Written by 13:10 World

Pentagon Opens Ammunition Factory to Keep Arms Flowing to Ukraine

In a warehouse off Lyndon B. Johnson Freeway in an industrial area outside Dallas, the future of American military ammunition production is coming online.

Here, in the Pentagon’s first new major arms plant built since Russia invaded Ukraine, Turkish workers in orange hard hats are busy unpacking wood crates stenciled with the name Repkon, a defense company based in Istanbul, and assembling computer-controlled robots and lathes.

The factory will soon turn out about 30,000 steel shells every month for the 155-millimeter howitzers that have become crucial to Kyiv’s war effort.

Ukraine fired between 4,000 and 7,000 such shells daily for several months in 2023, according to NATO’s secretary-general, before infighting among House Republicans held up further funding for Pentagon arms shipments. Large shipments of American artillery ammunition resumed in April after Congress passed an aid package that included $61 billion to Ukraine.

The gap led to a drastic ammunition shortage for Kyiv, with Ukrainian troops able to fire only a fraction of the shells shot at them by Russian forces.

To keep Ukraine’s artillery crews supplied, the Pentagon set a production target last year of 100,000 shells per month by the end of 2025. Factories in Scranton and Wilkes-Barre, Pa., together make about 36,000 shells per month. The new General Dynamics facility in Mesquite, Texas, will make 30,000 each month once it reaches its full capacity.


Last modified: 30 May 2024