Seven undisclosed EU member states have placed orders for 155mm munitions, as the European Defence Agency (EDA) – the union’s defence branch – looks to ensure a steady and cheaper supply of ammunition.
Head of the EDA, High Representative Josep Borrell, stated: “We have put an ambitious framework in place to support joint procurement of ammunition – to replenish stocks and to support Ukraine.”
As military aid for Ukraine starts to dry up from Poland, Sweden, and soon Slovakia after Robert Fico, a populist politician, gained support in the national election on 30 September, the EDA remains unbending in its continual assistance to Ukraine.
In fact, these orders come just after the agency secured nine framework contracts with European industries in early September.
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The EDA’s approach to boosting ammunition is through a collaborative financial policy in which participating nations pay into the pot for the 155mm ammunition.
In a press release, the EDA outlined its rationale, stating: “Collaborative procurement is the best option to achieve cost reduction from economies of scale and interoperability, while allowing member states to purchase ammunition according to their national needs or in support of Ukraine.”
EDA Chief Executive Jiří Šedivý said: “This is proof of the confidence placed in EDA and in European defence collaboration.
“Joint procurement is the best option to support member states in purchasing ammunition according to their national needs or for Ukraine. It also sends a strong signal to industry, showing the EU’s commitment to the European defence technological and industrial base.”
This fast-track acquisition programme for 155mm ammunition covers all-up-rounds and elements thereof (fuses, projectiles, charges, primer) for four different, modern firing platforms designed and produced in Europe (France’s Caesar, Poland’s Krab, Germany’s Panzerhaubitze 2000 and Slovakia’s Zuzana) and most used by the Ukrainian armed forces.
“This is a new step towards a more coordinated and capable EU defence,” Borrell asserted.