NATO, in a move to strengthen its ammunition reserves, concluded contracts for the procurement of approximately 220,000 155-millimetre artillery shells, amounting to a substantial 1.2 billion US dollars.

The contracts were finalised by Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and Stacy Cummings, General Manager of the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA), on Tuesday (23 January 2024).

Secretary General Stoltenberg emphasised the strategic significance of the procurement, stating, “This demonstrates that NATO’s tried and tested structures for joint procurement are delivering. Russia’s war in Ukraine has become a battle for ammunition, so it is important that Allies refill their own stocks, as we continue to support Ukraine.”

The purchase is part of NATO’s approach to maintaining and enhancing its military capabilities, as outlined in the Defence Production Action Plan agreed upon by Allied leaders in July 2023.

Since then, the NSPA has executed contracts valued at around 10 billion dollars, covering a wide spectrum of military needs. These include a substantial 5.5 billion dollar contract for 1,000 Patriot missiles and another 4 billion dollars dedicated to 155-mm artillery, anti-tank guided missiles, and tank ammunition.

Tom has spent the last 13 years working in the defence industry, specifically military and commercial shipbuilding. His work has taken him around Europe and the Far East, he is currently based in Scotland.
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Jacko
Jacko
6 days ago

Divert most of them to Ukraine please

Tullzter
Tullzter
6 days ago

Isn’t 220 000 more or less the amount used in Ukraine per year?

Chris
Chris
6 days ago
Reply to  Tullzter

More than that. The USA sent more than 1 million 155mm and they burned it in 6 months.

farouk
farouk
6 days ago

No doubt the British Def secretary will subscribe to the view that the Uk can afford to cut its military spending as there are better things to spend money on, such as his expense account

Last edited 6 days ago by farouk
Mr Bell
Mr Bell
6 days ago
Reply to  farouk

I saw Grant Shapps had been to Japan to tout the CSG 2025 deployment to the far east. He stood in front of JMSDF destoryer Maya- a 12,000 ton AEGIS equipped super destroyer sprouting off about how no nation should under estimate the UK’s armed forces, I was left deflated. How he can possibly state that when the RN is down to what 15 active destroyers and frigates, is considering scrapping our LPDs and both carriers have no more than 34 F35B jets able to be deployed onto them. with a further order for 26 more aircraft stalled because the… Read more »

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
6 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Yep pretty overblown garbage, I wonder if he does stand up ? Bottom line is absolutely nothing is going to get done because no British Government is interested anymore.
As for the Tempest project believe it or not the proposed development plan is as near as you will get to rapid. Check out the Russian, US, Chinese and Franco / German ones for comparison.

Jim
Jim
5 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

The development phase for Tempest is about as long as the block IV upgrade for F35 to put it in comparison.

That being said the B21 is the first digitally designed military aircraft and the project seems to be moving rapidly and with in budget.

That may bode well for Tempest which is using the same process.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
5 days ago
Reply to  Jim

Hi Jim, something we can learn from. Rising B-21 production costs lead to $1.6B charge for Northrop WASHINGTON — Northrop Grumman reported a nearly $1.6 billion pre-tax charge on the B-21 Raider program in the last quarter of 2023, as the stealth bomber moved into its low-rate initial production phase. The charge was mainly caused by higher-than-expected production costs and macroeconomic disruptions, company officials said in an earnings call with investors Thursday. The B-21′s charge included $143 million in cost growth on the first LRIP lot, they said. The Air Force plans to field a fleet of at least 100… Read more »

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
5 days ago
Reply to  Jim

Great point Jim, it hopefully demonstrates that the great changes in software development and towards modularisation and digital twinning since the F-35 inauguration isn’t just hype and are meaningful in reducing development time and previously baked in lack of flexibility. As for Tempest itself, I also think the combination of UK, Japan and Leonardo is at least potentially made in heaven at least compared with dealing with the French or Germans or indeed Americans who tend to see us as the useful idiots of technology exchange and cooperation. Japan can offer so much in terms of fit with UK military… Read more »

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
6 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

There won’t be a huge order for Tempest. Do you honestly think a 6th gen fighter is going to be cheap? The future is unmanned. Tempest will be a manned fighter, but not in large numbers. 100 at the most. Probably less. It will manage larger numbers of loyal wingman drones. Drones will bring future mass, not manned platforms. We have some lethal capabilities. None of us are in denial about the problems facing our Armed Force’s. But I’m sick of people acting like we have turned into the Irish defence force. You can’t keep harking back to passed force… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

Tempest will have the ability to fly unmanned.

Jim
Jim
5 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

Planes have been getting cheaper since the 80’s

F14 in adjusted dollars were about $300 million a go, F35 coming in as low as $80 million in same year dollars.

Look at the cost of B21 compared to B2.

CAD may actually be a game changer for Tempest.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
5 days ago
Reply to  Jim

A new Typhoon, even after 20+ years of production, is still 80+M. That’s is not particularly cheap. NGAD is projected to cost $200/300+ million a pop. New technologies will bring huge benefits to Tempest, but anyone thinking a 6th gen capable fighter is going to be cheap are kidding themselves.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
5 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

We know that Typhoon costs are greatly the result of the production structure which was far from commercially viable if looked at objectively and a lot due to German intransigence and indecision. That cannot be repeated. Just read up on potential costs re US efforts though can only generalise as these things don’t stick in my brain. However originally a super F-22 was proposed rather than a brand new design and this was the idea that Japan would have participated in. It would involved F-35 like sensors and electronics upgrades and the stealth advances like embedded coatings rather than applied… Read more »

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
5 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

It was a mistake to cap F22 production at 197 airframes. Now F15C’s are having to soldier on that are becoming very maintenance heavy due to their age and the very expensive F15EX wouldn’t have been necessary. The stealth technology on F35 is much more maintenance friendly compared to F22. But with investment, that could be applied to F22. It’s still an outstanding aircraft. But F35A now provides much of the air dominace capability of F22 along with strike/ electronic attack. The radar and avionics are a generation ahead of F22. And with blk4, its capabilities will keep it ahead… Read more »

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
5 days ago
Reply to  Jim

Agreed still speculative but it’s at the core of how expensive present or future jets will be.

Math
Math
5 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

F35 is not that good. It is way too expensive to operate and has short legs. The advantages are two fold: stealth and data fusion. Stealth is vanishing in 2027 and can currently be countered by passive tracking. Data fusion will be matched by Rafale F5 and other planes. So what will be left except high hour flying costs?
6gen is a concept. No one knows the plateform yet.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
5 days ago
Reply to  Math

Stealth is not vanishing in 2027. If so, why are the new 6th gen all going to be all aspect stealth. The F35 will have engaged and got missiles in the air at range before any adversary even knows it’s been engaged. Data fusion is not matched by the Rafale. Rafale still requires external pods. Its radar array size is tiny. It doesn’t have the computer power, or electrical generation power of the F35, or all aspect stealth. F35 carries more fuel internally than any other western fighter. There are very good reasons why so many nations are ordering F35.… Read more »

Math
Math
5 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

I hope you’re right… though passive sensor get the F35 as recently demonstrated in joint exercise. And due to single engine configuration plus limited trust to weight ratio, F35 has difficulties to fly very low and carry limited quantities of long range air to ground missiles. Ha, let’s hope we don’t have to find out and if so numbers will overcome the odds. I think the next plane of USA will be fine. Turn’s out that USA is doing a crappy generation of planes, then an outstanding one, and a crappy again. Look at century series (poor generation) followed by… Read more »

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
5 days ago
Reply to  Math

I’ve had 6 pints down the pub. I’ll reply properly to you tomorrow 👍🍻.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
5 days ago
Reply to  Math

Royal Aeronautical Society/NGAD – a generational divide? “Since improved stealth, supercruise and long range will be the main drivers for the NGAD configuration, it is likely that the AII-X flight demonstrator was focused on the validation of an external shape that reflects the requirement. Under the skin, NGAD requirements should be informed by lessons learned in the F-35 programme. The F-35 has been chronically short of cooling capability: a GE model of its three-stream engine shown at AFA included a full-diameter heat exchanger in the outer bypass duct – a complex design that would be impossible to fabricate without using… Read more »

Math
Math
5 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Agreed. NGAD is a good concept, long legs, fast. It will be able to hit hard long range and will therefore be a tremendous asset for all forces equiped with it. Like the F15 but better. Loyal wingman drones will be a must have. This will bring on consumables and firepower. The computing abord NGAD will enable network centric combat capabilities that will be needed considering the upcoming vulnerabilities of all Awacs plateforme due to long range missiles. Radar stealth is no longer the goal. Gallium nitrite radar, quantum radar, multistatic radar and passive sensor kill this idea gradually. Deployement… Read more »

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
5 days ago
Reply to  Math

With a bottomless pit which we can ill afford. Now add in the cost of the engine upgrades, the unit cost of F-35 fighters which will increase due to reduced orders over different lots, and a rush at the end which has already been predicted due to the delays in TR3/Block4 ongoing fiasco while countries wait with the production lines due to close in 2035.

GAO 30 May 2023

“The extra heat is increasing the wear on the engine, reducing its life, and adding $38 billion in maintenance costs.”

Netking
Netking
4 days ago
Reply to  Math

Stealth is vanishing in 2027 and can currently be countered by passive tracking.”

What???

Please do explain.

Math
Math
1 hour ago
Reply to  Netking

Stealth works only if F35 has his radar cut. When a F35 uses his radar, he can be detected, tracked and shot, as demonstrated in the Atlantic Trident shoutout by Rafale Spectra + Meteor. If F35 fly high (it’s mission profile as single engine fighter), it better be in bad weather, because of optic and termal tracking. Anyway, this plane cannot really fly low, it is not safe then (bulky, underpowered), and its engine is not optimal for this. Foggy weather, Radar off, the stealth somehow works. Low band radar will tell you within 1 to 5 km where the… Read more »

Netking
Netking
9 minutes ago
Reply to  Math

“Stealth works only if F35 has his radar cut.” Have you ever heard of LPI radar that the F-22 and the F-35 uses? Again, go look it up. What happened in Atlantic trident all the way in 2018 is classified and not publicly disclosed so you are making it up. If you really want to use internet rumors as your source of information then the rumor is “The result was 18-0 against Rafale and 19-0 against Eurofighter and 16-1 against the F-15E.” I can send you the link a a forum where these rumors are shared and you can read it… Read more »

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
5 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

See the ROYAL AIR FORCE website, what we do/Team Tempest from the dropdown menu for all the factual details 👍🇬🇧 “Tempest will provide several modes of operation, combining manned, unmanned and optionally-manned platforms, with onboard and off-board data processing and a range of pilot decision aids when manned flight is being conducted. This is called scalable autonomy. Scalable autonomy will be key in the future as operating environments become more complex and threats become more sophisticated and dangerous. Speed, manoeuvrability and payload will also be key in the future. Our aerodynamicists and engineers are optimising the aerodynamic performance of the… Read more »

Jim
Jim
5 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

GCAP is probably going to prioritise aerodynamic capability where NGAD will prioritise low frequency stealth.

GCAP will have some form of horizontal stabiliser, NGAD will have no tail more like a bomber than a fighter.

Personally I think our approach will be better. Stealth over time can always be compromised and it’s pretty useless for air policing roles.

Being highly manuverable will always come in handy.

No doubt Lockheed will claim at some point GCAP not 6th Gen for this reason but a 5.5gen.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
5 days ago
Reply to  Jim

Stealth and the best possible situational awareness is exactly what you want in any given role.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
5 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

Must admit those factors were in my mind the decisive factors but having read recently about the negative effects of tailless designs I’m less committed to that primacy than I was. In the end I guess the line of balance between positive and negative factors is just how effective stealth factors remains and how, much influenced upon this, the likelihood of direct aerial engagements are going to be. Why does the navy have a different view to the airforce I wonder or is it entirely due to the need to maximise manoeuvrability and control for carrier operations particularly launch and… Read more »

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
5 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Aircraft designed for carrier operations are always a compromise between the desired performance and the slow speed handling characteristics required for landing safely on a carrier. Until we see real technology demonstrators, we are all just guessing about what NGAD and Tempest will look like and what roles they are designed to fulfil. It’s interesting that an official Air Staff requirement has never been released stating exactly what the MOD actually wants Tempest to do. I do think the manned version will only be built in small numbers with the unmanned version and loyal wingman making up the bulk of… Read more »

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
5 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Its always good to keep up to date!Airforce Technology January 22 2024 Tempest combat air demonstrator aircraft design and features “Tempest will be a sixth-generation optionally-manned stealth-capable fighter jet, which will be designed to be connected, flexible and upgradeable to stay ahead of changing threats. The airframe of the aircraft will be made of advanced composite materials and additives to be able to operate at higher temperatures. It will use digital engineering technology and advanced processes to reduce manufacturing time. The aircraft will support scalable autonomy, which will enable manned, unmanned and optionally manned operations. Tempest will be able to… Read more »

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
5 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

The Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) “The programme revolutionises the USAF’s modernisation plans by adopting a system-of-systems approach instead of a singular platform. A sixth-generation fighter aircraft will form the centrepiece of the network-connected NGAD family of systems. It will be complemented by multiple manned aircraft, loyal wingman-style unmanned aerial vehicles, and advanced command, control and communication systems. The USAF flew a full-scale flight demonstrator as part of the NGAD programme in September 2020. The modern sixth-generation fighter jet is expected to replace the F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft beginning in 2030. NGAD fighter jet details The NGAD fighter aircraft will… Read more »

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
5 days ago
Reply to  Jim

I’ve been warning about the F-35’s future day-one capability to avoid Chinese radar for donkey’s years on here clearly stating it will be of little use come 2026 that has been proven in US war games on two separate occasions and with all the bells and whistles added to it that we still don’t have and will not have until the 2030s. “The surprise debut of the Chengdu J-20 stealth fighter at the end of 2010 was China’s most spectacular move, but air power experts increasingly worry about the growing PLA-Navy fleet of air-defence warships and Shaanxi KJ-500 airborne radar… Read more »

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
5 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

😂😄🤦 What utter garbage. More AI generated rubbish. Wake up and smell the coffee is the most human response your computer can think of.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
5 days ago
Reply to  Jim

I should have mentioned this earlier in relation to my earlier post.

Royal Aeronautical Society/NGAD – a generational divide?
Worth reading in full.

Netking
Netking
4 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

An article written by Bill Sweetman, a notorious F35 hater and spreader of misinformation online.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
4 days ago
Reply to  Netking

🙄

Math
Math
5 days ago
Reply to  Jim

Why do France, UK, Russia, India, USA, Japan, Korea, Pakistan and more go for hypersonic missiles and no stealth missile. There must be reasons. And we all know them. Stealth is not a viable concept, while hypersonic is.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
5 days ago
Reply to  Math

Stealth is everything. Especially for subsonic cruise missiles.

Math
Math
5 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

Hi Robert, I am not so sure. It is working now, but It seems some scalp/store shadow have shot down and that it will become tougher in the future.
I believe in speed and agility in the future.

Netking
Netking
4 days ago
Reply to  Math

Have you ever heard off the JASSM, LRASM, LRSO. All new stealthy missiles that are being bought by the US military. The US intends to buy nearly 12,000 JASSM alone.

Math
Math
4 days ago
Reply to  Netking

Interesting. Though I would like to remind one fact: USA is lagging behind Russia, China, North Korea, Pakistan and France in terms of hypersonic weapons. And soon India will join the party. Let’s see if the cooperation with France enables them to get back in the race.

Netking
Netking
2 days ago
Reply to  Math

USA is lagging behind Russia, China, North Korea, Pakistan and France in terms of hypersonic weapons.”

Who told you that???

Other than China, show me just one hypersonic weapon produced by any of the countries that you listed. Just one.

Math
Math
1 hour ago
Reply to  Netking

Russia does as seen in Ukraine. North Korea has made shots in Japan sea to show that Thaad was obsolete. Pakistan claimed to have them in the treaths issued to Iran.
We are a bit behind.

Netking
Netking
6 minutes ago
Reply to  Math

North Korea has made shots in Japan sea to show that Thaad was obsolete.”

hahaha I think that you are secretly a comedian. How does NK firing a missile during a test into the sea of Japan prove that thaad is obsolete?

Netking
Netking
2 days ago
Reply to  Math

I have to say that you are very poorly informed. The US has at least six different hypersonic weapons program at different stages of development. And that’s just the publicly disclosed programs. It’s very likely that there is another classified program. Far greater than any other country. Please look them up.

CPS
HALO
LRHW
ARRW
HACM
TBG
MOHWC

Math
Math
1 hour ago
Reply to  Netking

I know they have many programs, but progress are slow. Some of them are canceled.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
6 days ago

I wonder how many artillery rounds from this order the UK is contributing or manufacturing? It would be good to know that UK PLC industrial base is increasing its churn out of artillery shells and cannon rounds to fulfil NATO orders and replenish our own military stocks.
Of course any and all spare capacity should go to Ukraine but it is a horrific balancing act between donating to Ukraine and downgrading our own ability to wage a defensive war against a resurgent Russia/ Rusk-Sino pact.

Farouk
Farouk
5 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

None, I quote:
A NATO official identified the buyers as Belgium, Lithuania and Spain, which pooled together to benefit from the lower prices ensured by buying in bulk.
The contract is likely to yield about 220,000 rounds of artillery ammunition, with the first deliveries expected at the end of 2025, the official told Reuters.
The shells will be supplied by French arms maker Nexter and Germany’s Junghans, according to an industry source.

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
5 days ago
Reply to  Farouk

Based upon data in the article, the estimated price/round is approximately $5,450. Admittedly, inflation has recently been significant, but that is still a very robust number. Someone, somewhere in the chain, will be reaping a very comfortable profit. 🤔

Math
Math
5 days ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

Yes, indeed. We must improve manufacturing process in Europe. Unfortunatly, according to severall analyst, USA will not be able to contend Russian and Chineese threat alltogether. Manufacturing capabilities can simply not follow. This was not the case in the past, but now it is. We must just deal with it and follow the hard path it imply.

Jonathan
Jonathan
6 days ago

Well estimates are that Russia are firing about 20,00 a day Ukraine has to be more frugal and fires 6000 a day…so that order will last maybe a week in a major war….interestingly the entire western product capacity is around 20,000 155mm shells a month….western military industrial capacity is a problem that needs solving.

Louis
Louis
4 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Not a chance that 155mm production is at just 20k a month, even pre war. US production is now at 60k a month. Rheinmetall is also making 60k a month (albeit including a South African factory). Pre war Nexter production was 5k a month, and it’s doubling this year.

Then there’s BAE which will have at least tripled production by now, Nammo and a Spanish company I can’t remember the name of.

Monthly production is easily above 150k, and will probably surpass 300k by 2026.

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 days ago
Reply to  Louis

In 2023 US production was 14,000 a month..they were planning to hit 24,000 by 2024 so my figure were a bit out of date..but only by 6 months…with an aim to hit 85,000 per month by 2028…that’s according to the U.S..no change production is anything close to 150k a month…if Europe ramps up maximum production in every factory ( which would take 2 years to,achieve) it can probably get to 40,000 a month, which will take about 1-2 years to get to that…but in 2023 the west was producing around 20,000 shells a month ( the major European plants only… Read more »

Louis
Louis
4 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Rheinmetall is on track to make 700k 155mm shells this year. Pre war they had the capacity to make 450k a year, with 350k in Europe, so presumably 550-600k of the 700k will be made in Europe. Nammo was at 100k a year pre war and will double by 2028, Nexter at 3k a month. US production hit 28k October last year and they are planning for it to hit 36k in March, 60k in September and 100k by the end of 2025. No idea what FMG was at, apparently it had a lot of spare capacity. Then there is… Read more »

Ken
Ken
3 days ago

I thought the Uk has gave 300,000 rounds alone to Ukraine so this is a tiny number