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Ukraine. Weapons shipments. Bloomberg: The US decided to donate cluster munitions because they had nothing else to do

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At the Vilnius summit, NATO countries again promised weapons to Ukraine, but their reserves are running low and the industrial base is too depleted to quickly replenish them. The situation is particularly difficult in Europe, the Bloomberg agency wrote on Friday.

Even United States have serious difficulties in keeping up with the supply of arms to Ukraine and are forced to borrow or buy conventional artillery ammunition from South Korea to keep their promises to Kiev.

Washington’s widely criticized decision to transfer cluster munitions to Ukraine is due to the fact that the US could not send much there immediately, the agency claims.

READ: The most important findings of the NATO summit in Vilnius

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American cluster munitionsUS Army photo by 2nd Lt. Gabriel Jenko, DVIDS

READ: “It can radically change the situation.” The Ukrainians confirm the delivery from the USA

The condition of the European defense industry is worse than in the USA

However, the condition of the arms industry in European countries is much worse than in the US, and according to the latest assessment of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), their armaments are largely unusable, and ammunition reserves are running out.

What’s more, the defense industry in Europe is not able to fill these gaps quickly, because after the Cold War many manufacturers disappeared from the market. In addition, “few people understand how long it takes to ramp up weapons production. Two or three years between order and fulfillment for even basic ammunition and equipment is standard,” Bloomberg writes.

Even those NATO countries that are quite accustomed to conducting military operations at all – such as the US, France and Great Britain – they focus on relatively small orders, so there are no factories that would be able to supply, for example, artillery ammunition in the long run.

The rising costs of materials used in the production of weapons also paralyze production to some extent. Government France recently ordered the defense company MBDA to increase the supply of Mistral air defense systems from 20 units per month. The manufacturer has proposed that it can deliver 40 units starting in 2025.

Ukrainians thank the US for military assistance, including HIMARS systems Hanna Malar/Telegram

“Ukraine will be a historical test for the West”

What’s more, large defense companies fear the costs of increasing production for fear that war in Ukraine may end suddenly, and European governments may refrain from arming their arsenals. It is difficult for them to plan based on the orders of governments “incapable of planning beyond next Tuesday,” comments Bloomberg.

“Ukraine will be a historical test for the West, testing its will to remain a power. Not for the first time in history, the outcome of the fights will be determined not only on the battlefield, but also in the factories of the West,” the agency concludes.

Main photo source: US Army photo by 2nd Lt. Gabriel Jenko, DVIDS

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