The US, Poland, UK and western allies have provided all of the weapons that they can spare to Ukraine. There will be a lag for many weapons like Stingers while missile factories are ramped up. American stockpiles of key weapons are small because of production constraints and because most of the Pentagon’s roughly $750 billion budget goes to manpower, health care and things other than bullets and bombs.
Both Ukraine and Russia are running low on weapons. There is a lot of attrition on both sides.
Stinger anti-aircraft missile production was halted during a transition to a new missile. The U.S. Army launched an effort to replace Stinger missiles with a next-generation interceptor for Short-Range Air Defense capability as the aging weapon system heads toward obsolescence.
The Army will award a $1.5 billion contract in the second quarter of FY23. The design, development, prototyping and performance assessment ongoing through the fourth quarter of FY28.
The US Army will also add a 50-kilowatt class laser weapon to the SHORAD system and is outfitting four prototypes with the capability as it prepares to hold a competition to build more. The Army plans to begin design and development of the replacement missile in FY23, which will lead to production of 10,000 M-SHORAD “Inc. 3″ missiles beginning in FY27.
Stinger can be fired from a shoulder-launched system, but the Army rapidly fielded a Stryker-based SHORAD system equipped with Stinger missiles to Europe last year in response to an urgent request in theater. The Army is preparing to field a complete Stryker-based SHORAD battalion by the end of 2022.
General Mark Milley, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the West has provided 60,000 antitank weapons and 25,000 anti-aircraft weapons to Kyiv. The Pentagon is now rushing additional artillery, coastal defense drones and other materiel to Ukraine. The US has a new $800 million package including helicopters and armored personnel carriers.
Ukraine and Russia are fighting a high-intensity conventional fight which uses a lot of munitions. Ukraine is using week’s worth of deliveries of antitank munitions every day. It is also running short of usable aircraft as Russian airstrikes and combat losses take their toll.
The U.S. has provided one-third of its overall stockpile of Javelin anti-tank missiles. The US cannot five much more in case the US has some other war. It will take months or years to significantly ramp up production.
Written by Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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