Norway will increase its artillery ammunition production capacity with a Nkr2bn ($190m) additional allocation to the Norwegian defence industry, the Norwegian Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced 17 January 2024.
The investment adds to a $90.5m increase to production thet the Norwegian government has made through co-financing projects under the EU’s Act in Support of Ammunition Production (ASAP) announced 13 December 2023. The initial support from Norway of $90.5m represented 16.6% of the estimate cost of the €500m ($544.5m) ASAP programme.
The war in Ukraine continues to spur investment in ammunition production, as Nato and European allies reckon with shortfalls in reserves of artillery munitions while seeking to bolster Ukraine’s defence.
“Enhancing the capacity in the defence industry is important, both for Ukraine and for our own security. We are now contributing to a significant increase in production capacity at Nammo to meet the needs of Norway, allies, and Ukraine,” said Norwegian Minister of Defence Bjørn Arild Gram.
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Discussions on artillery munition production at the level of the Council of European Union have been heated in recent months, with decision makers criticised for inaction by Estonia’s Minister of Defence while the Baltic nation committed 30% of its defence spending to producing ammunition.
ASAP, signed on 7 July 2023, called on EU member states to restock their ammunition supplies to provide one million rounds of ammunition for Ukraine, and to jointly procure further ammunition.
In 2023, Norway signed several substantial contracts with ammunition manufacturer Nammo, including a $181m contract in November that brought the running artillery order total to $410m, and four more contracts in December to include NM28/M107 155mm high-explosive ammunition for donation to Ukraine, as well as two contracts for deliveries of M72 enhanced capacity and reduced calibre anti-structure munitions.
The fourth contract between Nammo and the Norwegian government was an amendment to the existing strategic framework for additional deliveries of ammunition from several sites.