The Pentagon will step up the production of air defense systems and anti-tank missiles in connection with the crisis in Eastern Europe
The Pentagon will accelerate the production of Stinger and Javelin missiles requested by the Kiev authorities to replenish US military stocks in connection with the Russian military special operation.
The US Department of Defense plans to accelerate the production of anti-aircraft missiles Stinger systems and Javelin anti-tank missiles to replenish its depleted stocks as it continues to send those systems to the Ukrainian military, CNN reports.
According to a recent military aid wish list, Ukraine wants to receive 500 Javelin anti-tank missiles and 500 Stinger anti-aircraft missiles daily from the US. CNN has reviewed a document detailing the items Kiev wants Ukrainians from Washington.
By March 7, less than two weeks after the start of the Russian military operation, the United States and other NATO members sent about 17,000 anti-tank missiles and 2,000 anti-aircraft missiles to Ukraine. That number has certainly increased since then, but no updated figures have been made public, CNN notes.
And on March 16, the White House announced an $800 million aid package that included 800 additional Stinger air defense systems and 2,000 Javelin anti-tank missile systems.
The Stinger production line has been shut down but has been restarted to fulfill an overseas sales order, CNN reports. According to Jessica Maxwell, a Pentagon spokeswoman, several options are now being considered in consultation with prime contractor Raytheon to increase production capacity and reduce production lead times in order to maintain production efficiency.
According to Maxwell, options include adding workers to production lines, producing new components to replace obsolete parts, and acquiring additional tools or test equipment for the production line.
Currently, the production of a serial batch of Stinger missiles takes from 18 to 24 months, depending on the size of the batch. The Pentagon does not disclose specific levels of ammunition stockpiles due to the sensitivity of the issue, but maintains levels of what may be needed in the event of a conflict, in accordance with the policy of the Department of Defense, according to CNN.
Raytheon has been awarded a contract to manufacture products for overseas in the amount of $320 million.
According to the Pentagon, the Javelin anti-tank system is in full production mode. However, the Pentagon is trying to increase production. Javelin maker Lockheed Martin “is in a position to meet growing demand for the foreseeable future,” a company spokeswoman said.
According to US Department of Defense budget documents, by 2022, Javelin anti-tank systems could be produced in more than 6000 pieces per year. According to company and US Department of Defense documents, they were manufactured at the Raytheon/Lockheed Martin Javelin Joint Venture in Orlando and Tucson, Arizona. Stinger anti-aircraft missiles are manufactured by Raytheon in Tucson.