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Biden to visit Alabama weapons plant as arms stockpile strained

When President Joe Biden visits a Lockheed Martin factory building an anti-tank weapon system on Tuesday, it is certain that US weapons will change the game for Ukraine’s fierce resistance to the Russian invasion. But Biden’s scheduled visit to its factory line Alabama is also drawing attention to a growing concern as the war continues: Can the US keep up with the shipment of huge quantities of weapons to Ukraine while maintaining a healthy stockpile that may be needed in the event of a conflict with North Korea, Iran or elsewhere? The U.S. has provided at least 7,000 Javelins, including some transferred during the Trump administration, or about a third of its stockpile, to Ukraine in recent years, according to Mark Cancian, a senior adviser to the Center for Strategic Plans’ international security program. and International Studies. The Biden government says it has pledged to send 5,500 Javelins to Ukraine since the February 24 invasion. Analysts also estimate that the United States has shipped about a quarter of its stockpile of Stinger missiles to Ukraine. Raytheon Technologies CEO Greg Hayes told investors last week during a quarterly call that his weapons company would not be able to increase production until next year due to a shortage of spare parts. “Could this be a problem? The short answer is, “Probably yes,” said Cancian, a retired Marine and former Office of Management and Budget expert on the Pentagon’s budget strategy, war finance, and procurement programs. He added that the Stingers and Javelins were where “we are seeing the most important stock issues” and that production of both weapons systems has been limited in recent years. As lawmakers from Washington to Warsaw prepare to increase defense spending in response to Russian aggression, defense contractors, however, face the same challenges in the supply chain and labor shortages faced by other manufacturers, Military spending by the United States and around the world was rising even before the Russian invasion on February 24. Biden’s 2023 budget called for $ 773 billion for the Pentagon, an annual increase of about 4%. , total military expenditure increased by 0.7 % to more than $ 2 trillion for the first time in 2021, according to an April report by Stockholm International Peace Research. The war will mean increased sales for some defense contractors, including Raytheon, which builds Stinger missiles used by Ukrainian troops to strike Russian aircraft. The company is also part of a joint venture with Lockheed Martin, which builds the Javelins. Biden will visit the Lockheed Martin facility in Troy, Alabama, which has the capacity to build about 2,100 Javelins a year. The trip comes as it pushes Congress to quickly approve its request for an additional $ 33 billion in security and financial assistance to Kyiv. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., said Monday he hoped a speedy bipartisan agreement on the security package would be reached by the Senate “next week.” He spoke in support of the US Alliance, but said that maintaining some independence was not the answer. The government is also considering a number of options, if needed, to boost production of Javelins and Stingers, the official said. the Pentagon is developing a package of weapons and systems to send to Ukraine, its chairman the Chief of Staff and the Department are making an assessment of the impact on preparedness. “It’s not about counting, let’s say, javelins and being able to say that when you reach a certain level and then all your readiness is gone,” Kirby said. “Javelin is an anti-armor skill, so we judge it all as a set of our ability to respond to this particular mission set, realizing that a Javelin is not the only ability you have against armor.” The light but deadly Javelin has helped the Ukrainians inflict heavy damage on Russia’s largest and best-equipped army. As a result, the weapon has gained almost mythical appreciation, is celebrated with a Javelin song and images of Mary Magdalene carrying a Javelin and becoming a meme in Ukraine. Lockheed Martin CEO James Taiclet said in a recent interview with CNBC that demand for Javelin and other weapons systems would increase widely over time due to the Russian invasion. He said the company is working “to strengthen our supply chain”. in Bethesda, Maryland, he said in a statement.

When President Joe Biden visits a Lockheed Martin factory building an anti-tank weapon system on Tuesday, he is sure to announce US weapons as a change of game for Ukraine’s fierce resistance to Russian invasion.

But Biden’s scheduled visit to the Alabama plant line also draws attention to growing concern as the war continues: Can the US keep up with the shipment of huge quantities of weapons to Ukraine while maintaining a healthy stockpile that may be needed if a North Korea, Iran or elsewhere?

The U.S. has provided at least 7,000 Javelins, including some transferred during the Trump administration, or about a third of its stockpile, to Ukraine in recent years, according to Mark Cancian, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategy and International Studies. security program. The Biden government says it has pledged to send 5,500 Javelins to Ukraine since the February 24 invasion.

Analysts also estimate that the United States has shipped about a quarter of its stockpile of Stinger missiles to Ukraine. Raytheon Technologies CEO Greg Hayes told investors last week during a quarterly call that his company, which makes the weapons system, would not be able to increase production until next year due to component shortages.

“Could this be a problem? The short answer is, “Probably yes,” said Cancian, a retired Marine and former Office of Management and Budget expert on the Pentagon’s budget strategy, war finance and procurement programs.

He added that the Stingers and Javelins were where “we see the most important stock issues” and that production of both weapons systems has been limited in recent years.

The Russian invasion offers the American and European defense industries a great opportunity to boost profits as lawmakers from Washington to Warsaw prepare to increase defense spending in response to Russian aggression. However, defense contractors face the same supply chain and workforce challenges that other manufacturers face, along with a few others that are industry specific.

Military spending by the United States and around the world was rising even before the Russian invasion on February 24. Biden’s 2023 budget called for $ 773 billion for the Pentagon, an annual increase of about 4%.

Globally, total military spending increased by 0.7% to more than $ 2 trillion for the first time in 2021, according to an April report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

The war will mean increased sales for some defense contractors, including Raytheon, which manufactures Stinger missiles used by Ukrainian troops to strike Russian aircraft. The company is also part of a joint venture with Lockheed Martin, which builds the Javelins.

Biden will visit the Lockheed Martin facility in Troy, Alabama, which has the capacity to build about 2,100 Javelins a year. The trip comes as it pushes Congress to quickly approve its request for an additional $ 33 billion in security and financial assistance to Kyiv. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., said Monday he hoped a speedy bipartisan agreement on the security package would be reached by the Senate “next week.”

A White House official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to comment, said the Pentagon was working with defense contractors to “assess the health of arms production lines and address bottlenecks” in the construction process. The government is also considering a number of options, if needed, to boost Javelins and Stingers production, the official said.

Pentagon Spokesman John Kirby said Monday that America’s military readiness does not depend on one system. He said that every time the Pentagon develops a package of weapons and systems to send to Ukraine, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the department make an assessment of the impact on preparedness.

“The point is not to count, say, spears and be able to say that when you reach a certain level then all your readiness is gone,” Kirby said. “Javelin is an anti-armor skill, so we judge it all as a set of our ability to respond to this particular mission set, realizing that a Javelin is not the only ability you have against armor.”

The light but deadly Javelin helped the Ukrainians inflict heavy damage on Russia’s largest and best-equipped army. As a result, the weapon has gained almost mythical appreciation, celebrated with a Javelin song and images of Mary Magdalene carrying a Javelin and becoming a meme in Ukraine.

Lockheed Martin CEO James Taiclet told CNBC in a recent interview that demand for Javelin and other weapons systems would increase widely over time due to the Russian invasion. He said the company is working “to strengthen our supply chain”.

“We are able to meet current production requirements, invest in increased capacity and explore ways to further increase production as needed,” said Lockheed Martin, based in Bethesda, Maryland.

Biden to visit Alabama weapons plant as arms stockpile strained Source link Biden to visit Alabama weapons plant as arms stockpile strained

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