Are we about to run out of weapons in the West?



Ukraine: Although Washington purchased 1,300 Stinger anti-air missiles for Ukraine, the chief executive of the defence company that makes them, Raytheon, stated in May that it would take some time for them to be delivered.
A fourth of the high-tech artillery stock was transferred to Kiev by Paris in the meantime, and the French company Nexter will need around 18 months to rebuild the 18 Caesar howitzers.
Just how little the West’s defence reserves are has been made clear by the situation in Ukraine. delays in the manufacturing of less showy but nonetheless important things, such artillery shells, which can boost soldiers’ bravery on the battlefield, in particular. possibly the main cause of the loss.

The shortage, according to defence officials and observers, underscores the West’s inactivity on possible dangers since the end of the Cold War, which is now expressed by a willingness to give Ukraine military assistance. They claim that the necessity of maintaining a supply of fundamental equipment has been overshadowed by the concern with creating cutting-edge weapons and self-power.

Jamie Shea, a former director of policy planning for NATO who is currently an associate fellow at the UK think tank Chatham House, asserts that artillery, ground forces, and conventional occupying strategies are still frequently used to win wars. The military balance, which has shifted from the old to the new, needs to be reset.

According to American procurement expert Alex Vershinin, it’s possible that these shortcomings are currently undermining the West’s capacity to oversee Kyiv’s military effort. For instance, the Ukrainian army would use up less than two weeks’ worth of the yearly US supply of 155 mm artillery ammunition. The fight, according to Vershinin, “represents the rebirth of industrial warfare.”

Western nations would struggle to fight a protracted conflict, such as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, since their ammunition supply is “inadequate for the challenges we confront,” according to Britain’s Defense Secretary Ben Wallace. In a fictitious war exercise last year, Britain’s munitions ran out after eight days.

Nobody believes that arming Ukraine will exhaust the West’s fundamental arsenal, according to authorities. The majority of the machinery that was shipped to Ukraine is still in use or may be replaced with similar systems. Russia’s defence budget of $66 billion last year was less than the combined budget of $1.1 trillion for NATO countries, even when accounting for China’s $293 billion in expenditures.

However, a sizable chunk of that NATO funding has been allocated to cutting-edge weapons that the West has not employed in this battle, including fighter jets. Instead of planning for large tank and artillery clashes like in Ukraine, the West’s defence efforts over the past 20 years have been concentrated on suppressing Middle Eastern insurgents.

Officials and analysts claimed that Russia is also experiencing supply issues. According to sources, Uralvagonzavod, a defence firm, is renovating outdated tanks over the course of three shifts. At a sizable storage facility in Belarus, ammo is being refilled in part.

But now that Moscow has “institutional firepower,” the army has it. Gen. Gennady Zhidko, a former deputy minister of defence, was just named supreme commander of the Russian army in Ukraine.