A BM-21 'Grad' multiple rocket launcher in the Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, September 22, 2022.

A BM-21 'Grad' multiple rocket launcher in the Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, September 22, 2022. AFP via Getty Images / Juan BARRETO

US, Partners to Meet on Ukraine War Supply Chain Shortages

The chief weapons buyers of more than 40 nations will talk about which defense production lines must be prioritized to meet Ukraine’s defense needs.

The weapons buyers for more than 40 countries will gather in Brussels next week to address ammunition and spares shortages as they continue sending arms shipments to Ukraine, a senior defense official said Friday. 

Since Russia invaded Ukraine seven months ago, the U.S. has committed more than $16 billion worth of weapons in Kyiv’s defense, some of which will take years to provide. But the large-scale conventional war has put pressure not only on U.S. weapons stockpiles but also on other western militaries’ resources as they have either donated existing gear or pledged future weapons from their defense industrial bases. 

Wednesday’s gathering in Brussels will be led by the Pentagon’s acquisition under secretary Bill LaPlante and will “address key production constraints” the countries face, such as “gun barrels, ball bearing, [and] steel casing” and long-term sustainment questions, the official said. 

The group will also look at how it can bridge the old Soviet systems still used by Ukraine and other Eastern European nations to work better with NATO weapons until they can be replaced with western-compatible systems.

Finding workarounds has been a priority because of the difficulty in sourcing ammunition for some of Ukraine’s older systems. 

The workarounds have prompted the U.S. to provide Ukraine more sophisticated capabilities through “MacGyver-type approaches,” such as modifying AGM-88 HARM air-launched anti-radar missiles to fit on MiG-29s, instead of the U.S. providing entire fighter jets. 

“I think that there will be some exploration during discussions next week of how we can more institutionalize that or develop other solutions,” the official said. 

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