WASHINGTON — U.S. and foreign arms chiefs will meet Sept. 28 to discuss how the international community can support the flow of arms to Ukraine, including how to ease production restrictions imposed by Russia’s invasion Ukraine in February, a senior US defense official said today
Bill LaPlanteUS Deputy Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, will direct the first meeting of the National Armaments Directors in Brussels, which will include more than 40 members of the contact group on the defense of Ukraine. Other US officials from the Joint Chiefs of Staff, US European Command and the Pentagon’s policy division will also attend.
The meeting “will include a call to support production of things like barrels, ball bearings and steel casings,” as well as obsolete parts and microchips, the official said. Both the US and other partner countries have previously identified deficiencies in these areas, and the upcoming meeting could provide a space for the countries to discuss potential suppliers or joint procurement of such materials.
In addition to discussing current production efforts, the official mentioned two other main priorities:
- The need for “interchangeable systems” is a term the Department of Defense uses to describe off-the-shelf systems that can be modified in some way to accommodate deficiencies in Ukraine’s capabilities.
- A long-term strategy to ensure that Ukrainian equipment remains serviceable during the war
“We will also discuss what capabilities Ukraine is likely to need in the future, such as long-range fires and air defense, and how to build a broad industrial contact group base to meet those needs,” the official said. The official declined to comment on specific technologies that might be offered in those categories.
“Even if we just share best practices, lessons learned, I’m actually looking forward to the discussion,” the official said. “We got very positive feedback when we did the previous work. So I hope there will be much more enthusiasm after this session [and] the ability for us to work together in different countries to try to solve some of these problems.”
In July, the Minister of Defense of the Netherlands described the situation how everyone was “queuing up at the munitions factories” and called for greater coordination between industries. Earlier this week, Norwegian Defense Minister Bjorn Arild Gram told reporters that Norway is considering reducing its stockpile of weapons below the threshold to be able to continue to support Ukraine’s needs, with a view to – eventually – increasing its own weapons in the future.
“We’re looking more at how we can increase inventory from previous levels. But we are looking at whether we can get even more from our stockpiles in the short term to support Ukraine. And then refuel,” he said. “Obviously we want to grow it even more, but maybe in the short term we will sacrifice.”
https://breakingdefense.com/2022/09/us-partners-meeting-on-sept-28-on-industrial-strategies-for-arming-ukraine/ The meeting of the USA and partners on September 28 about the industrial strategies of armament of Ukraine