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ISW: US aid vital for Ukraine's defense industrial base

by Mariia Tril February 7, 2024 11:21 AM 2 min read
Workers repair the gun turrets of T-72 battle tanks during the renovation of heavy armor in the military workshop operated by Ukroboronprom in Lviv, Ukraine, on Feb. 15, 2016. (Vincent Mundy/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
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The provision of U.S. aid remains vital in the near to medium term to help Ukraine build its defense industrial base (DIB), the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) reported in their daily assessment on Feb. 6.

Ukraine aims to focus on localization of domestic arms production in 2024,  Defense Minister Rustem Umerov said in December 2023. According to Umerov, Ukraine is allocating Hr 255 billion ($6.8 billion) of the state's budget to military production next year.

"The success of Ukraine's efforts to build its DIB depends on Ukraine's ability to liberate strategically vital areas occupied by Russian forces," according to the ISW.

The U.S. think tank said that "the U.S. will need to continue supporting Ukraine for several years as Ukraine builds its own DIB."

The U.S. remains the primary source of large quantities of essential military equipment to Ukraine, such as M1 Abrams tanks, armored personnel carriers, advanced air defense systems like Patriots, and long-range strike systems, according to the ISW.

Senate Republicans ready to kill Ukraine aid deal
The bill is scheduled for a Senate vote on Feb. 7. According to senators, the law has no chance of garnering the 60 votes needed to block a filibuster and advance.

The ISW assessed that the U.S. would not need to send large security assistance packages to Ukraine if Kyiv "successfully continues to pursue measures aimed at domestically producing its weapons."

A Ukrainian delegation met with U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan on Dec. 6, 2023, as part of the U.S.-Ukraine Defense Industrial Base Conference to enhance collaboration and production between U.S. and Ukrainian defense companies and increase overall weapons production.

The U.S. Army plans to increase U.S. domestic production of 155 mm artillery shells and shell components for Ukraine in 2024 and 2025, U.S. Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology Doug Bush said on Feb. 5.

The U.S. will double the monthly production of 155 mm artillery shells from 28,000 shells per month in October 2023 to about 60,000 shells per month in October 2024, according to Bush. The U.S. Army plans to increase production to 75,000 shells per month in April 2025 and 100,000 shells monthly in October 2025.

According to Bush, this plan will be implemented if the proposed Congressional supplemental appropriations bill passes.

Republicans continue to block the supplemental funding bill that includes $60 billion in aid for Ukraine, insisting that any further military aid for Ukraine or Israel must include significant domestic border security changes.

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