Britain, having donated over 300,000 artillery rounds to Ukraine, is increasing its production capability of 155mm shells eight-fold.

The information came to light in response to the reply to a Parliamentary Written Question.

Daniel Kawczynski MP, Conservative – Shrewsbury and Atcham, asked:

“To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps he is taking to help increase production of 155mm shells for Ukraine.”

James Cartlidge MP, Minister of State (Ministry of Defence), replied:

“The Ministry of Defence (MOD) placed an order in June 2023 with BAE Systems to provide an eight-fold increase in production capability of 155mm shells. The MOD contract is for significant initial quantities of 155mm shells which will reinstate and build sovereign capability and stockpiles. In respect of artillery ammunition being providing to Ukraine, since the start of the conflict, the UK has donated over 300,000 rounds of artillery ammunition – including 155mm and Former Soviet Union calibres.”

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George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Matt
Matt (@guest_781484)
5 months ago

Brilliant…just move quicker on everything!

Levi Goldsteinberg
Levi Goldsteinberg (@guest_781486)
5 months ago

There is such a bizarre bifurcation in the MoD. Great news like this always comes paired with just the most insane incompetence

Bloke down the pub
Bloke down the pub (@guest_781490)
5 months ago

Bae announced a while ago that they had developed a new way of producing large calibre shells that would remove the bottlenecks in production and make them quicker to produce. Hopefully this will now bear fruit.

Jim
Jim (@guest_781502)
5 months ago

Seems to me just pumping Ukraine full of 155mm rounds is the easiest and cheapest way to keep them in the war and continue to degrade the Russians ability the threaten anyone else. 8 fold increase sounds nice but then if it’s 8x very little it’s not much. How difficult would it be to do a 100 fold increase realistically. 155mm shells are cheap. Why can’t Britain gear up to produce a few million a year. A couple of factories could handle this. We need to start thinking longer term, The Russians are gearing up for years and and US… Read more »

David
David (@guest_781516)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Estimates are hard to find and shortage of supply drives cost but online sources seem to suggest a minimum cost of abour 2000 euros upto 8000 euros a shell for EU manufacture and the US is paying 3000 dollars each for modern shells..
I’m not sure hundred dollar is accurate.
1 million a year would mean several billion pounds. That would be hard to sustain without a GDP % increase.

Rob Young
Rob Young (@guest_781593)
5 months ago
Reply to  David

Question isn’t how many can we make, it’s how many we need to make to enhance our own security. It would be very nice if Russia wasn’t a threat to our security, either because they aren’t being aggressive or they are actively trying to be friendly, but until that happens – the amount NEEDED should be assessed and funded.

Jim Camm
Jim Camm (@guest_787941)
4 months ago
Reply to  Rob Young

The UK’s armed forces are not geared around artillery duels in eastern Europe. There is a reason why Russia is producing more, because that’s what’s most beneficial for their expected type of warfare. The UK is a naval power first, air power second and land power third. We should be putting what money we have into building SAMs (I daresay Ukraine needs those too!). Unless someone else is going to be buying all our excess shells after the war, I don’t see how pouring obscene amounts of money into artillery shell production helps the UK long term. We should be… Read more »

Rob Young
Rob Young (@guest_788003)
4 months ago
Reply to  Jim Camm

Tend to agree with you with reservations. Sadly, when war happens it suddenly stops being long term. It becomes short term and ‘why didn’t we prepare for this’. Hence the ned to assess future need and gear up for it while it is still long term. As for artillery, it seems we are producing quite a nice weapon at the moment – having enough of them plus the ammo to fire would appear to be prudent.

PF
PF (@guest_792979)
4 months ago
Reply to  Jim Camm

When I was in the RA, we used to be able to fire as many shells as we wanted when on exercise. Then with the cuts it became less and less. Today it’s a fraction of what we practiced with. A lot of the ‘excess’ production if we were producing each year could easily be used for training both UK and foreign armies.

Jonno
Jonno (@guest_783643)
5 months ago
Reply to  David

In WW1 the major powers were producing 30-40 million p.a. by 1918! All calibres of course. Britain and France out produced Germany roughly 2:1 and why Germany couldn’t stand and whatever the Germans thought later about not being beaten in the field that is tosh; they were in fact decisively beaten and on the ropes in the factories.
I would let BAE takeover TATA’s (blast furnace) steel works tomorrow.

Lord Baddlesmere
Lord Baddlesmere (@guest_786179)
4 months ago
Reply to  Jonno

Which is why we are in no state for sustained conflict. Our industrial capacity has been destroyed by successive governments in search of a peace dividend pretty much every year for the last thirty.

Jim Camm
Jim Camm (@guest_787947)
4 months ago

It’s called globalisation. When you can employ someone in China or India to make something for a fraction of the cost of hiring someone in the UK, and then you can ship it back across the world for not much money… THAT’s why we don’t have much industry left! The quantity of production was only possible because we had such a vast civilian industry back then which was converted to serve the war effort in times of existential crisis, so after the war, factories that built tanks went back to building trains and cars (because surprisingly, there isn’t much of… Read more »

McMeekin Ian
McMeekin Ian (@guest_788387)
4 months ago
Reply to  Jim Camm

Thanks for the response Jim. I fully understand the economics involved as I held a global role for a major multinational corporation. Part of my role was global sourcing and supply. Part of the process was maintaining critical capabilities in the UK amongst others. This is an area where I feel HMG is failing badly. MOD are now effectively managed by a few large suppliers. They have made poor decisions and find themselves unable to do anything about it. Ajax is a good example. The Army LIS is a joke, every contract announced has not been competed or and departs… Read more »

Mark Latchford
Mark Latchford (@guest_781541)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jim

$100 for a 155mm shell? That seems a tad optimistic.

Mastro
Mastro (@guest_786299)
4 months ago
Reply to  Mark Latchford

It is. The lowest I saw was $700 for an American shell ,but I believe that was from an older order. Inflation is rough and demand for components is high.

Andy reeves
Andy reeves (@guest_781544)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jim

I’m all for supporting the Ukrainian cause, but there’s a point where you have to think about nearer to home the massive counter attack has not delivered and it’s all pretty much the same as before it began. If we can shift our machine into top gear for our own benefit. Then do so for ourselves.

Rob Young
Rob Young (@guest_781589)
5 months ago
Reply to  Andy reeves

Every Russian tank destroyed by a British shell or missile is a Russian tank that has to be replaced – a cheap ‘win’ for the UK in the sense that Russian keeps threatening us. Degrading Russian military and economic capacity is for our benefit.

Greg Smith
Greg Smith (@guest_781933)
5 months ago
Reply to  Rob Young

What threats, when?

Jonathan
Jonathan (@guest_784246)
5 months ago
Reply to  Greg Smith

They pretty much threatened us with nuclear blackmail….Putin mouthpieces presenting on state controlled media have on a number of times suggested that the UK needs to be removed….in totalitarian states the controlled media spreads the messages that the leadership want heard….it not the same as the free for all of western press.

maxime de mage
maxime de mage (@guest_802219)
3 months ago
Reply to  Greg Smith

got open your eyes mates russian t.v every single day and putin pulling the nuke card 10 a week on everyone that does not bend the knee to the carnival czar

rst 2001
rst 2001 (@guest_781602)
5 months ago
Reply to  Andy reeves

The whole uk armed forces is designed to fight Russia . It has been since end of ww2, so really the uk should be increasing its supplies to ukraine as they are doing the hard graft for us. If ukraine falls that means russia controls increasing resources of mineral and farming wealth. All the ukraine wheat supply would fall under the rusdians which would be a disaster

Luke Rogers
Luke Rogers (@guest_781697)
5 months ago
Reply to  rst 2001

Well, not really. It was designed to deter attack and failing that act as a speed bump until the US army arrived.

Jonathan
Jonathan (@guest_784251)
5 months ago
Reply to  Luke Rogers

No your not quite correct…the UK and US armies on the inner German boarder were designed to trade lives and space for time for a political solution..if that was not found there would be no rescue by the U.S…as the everyone dies buttons would have been pressed…up until the later 1980s and Ronald Reagans strategy the western conventional forces would have been buried by the USSR ( the U.S. of the army in the 1960s and 1970s was not in a great place) .it was the nuclear arsenals that stopped the USSR..look at the French strategy it was not to… Read more »

Luke Rogers
Luke Rogers (@guest_784279)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

What a stupid strategy. I genuinely don’t believe nuclear weapons factor realistically as an actual weapon system. To fire them is for the system to have failed in its purpose. Also, what psychopath would choose to see their loved ones incinerated rather than swapping a shitty domestic government for a shitty foreign one?

Jonathan
Jonathan (@guest_784333)
5 months ago
Reply to  Luke Rogers

Well it may have been a stupid one but it worked as we are not communist and it was the avowed aim of the international communist movement to free Europe from its oppressors and there was no war…you have to remember that the lessons learnt from a war that killed 60 million people was that peace only came from deterrent and deterrent only came from showing a willingness to go all the way..appeasement and half measure deterrent had plunged the world into destruction….the reality of the U.S. using the A bombs on Japan was not about forcing Japanese surrender (… Read more »

PF
PF (@guest_792982)
4 months ago
Reply to  Luke Rogers

NATO doesn’t consider them apart from a last resort. Sadly, Russian military doctrine incorporates them into strategy and how they might be used to either win a war or stop one they are losing. We aren’t talking 1,000 nukes at cities but smaller battlefield nukes that make the ground unusable and impassable for enemy troops.

PF
PF (@guest_792981)
4 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Interesting that when I was in Eastern Europe, Poland military realised that during the cold war they were the lambs to the slaughter. Russia ran it’s war games on the basis that if they attacked Germany then they would likely eventually begin to lose as US troops arrived. They would then nuke the eastern european countries to stop NATO troops reaching Russia. They wouldn’t nuke Germany as they realised that would result in a response against Russia itself so they just sacrifice Eastern Euro countries. It lead to a top Polish officer becoming an informer when he found out what… Read more »

Enobob
Enobob (@guest_784587)
5 months ago
Reply to  Luke Rogers

Arrived? There were over 300,000 of them serving alongside the 55,000 British!

Luke Rogers
Luke Rogers (@guest_784705)
5 months ago
Reply to  Enobob

Yes, the speed bump until reforger swung into action.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky (@guest_782047)
5 months ago
Reply to  rst 2001

Win in Ukraine and Russia controls much of the food supply to Africa, meanwhile China is taking much control of Africas resources and trade, indeed what could possibly go wrong for the West in their achieving total control economically and politically not to mention through boths involvement of their armed forces in security (visible or otherwise) of the fastest growing population and indeed youngest population area of the world. ‘Threats’ as one contributor asked above come in many forms, direct or otherwise and this is one of the less visible threats by the ‘alliance without limits’. We have been far… Read more »

Nathan
Nathan (@guest_786666)
4 months ago
Reply to  Andy reeves

The main point of helping Ukraine, apart from the obvious moral imperative, is to avoid needing to use these ‘nearer to home’.

Louis
Louis (@guest_781761)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jim

There was a tweet thread on Twitter that put pre war British 105 and 155 production at 16k a month. It is a reliable account but didn’t give a source for this particular claim. Other sources working on price of contract over years it’s taking divided by the cost of a 155mm shell found out that pre war production of 155mm shells for the British army was 64k a year. BAE states that roughly a third of artillery production is for export so it would put total 155mm production at 96k a year. Given the British Army has double the… Read more »

Last edited 5 months ago by Louis
Jonno
Jonno (@guest_783646)
5 months ago
Reply to  Louis

See mine that we produced nearly 40m all calibres p.a. by 1918. Some of which on HMS Furious were 18″ (457mm) calibre!

JohnG
JohnG (@guest_789133)
4 months ago
Reply to  Louis

Thanks ever so much for this. Was trying to estimate figures etc. All of what you say roughly fits with our actual needs and all the rest of it. I see that the overall goal of Ukraines Allies is to supply 200’000 shells a month to Ukraine (by 2025). I believe the current plan is for USA to supply 100’000 a month which leaves Europe to cover the rest. If the UK will be producing 800’000 105mm shells a year from 2025, a good estimate of how many shells a month they will be supplying to Ukraine would be in… Read more »

PF
PF (@guest_792985)
4 months ago
Reply to  Louis

I suspect 8x will be lucky to take it to 800k a year. We used to fire hundreds of shells in my RA unit of just 6 guns in just 1 weekend and over the year probably thousands but that ‘ration’ got cut and cut and I last hear that there was very limited amounts for training. I’d be surprised that we were even producing 100k before this war broke out. With Russia likely burning through 1m every 2-3 months then we need to have a massive increase to ensure Ukraine has the shells it needs. Let’s not rely on… Read more »

Berman W Mo
Berman W Mo (@guest_781899)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Especially when the rounds are NATO standardized. This means the howitzer, which is also NATO standard, should work with ammunition produced in other NATO countries. However, many ammunition were closed due ti the so called peace dividend after the end of the Cold War, the supply chain foe ammunition was interrupted.

Ponti Min
Ponti Min (@guest_812560)
2 months ago
Reply to  Berman W Mo

What should have happened is the ammo factories mothballed so they could be restarted in a crisis. That never happened because they were privately owned and the profit motive was against it. For that reason i think all ammo factories should be publicly owned.

Yes
Yes (@guest_781948)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jim

The only problem here – Russia does not threaten anyone.

Paul Walker
Paul Walker (@guest_782326)
5 months ago
Reply to  Yes

How deep in the sand do you have your head? The reality is the same for all despot’s, give in to them and they will walk all over you, if Putin gets away with just a 1 metre gain along the whole Ukrainian border he will be back for more, every square meter must be returned to Ukrainian control. Anything else will just let Russia think they have won and will embolden them to push more borders back.

Dave
Dave (@guest_782876)
5 months ago
Reply to  Yes

Are you for real weve been declared their archrd enemy and if they dont threaten anyone what was Sailsbury all about whick killed an innocent civilian and critically wouned lots more.

Enobob
Enobob (@guest_784588)
5 months ago
Reply to  Yes

44 million Ukrainians would like a word with you!

Dave
Dave (@guest_782008)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Agreed, I would put a pound to a pinch of shit that production is still less than a few dozen a month. We need engineering in the UK and this war provides a damned good reason to recreate this vital industry ong with the steel, aluminium and other related industries. The Germans are setting up (after 3 years) a repair centre in Ukraine, why haven’t we already done so and also restarted building tanks (as against scrapping g half our fleet and converting a few)

Rudeboy
Rudeboy (@guest_782305)
5 months ago
Reply to  Dave

BAE Systems at Washington have the most modern artillery ammunition factory on earth. It’s annual production capacity is >500,000. They were producing over 100,000 pre war. Far more than France, Italy or Germany were… They’re adding another line to increase production to 1.5m shells per year by end of 2025. Thats over 4,000 per day….and its not clear if that is running 24/7/365… For comparison Rheinmetall are talking about hitting 700,000 per year from its German, Spanish, Italian and Greek facilities combined… The US is looking to produce 90,000 per month, i.e. just over 1 million per year from all… Read more »

Louis
Louis (@guest_782462)
5 months ago
Reply to  Rudeboy

The numbers for the UK include 105mm, for the other countries it is just 155mm.

70% of BAEs shells are for the army and marines. There is no chance the MOD was buying over 70k every single year.

Brian
Brian (@guest_793031)
4 months ago
Reply to  Jim

It’s a question I had as well, they said they have already donated 300.000 but that’s from stock we already had, how many shells are they normally producing each year ? Is that figure not available to us ?

Andy reeves
Andy reeves (@guest_781540)
5 months ago

I hope we never need to use them

Brom
Brom (@guest_781543)
5 months ago

300,000 rounds so thats about 3 full days in a fighting war?

If nothing else the Ukrainians have given us a reality check about how many munitions we would actually need for a proper campaign.

Louis
Louis (@guest_781735)
5 months ago
Reply to  Brom

Nobody except maybe the US has the means to fire 100k rounds a day. Ukraine was firing 5-7k at its peak, likely less now. Russia was firing 20-60k at its peak and is now firing 10k.

Sonik
Sonik (@guest_791255)
4 months ago
Reply to  Louis

Russia’s rate of fire will decline rapidly once they have burned through the North Korean and Iranian stocks. Their home production will never keep up with their artillery-heavy Soviet doctrine and they are seemingly incapable of any other offensive strategy.

Once this happens, Ukraine will hopefully regain advantage as NATO supplies ramp up. Which is exactly why they are now adopting a defensive (as opposed to offensive) posture. Plus the effective heavy use of drones which are cheap and largely Ukrainian produced.

monkey spanker
monkey spanker (@guest_781790)
5 months ago
Reply to  Brom

Well the U.K. has 6 batteries of 155mm with I assume 8 guns each in the royal artillery.
So 48 guns firing 300,000 shells a day is really unlikely as that’s 6250 shells each barrel a day.
Even the the 32 guns given to Ukraine were 20 working ones and 12 spares.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_782423)
5 months ago
Reply to  monkey spanker

We have 57 AS90s left and acquiring 14 Archers, which is pretty pitiful really.

Berman W Mo
Berman W Mo (@guest_781900)
5 months ago
Reply to  Brom

That is because their style of war, which like the Russians, is based on Soviet Union’s own style of ear, involved a lot of artillery. What the Russians/Soviet called the God of War. In this strategy, overwhelming artillery fire is used to suppress the enemy’s defense. The armor and the infantry are basically used as a follow up force.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_782422)
5 months ago
Reply to  Brom

300,000 rounds for just 71 155mm Howitzers, that is 4,225 per barrel. I doubt we could get them to the front fast enough.

Steve
Steve (@guest_781609)
5 months ago

This appears to be to restock the donated shells, the problem is 8x without the base number is meaningless, if its 1 shell a year a x8 increase will take several thousand of years to restock the 300k. Journalists really should be taught to think and ask questions and not just post what the official statement states. Here it’s just a repost but some press journalist must have published it originally.

In addition to knowing the actual rate of production the target number is also important. How many shells are being purchased to replace the 300k.

Last edited 5 months ago by Steve
Rudeboy
Rudeboy (@guest_782308)
5 months ago
Reply to  Steve

UK MoD has already made it clear that the number being aimed for is 1.5 million shells per year by end of 2025. By adding a second line to BAE Washington. Do the maths… Current production is c180,000 per year….which is about 6 times as many as France, and more than Germany. And thats at 1 factory (BAE Washington) which is not working close to full speed (i.e. 3 shifts) on its main line. If we hit 1.5m per year we will be making more than the entire US is…. And more than Rheinmetall at its factories in Germnay, Italy,… Read more »

Steve
Steve (@guest_782316)
5 months ago
Reply to  Rudeboy

Interesting, not seen them numbers. They sound rather high. I wonder how realistic they are.

Also do we have numbers on how many of them are going to the UK and how many are for foreign sale?

Last edited 5 months ago by Steve
Rudeboy
Rudeboy (@guest_782335)
5 months ago
Reply to  Steve

No idea on where the shells are going I’m afraid. Probably to NATO countries who will then send older munitions to Ukraine (its always on a first in first out basis with munitions). How the 1.5m is produced will be interesting… They’ve been making c180,000 a year on 1 line, but they’ve not been straining themselves i.e. its 9-5 monday to friday, so 40 hours per week…but there are 168 hours in a week If you go 24/7/365 then even with maintenance downtime you can treble production pretty much instantly without turning the machines up…then add the second line…and you’re… Read more »

Steve
Steve (@guest_782346)
5 months ago
Reply to  Rudeboy

That would require a massive recruitment drive and training. I would be surprised if they wanted to make long term investments considering that the interest could dry up over night at any moment. Once stalemate is reached in Ukraine and peace talks happen the west will lose all interest in mass supplying Ukraine on the free and Ukraine won’t be able to afford it themselves.

European and UK goverments are hardly the most reliable partners/buyers when it comes to defence procurement.

Last edited 5 months ago by Steve
Finney
Finney (@guest_782667)
5 months ago
Reply to  Rudeboy

I’ve definitely read that they’ve already been working longer hours and weekends, so it has started to ramp up already.

Jonno
Jonno (@guest_783648)
5 months ago
Reply to  Rudeboy

Lloyd George understood all this.

Phil Chadwick
Phil Chadwick (@guest_781635)
5 months ago

Excellent news. I am very proud at the way in which our Nation has stepped right up to the plate in standing shoulder to shoulder with Ukraine. The latest announcement of support announced a few days ago is very welcome indeed and I hope this is replicated across Europe and the USA, that is as soon as they can get their politics running properly.. One point I would like to make however, is if we can do all of this for Ukraine, and we have spent many Billions already, then surely the same has to be done for our own… Read more »

Val
Val (@guest_781639)
5 months ago

How many shells can China produce for us?

Kero
Kero (@guest_781785)
5 months ago
Reply to  Val

Artillery shells from Wish? No thanks. Will either end up being 15.5mm shells or take 3 years to get here.

Sam
Sam (@guest_781928)
5 months ago
Reply to  Kero

Might be full of water.

Berman W Mo
Berman W Mo (@guest_781901)
5 months ago
Reply to  Val

China like the Russians use 152 mm, not the same standard.

Frank62
Frank62 (@guest_781693)
5 months ago

Hurrah, finally HMG is starting to wake up from her deep slumber ignoring the reality of growing threats. At least let’s hope so. The only thing they’ve kept up with is empty soundbites & rolling cuts.

Lord Baddlesmere
Lord Baddlesmere (@guest_786180)
4 months ago
Reply to  Frank62

Magazine depth has been a concern for some time

Luke Rogers
Luke Rogers (@guest_781700)
5 months ago

“So how many shells are we producing per day now?”

“8!”

Seriously though, how many rounds can you actually fire through our artillery systems until the barrel burns out? How many tubes are available? What’s the logistics train capable of delivering for sustained bombardment? All of these factors should determine how many rounds are stored and produced. What’s the point of making 15 million artillery shells for 30 worn out guns?

DaveyB
DaveyB (@guest_781770)
5 months ago
Reply to  Luke Rogers

Something like AS90 can fire 2500 shells at full charge before it “officially” needs a new barrel. However, in a real war like Ukraine’s. I’m pretty certain barrel wear, where the rifling gets flattened, it becomes less of a concern. Yes it does mean the shell can’t travel as far, as more gas can get past the shell. Plus firing standard non-guided shells, it becomes less accurate. But in the grand scheme of things, I think Ukraine prefer to have a system that can still shoot, even if its past its best.

Apoplectix
Apoplectix (@guest_781744)
5 months ago

Don’t we need some guns to fire them from, or is just having the shells enough?

Ryan
Ryan (@guest_781758)
5 months ago

Kind of missing a critical part isn’t it. Eight fold increase…on what? How many do we make already? Only number I can recall seeing is a figure of “tens of thousands per year”, so anywhere from 20k to 90k annually. Lower end is a rather paltry 160k a year up to 720k a year which is a bit more impressive.
Course, doesn’t address whether we have the artillery to fire that but I suppose they could always be used as makeshift bombs.

Rudeboy
Rudeboy (@guest_782310)
5 months ago
Reply to  Ryan

MoD have said the aim is 1.5 million per year by end of 2025. Thats by adding a second line to BAE Washington….that should give you an idea of how many we can produce at the moment…

Louis
Louis (@guest_782461)
5 months ago
Reply to  Rudeboy

Have the MOD said it?
The sources I’ve seen that say those numbers have been unofficial and estimates.

John Brian Doyle
John Brian Doyle (@guest_781764)
5 months ago

Their is no context whatsoever in this statement
No mention of what previous production figures actually were
Far less where and how is manufacturing increasing by a factor of 8 and in what time frame
This I find astonishing given that The UK @/&
USA have massively went about deindustrialization leaving themselves massively exposed without any way back
As the supporting infrastructure and education/ skill trained have all disappeared

Rudeboy
Rudeboy (@guest_782320)
5 months ago

The number is 1.5 million shells by the end of 2025….

It turns out that the UK might actually, right now, have the greatest shell building potential in the West….

And all because the Royal Ordnance Factory in Birtley was old and riddled with asbestos…so we had to replace with a brand new factory in Washington, Tyne and Wear 10 years ago…as a result its the most modern facility in the world…

John Brian Doyle
John Brian Doyle (@guest_782324)
5 months ago
Reply to  Rudeboy

China stated very subtley when NATO and The West were hoping The anti in Ukraine By way of promising supply of ammo and more able weaponry all whilst that this war was now one of attrition China stated that currently they can produce 600,000 artillery shells each month àlso new artillery pieces capable of firing them along with delivery guaranteed expeditiously But also stated that if Reqd.then with only 2 weeks notice that all that could be easily increased to at least 800,000 shells Per month By way of it’s modern facilities and a fully comprehensive supply chain UK is… Read more »

Rudeboy
Rudeboy (@guest_782338)
5 months ago

China also is so reliant on trade with the West that it cannot supply arms to Russia for fear of sanctions from the West…its an empty threat.

monkey spanker
monkey spanker (@guest_781799)
5 months ago

A slippery MP answer is the standard reply. What really matters just now is can enough be made to help Ukraine while the USA house Fanny around and the EU up production.
Really the purchase of guns should have been fast tracked so the old ones could be passed to Ukraine and the new ones when the U.K. has enough can keep being produced for Ukraine and other exports.
Russia has been ramping up supplies since 2022 while the west thinks left overs is enough.

Jonno
Jonno (@guest_783649)
5 months ago
Reply to  monkey spanker

I read we may be returning production of the M777.

Richard Beedall
Richard Beedall (@guest_781804)
5 months ago

The order is worth £400 million. Assuming that an average 155mm shell+propellant+fuze costs c.£4,000, then that’s 100,000 all-up rounds delivered over an unstated number of years. However,  BAE Systems are having to build a new factory in South Wales to help deliver the order, and this won’t be completed until 2026. How many AS90’s and Archer’s does the British Army currently have? – less than 100 I’m certain. Given the type of non-peer war that the Army has been geared to fight in recent decades, a target war stock of 2,000 rounds/barrel is probably erring on the high side. I.e. c.200,000 total, but probably… Read more »

Simon
Simon (@guest_781858)
5 months ago

BAE aren’t building a new factory from scratch. They are expanding the site at Glascoed.

Richard Beedall
Richard Beedall (@guest_781870)
5 months ago
Reply to  Simon

Okay, I’m sure you are right. But BAE Systems call it a “new facility” on their website, so we are into semantics. The key point is the 2026 completion date, i.e. at least two years before it’s fully up and running.

Simon
Simon (@guest_782419)
5 months ago

Extra filling line. As you say it is a pity it is going to take 2 years to finish it.

Giles
Giles (@guest_786344)
4 months ago

Seems pretty meaningless unless you know the initial number of shells being produced and surely we not only need to increase production to replace stocks but also to increase supply to Ukraine

Jim Camm
Jim Camm (@guest_787948)
4 months ago

Can’t help but notice they didn’t actually include any production figures. How many shells/year did we start with and how many once we get this 8x increase?

Dagsy
Dagsy (@guest_792139)
4 months ago

The Americans have doubled their output to 28000 shells per month but face many obstacles to move beyond that. Apparently they have 1 possibly 2 factories. Eightfold sounds good; nice big order but have we actually got the plant/material to meet that target whatever that number is. So 28000×12 = 336000 shells, they won’t last long 56-168 days approx (back of beer mat calc).

Michael Hannah
Michael Hannah (@guest_793992)
4 months ago

Eight fold increase to What? One shell to 8 days or 1 shell every 8 days to 1 shell per day.?

Andrew Climo
Andrew Climo (@guest_823369)
22 days ago

In Feb 24 BAE said its new production facilities would come on line at the “back end of the year”. Thats too slow. As an ex-BAE employee, I’m pretty sure we could have set up brand new facilities in six months as long as it was off the peg machinery. Sounds like a lack of urgency….