The NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) received and delivered the first lot of Precision Guided Munitions, acquired through a NATO project involving 11 Allies and one NATO partner.

The Precision Guided Munitions (PGMs), produced in the United States, have been delivered to their final recipients, Belgium and Denmark. The value of this initial acquisition is around 20 million US dollars.

The alliance say that the delivery is part of a cooperation effort, launched in 2014 at the NATO Summit in Wales, which offers Allies a framework to acquire air-to-ground PGMs in a cost-effective and flexible way. Working through this NATO initiative, rather than individually, allows Allies to draw upon each other’s PGM stocks in case of need: during air operations or in a possible crisis. This will also help NATO and Allies to reduce dependence on the US for air missions.

“This initiative seeks to address a problem that NATO first encountered during the Libya Operation: when some Allies ran out of their stockpiles of munitions, they found it incredibly difficult to use those of other air forces. We realized that we needed a new, flexible approach to the provision of air-to-ground precision-guided munitions. I am happy that this approach is now delivering its first results,” said Rose Gottemoeller, NATO Deputy Secretary General.

The project is managed by the NSPA on behalf of the Allies.  So far, 11 NATO members have joined this effort: Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Greece,  Hungary, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, and the United Kingdom. NATO partner Finland is also a participant according to a press release.

Following the first delivery, the second and third rounds of acquisition for PGMs are already underway. While continuing to expand this cooperation in the air domain, NATO has started to build similar frameworks for the acquisition of land and maritime munitions.

7 COMMENTS

  1. Given the relatively small scale of the intervention in Libya, it seems quite concerning that some nation’s munition stocks failed to sustain the operation. In the event of a major conflict, I’m doubtful the capacity for an increase in munition production could be generated with sufficient rapidity- if such a capacity existed in the first place.

    High end weapons platforms are of little utility without ammunition, and the ammunition itself seems to be of such expense it is not practical to stockpile in periods of low demand.

    Hm. It’s interesting to see NATO taking action to remedy the shortage, though it is no commitment to increase overall munition stocks.

  2. The above in plain English:
    NATO has started to build a stockpile of common air-to-ground precision guided munitions with the receipt of its first weapons shipment from the USA on 22 August. The stockpile is meant to allow European NATO members to draw upon each other’s precision guided munitions in case of need, such as during joint air operations or in reaction to a crisis. The store is intended to reduce dependence on the USA’s munitions for air-to-ground strike missions, a dependency which was exposed during the Libya Operation when some allies ran out of munitions and found it difficult to use those of other air forces.

  3. Given the UK’s air to ground weaponry what are we in it for?

    Paveway IV and Brimstone are UK built and UK specific, as will be Spear 3.

    Paveway II (1,000ib and 2,000ib) is being phased out, Maverick is gone. EPWIII is UK specific (and is unlikely to get more orders as there are sufficient stocks). Even Hellfire is being replaced by Brimstone as the new Protector and Apache E come online (and we have colossal stocks of Hellfire for Apache and an arrangement in place with the USAF for the remainder of the Reaper’s service life). Even the 500lb GBU-12 for Reaper will be replaced by Paveway IV on Protector.

    So why is the UK involved? The only possible munition would be a future buy of Harpoon, but thats going to be small and dealt with via FMS with the Poseidon buy.

    • I’m not sure if things have changed, but the UK had to request additional munitions from the US during the Libya campaign and that only lasted a few weeks from memory. Obviously our current available munitions stock pile is not public knowledge but pretty sure it would not last long in a peer to peer conflict. I’ve seen articles doubt if we hold enough Aster 15/30 for all 6 T45, we certainly wouldn’t be the only European navy with more missile silo’s than missiles.

      • BR85-Indeed nothing changes,Sir John Nott’s proposed culling of the Royal Navy in the 1980’s was to provide funding for greater Ammunition stocks for the BAOR,think at the time the estimate was 6 days worth.In GW1 extra 155mm shells were needed,Belgium was reluctant to provide any from memory.Weapons systems are obviously more complex nowadays if push came to shove it would be pretty near impossible to ramp up production quickly for Aster etc id have thought.

      • The UK didn’t request any additional munitions from the US during the Libya intervention.
        That was Denmark.
        Its been regularly trotted out but there’s no truth in it. For one the UK doesn’t use US munitions so they wouldn’t be trained or compatible with UK platforms (no JDAM for example). The UK uses PWIV which is UK specific and made in the UK. The other main guided weapons are Storm Shadow (UK made, hundreds in stock) Paveway II and Enhanced Paveway III. The UK has huge stocks of both of those.
        The only munition that the UK ran low on in Libya was Dual Mode Brimstone. Again the US couldn’t supply it as it’s UK made, and they don’t use it. The reason for DMB running low was rather obvious. We had hundreds of Brimstone in stockpiles but Dual Mode was brand new, consequently a large stockpile had yet to be built up. At one point the RAF were down to 9 DMB left. A crash programme was initiated to convert MMW only Brimstone to DM configuration which was successful. Since then production has built up a sizeable stockpile.
        People have confused the Danish situation with the UK’s understandable shortage of a new to production weapon.
        The UK has run low on GBU-12 and Hellfire R before, both used on Reaper exclusively, but an agreement was in place to use a shared stockpile with the US. The UK would order more to maintain the shared stockpile. The reason for that is that the UK will not be using those munitions on the Protector that replaces Reaper as it will be carrying Brimstone and PWIV. Consequently building a large stockpile of munitions that would be redundant in a couple of years was unnecessary (the UK incidentally has thousands of Hellfire in stock for Apache, principally the L variant).

  4. Where do we get our iron bombs from from the days of our fixed wing carriers {Eagle & Ark royal} we carried in our RFA munition support some 5000 bombs mainly 1000lb Mk10 followed by 500lb and then 2550lbs with a smattering of 540lb bombs, the support leveI for the Invincible class was reduced to 250 bombs by comparison do not think we have a UK bomb builder so must go abroad. I do not know what the new holding levels will be for the QE class but cannot imagine RAF have large stocks of conventional munitions let alone smart weapons?

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