After the White House approved and delivered billions of dollars in lethal aid for Ukraine since February, the US military is running uncomfortably low stockpiles of some types of ammunition.
Several military officials told the Wall Street Journal on condition of anonymity that the Pentagon is simply not communicating the needs of the military since Washington intensified its arms deliveries to Kyiv, which, according to some suppliers, has created delays and left contractors unable to prepare for more production.
The Biden Administration has supplied its allies in Kyiv with large amounts of ammunition – including up to 806,000 155mm howitzer rounds – in addition to thousands of guns, missiles, drones, artillery platforms, and rocket launchers.
However, the US military stocks of the latter munitions are running uncomfortably low and not at the level that the army would like to go into combat with, as an unnamed Pentagon official had said.
While still arming Ukraine, the Pentagon is conducting a review to determine how to meet its own supply needs in light of the drawdown on supplies which, this year alone, has seen nearly $14 billion in direct weaponry supplies to Kyiv.
The Army is now set to determine how to maintain its own supplies while keeping up the current pace of aid to Ukrainian forces and plans to carry out an ammunitions industrial base deep dive.
Although the shortages are not due to a lack of funding, the Army has also called on lawmakers to authorize $500 million in upgrades for Army ammunition plants and it seems that the replenishment costs will be covered by US President Joe Biden’s latest budget request of $773 billion.
However, the Army and other branches have not yet signed deals to account for the growing scarcities, continuing to fulfill existing contracts with ammunition producers, although it can take suppliers up to 18 months to produce new ammunition from the time orders are placed and in the cases of more sophisticated weapons, such as missiles, that is likely to take much longer.