(Natural News) The Department of Defense (DoD) recently confirmed that Ukraine has received more than one million artillery rounds from Washington.
An Oct. 14 DoD press release said the rounds were part of U.S. security assistance committed to the besieged country. It included 903,000 standard 155 mm howitzer rounds; 3,000 M982 Excalibur guided rounds; 7,000 Remote Anti-Armor Mine Systems (RAAMS) projectiles and 180,000 105 mm howitzer shells.
The statement said the artillery rounds given to Ukraine, amounting to more than 1.09 million in all, formed part of more than $18.2 billion in security assistance since the beginning of the Biden administration in 2021. This included about $17.6 billion directed to Kyiv since the beginning of the Russia-Ukraine war in late February.
“The U.S. also continues to work with its allies and partners to provide Ukraine with additional capabilities to defend itself,” stated the DoD press release. (Related: US weapons package for Ukraine includes 100 KILLER DRONES.)
An Oct. 21 piece by the Drive‘s Howard Altman elaborated on two of the four artillery rounds given to Ukraine.
The Excalibur round uses GPS and inertial guidance to find its target while also extending its range of attack. Troops input location data into the artillery gun’s guidance unit, which then uploads the data into the projectile before firing. Altman added that more complex salvos can also be programmed using the Excalibur rounds.
The RAAMS shell, meanwhile, contains nine individual anti-tank mines released along the path of a descending shell. These can be used to rapidly put mines at a certain location to damage enemy armored vehicles, if not complicate their movement.
New York Times reporter John Ismay commented on Ukraine’s use of the RAAMS rounds. He tweeted: “RAAMS [rounds] are cluster [weapons], but [are] not banned by the Cluster Munitions [Convention] or the Anti-Personnel Landmine Treaty.”
Ismay, a Navy veteran, added that based on U.S. military field manuals, low-angle RAAMS dispersal covers a 200 m x 200 m area while high-angle dispersal covers 400 m x 400 m area.
US providing rounds to Ukraine, at the cost of domestic defense
“With so many standard howitzer rounds shipped off to Ukraine, there is growing concern about whether enough ammunition exists for the U.S. should it get into a major conflict of its own,” Altman wrote.
But an Aug. 29 report from the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) exposed the predicament of the U.S. having a depleted stockpile of artillery rounds, given that most of them were materiel forwarded to Ukraine.
One defense official who spoke to the WSJ at the time revealed that the number of 155 mm combat rounds in U.S military storage has become “uncomfortably low.” While the levels are not yet critical given that the U.S. is not engaged in any major military conflict, the official remarked that “it is not at the level we would like to go into combat.”
Given the situation, the U.S. Army said the military is conducting an “ammunitions industrial base deep dive” to determine how to support Ukraine while protecting domestic supply needs. It also asked Congress for a $500 million annual budget to upgrade the Army’s ammunition plants.
While awaiting Congress’ response, the Army is relying on existing contracts to increase production of ammunition. Officials in the service, however, remarked that it hasn’t signed new contracts to account for the higher amounts it will need to replenish its stocks
Mackenzie Eaglen, a senior fellow at the Washington-based think tank American Enterprise Institute, said the issue can definitely be solved by spending money.
“There are some problems you can buy your way out of. This is one of them,” she said.
“This was knowable, it was foreseeable. It was forewarned, including from industry leaders to the Pentagon. And it was easily fixable.”
MilitaryTechnology.news has more stories about military aid sent to Ukraine.
Watch this footage of the Russian Malka artillery gun in action against Ukrainian artillery units.
This video is from the No Sugar Added channel on Brighteon.com.
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