take much longer to produce, new ammunition can take suppliers up to 18 months to produce from the moment orders are placed. While the Army and other branches continue to meet their obligations under their current agreements with ammunition manufacturers, they have not signed any agreements to cover the escalating shortages.
Some vendors claim that since Washington increased its arms shipments to Kyiv in February, the Pentagon is simply not communicating the military’s requirements, which has led to “delays” and prevented contractors from “prepar[ing] for increased production,” according to the site.