With Ukraine consuming massive quantities of ammo, Western militaries are struggling to afford what’s on the market
A BAE Systems employee inspects 155mm shell bodies at a production line in Washington, Britain, July 11, 2023 © AP / Business Wire
Rising ammunition prices mean the West is spending more money on defense but ending up with less in its stockpiles, NATO Military Committee Chair Admiral Rob Bauer warned on Saturday. NATO officials have previously warned that the Ukrainian military is using more ammo than the West can produce.
“Prices for equipment and ammunition are shooting up. Right now, we are paying more and more for exactly the same,” Bauer said after a meeting of NATO defense chiefs in Norway, according to Reuters.
“That means that we cannot make sure that the increased defense spending actually leads to more security,” he added.
The price increase has been primarily driven by the Ukrainian military’s consumption of artillery shells, particularly 155mm rounds for its Western-provided guns. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg warned in February that Kiev was burning through this ammunition faster than the West could replace it.