Is The United States facing a munitions crisis?

1,186 Views | 6 Replies | Last: 2 mo ago by CT'97
WolfCall
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AG
Anybody been following the stories about dwindling stockpile of munitions?


https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/restoring-america/courage-strength-optimism/2889870/israel-offers-solution-america-munitions-crisis/
Quote:

Israel offers a solution to America's munitions crisis
By Sean Durns February 29, 2024 6:00 am

The United States is facing a munitions crisis. America's defense industrial base is a shadow of its former self, and conflicts in the Middle East and Ukraine have fed growing concerns about a rapidly depleting stockpile. Fortunately, our ally Israel has a potential solution.

The risk is clear: Were a major war to break out with China, the U.S. might well run out of munitions within the first few weeks of combat operations. Wars in Europe and the Middle East have already put pressure on an already stressed defense industrial base. And policymakers have taken notice.....
https://www.marinecorpstimes.com/news/your-marine-corps/2024/02/16/cost-drain-and-weapon-stockpile-drawdowns-worry-marine-general/
Quote:

Cost drain and weapon stockpile drawdowns worry Marine general
By Todd South Friday, Feb 16

A top Marine general worries about the U.S. military's ability to maintain its munitions stockpiles while supporting wars in Ukraine and Israel as the services prepare for a more sophisticated conflict with China.

Lt. Gen. Karsten Heckl, head of Marine Corps Combat Development and Integration, spoke Wednesday at the U.S. Naval Institute and AFCEA International West Conference in San Diego.

Heckl referenced expensive weapons being used to defeat threats in such instances as Houthi missile strikes on watercraft in the Red Sea, Breaking Defense reported.

One such system commonly used by the Navy to knock out missiles and other threats is the Standard Missile-6. The munition can cost as much as $4.3 million per missile, according to the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance....

https://www.defensenews.com/naval/2024/02/28/continuing-resolution-would-slow-military-modernization-services-warn/
Quote:

Continuing resolution would slow military modernization, services warn
By Megan Eckstein and Jen Judson Wednesday, Feb 28


CT'97
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AG
While something worth being away of and tracking, which these statements make clear is happening. I see it more as a learning point for the DoD and the military industrial complex on what a modern army will need to sustain it's fires.

The idea that it will all be smart munitions and will be over rather rapidly has been shown to, at least in this instance, not be the case. There are roles for dumb munitions to shape the battle and allow for smart munitions to be utilized at key points.

This is also, and probably most importantly, a wake up call that we didn't have enough munitions of all kinds nor the capacity to turn on production rapidly. That is changing and old plants are being reconfigured and increasing production capacity. New plants are being brought online.

General Dynamics Building Artillery Shell Casing Plant in Mesquite

Pentagon Will Increase Artillery Production Sixfold for Ukraine

BAE Systems to build new M777 howitzer structures for US Army

This is actually where a lot of the money in the Ukrainian aid packages is going. Almost all the money in those aid packages is going to the US and US allies military industrial complex and a lot of it is being spent to modernize and increase capacity.

Finally, another piece of the story that doesn't get talked about is the age of some, and in the case of the dumb artillery shells almost all, of these munitions puts them at the end of beyond the end of their service life. It costs a lot of money to store and maintain these munitions and even more the demilitarize and destroy them. Prior to the US shipping Ukraine so many shells, we had a backlog of shells to be demilitarized and destroyed so long that there was no end date on completion. It costs us less to package and ship those munitions to Ukraine and have them shoot them at Russians than it does for us to store them for a year. An argument could be made that by transferring those munitions we are actually saving the DoD money. But that story doesn't back either parties agenda at this time so nobody is talking about it.
Tanker123
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I am curious about the budgeting process for the replenishment of weapons and ammunition.
74OA
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AG
Additionally, all the Services have transitioned to multi-year munitions contracts to provide industry with a more consistent flow of funding which is aimed at reassuring companies they'll get sufficient return on investment if they expand and modernize their production facilities.

A good example of the resulting increase in production is 155mm artillery shells. "U.S. production of 155mm artillery shells is slated to rise from 28,000 last October the most recent month for which hard numbers have been released to roughly 37,000 in April and about 60,000 in October 2024, according to a slide shared at a CSIS think tank event. The Army then hopes to rapidly increase production in 2025, from just under 75,000 shells that April to 100,000 in October, the slide also showed." If that target is met, the US will have the capacity to produce 1.2M 155mm shells a year by late 2025.

Ukraine provided a timely reminder how very high munitions expenditures can be during an extended near-peer war. Far better we re-learned that now rather than in the middle of a big fight of our own. (Thanks, Vlad!)

SHELLS
BUDGET
clarythedrill
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74OA said:

Ukraine provided a timely reminder how very high munitions expenditures can be during an extended near-peer war. Far better we re-learned that now rather than in the middle of a big fight of our own. (Thanks, Vlad!)

SHELLS
I would like to know if the Ukes follow Russian doctrine with regards to artillery where they shoot tons of ammo at a grid, or if they follow US doctrine where we adjust fire to get on target before firing a minimum to destroy the target/targets. From the videos I have seen on YouTube it seems they follow the Russian doctrine.
74OA
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AG
clarythedrill said:

74OA said:

Ukraine provided a timely reminder how very high munitions expenditures can be during an extended near-peer war. Far better we re-learned that now rather than in the middle of a big fight of our own. (Thanks, Vlad!)

SHELLS
I would like to know if the Ukes follow Russian doctrine with regards to artillery where they shoot tons of ammo at a grid, or if they follow US doctrine where we adjust fire to get on target before firing a minimum to destroy the target/targets. From the videos I have seen on YouTube it seems they follow the Russian doctrine.
Both sides have been using thousands of UAVs of all sizes to find targets, relay location coordinates and adjust fires for at least the last year of fighting, Ukraine even earlier. Until we resume ammo resupply to Ukraine, UAV spotting is essential to squeeze the last ounce of firepower out of their dwindling stocks.

SPOTTING
CT'97
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AG
clarythedrill said:

74OA said:

Ukraine provided a timely reminder how very high munitions expenditures can be during an extended near-peer war. Far better we re-learned that now rather than in the middle of a big fight of our own. (Thanks, Vlad!)

SHELLS
I would like to know if the Ukes follow Russian doctrine with regards to artillery where they shoot tons of ammo at a grid, or if they follow US doctrine where we adjust fire to get on target before firing a minimum to destroy the target/targets. From the videos I have seen on YouTube it seems they follow the Russian doctrine.
It seems to be they are doing some of both and inventing some of their own. I would say the ammo restrictions have reduced the use of saturation shelling of an area by the Ukrainians. The Russians seem to still be doing this a lot, especially with their rocket artillery which was only designed for that.

The use of single guns networked with what we could call an FDC that can fire GPS guided shells at specific targets when found by drones changed the way Russia has been fighting. It seems the single shot didn't meet Russia's counter battery criteria so they wouldn't shoot back. With the GPS guided shells they were getting near or direct hits with a single shot. These independently operating guns were surviving and able to be very effective.
The FPV attack drones have pushed artillery back past the range of these drones so this has been reduced in effectives. But still a good example of the Ukrainians coming up with new ideas.
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