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NATO signs contracts for $1.2 billion worth of artillery shells

by Martin Fornusek January 23, 2024 1:01 PM 2 min read
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) General Manager Stacy Cummings after signing contracts for artillery shells procurement on Jan. 23, 2024. (NATO)
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NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and the alliance's procurement chief, Stacy Cummings, concluded on Jan. 23 contracts for the purchase of around 220,000 155 mm artillery shells worth around $1.2 billion.

The NATO Support and Procurement Agency concluded the deal on behalf of allies who will either pass shells to Ukraine or use them to refill their own arsenals.

These munitions play a crucial in the Russia-Ukraine war, prompting Kyiv's allies to ramp up its 155 mm shells stocks.

"This demonstrates that NATO's tried and tested structures for joint procurement are delivering," Stoltenberg said.

"Russia's war in Ukraine has become a battle for ammunition, so Allies must refill their own stocks, as we continue to support Ukraine."

According to Reuters, the buyers include Belgium, Lithuania, and Spain, and the first deliveries are expected at the end of 2025.

According to NATO's statement, the alliance's procurement agency concluded contracts for around $10 billion worth of ammunition since the signing of NATO's Defense Production Action Plan in July 2023.

Kyiv has repeatedly appealed to its allies to increase supplies of artillery ammunition. To bolster Ukraine's capabilities, France spearheads the "artillery coalition," one of many allied initiatives aimed at supporting the Ukrainian military.

Speaking to the artillery coalition meeting virtually last week, Ukraine's Defense Minister Rustem Umerov said that Russia outnumbers Kyiv's troops in daily artillery attacks, sometimes firing five to 10 times more shells.

The EU also pledged to supply Ukraine with 1 billion shells and missiles by early spring, but officials warned that this plan may miss its deadline.

The assistance from another major donor of 155 mm rounds, the U.S., remains stalled by domestic political infighting.

Umerov postpones trip to France, attends artillery coalition event virtually
Defense Minister Rustem Umerov postponed his planned trip to France and participated in the “artillery coalition” virtually, the Defense Ministry announced on Jan. 18. Umerov had planned to be in Paris to launch the event, which aims to strengthen the Ukrainian army’s artillery capabilities.
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