American arms producers are struggling to acquire sufficient rocket motors to construct missiles for Ukrainian forces, the Wall Avenue Journal reported on Tuesday. With a number of contractors counting on a single provider, manufacturing targets have already been pushed again.
In a quarterly earnings report launched on Tuesday, Lockheed Martin stated that though its total gross sales rose from a yr earlier, gross sales of Guided A number of Launch Rocket Methods (GMLRS) fell resulting from a “decrease quantity” leaving its factories.
GMLRS projectiles are artillery rockets, and are fired from Lockheed Martin’s M142 HIMARS platform. In keeping with the latest Pentagon figures, the US has given Ukraine 38 HIMARS platforms, and whereas the Protection Division doesn’t disclose what number of GMLRS projectiles have been despatched to Kiev, a Reuters investigation put the determine at over 5,000 final November, greater than the 4,600 Lockheed Martin could make in a yr.
A scarcity of rocket motors has hindered the corporate’s efforts to spice up manufacturing, the Wall Avenue Journal reported. Different missile makers like Raytheon Applied sciences have additionally been affected, the newspaper’s supply stated.
Lockheed Martin additionally makes use of solid-fuel rocket motors in its Javelin anti-tank missiles, of which greater than 8,500 have been despatched to Ukraine during the last yr. Throughout a go to by President Joe Biden to the corporate’s Javelin manufacturing facility in Alabama final Could, CEO Jim Taiclet vowed to double manufacturing of the shoulder-fired missiles by 2024. Nevertheless, the corporate and the Pentagon advised the Wall Avenue Journal that the date has since been pushed again to 2026.
“We thought we might get there earlier,” Lockheed Martin’s Chief Monetary Officer, Jay Malave, advised the paper.
US missile makers like Lockheed Martin and Raytheon Applied sciences supply their rocket motors from a single provider, Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings. Nevertheless, though the Pentagon awarded Aerojet a $216 million contract final week to spice up manufacturing, it stated it was nonetheless recovering from a hearth at one in every of its factories final yr, whereas the sale of the corporate to aerospace large L3Harris Applied sciences remains to be being scrutinized by antitrust authorities.
Whereas rocket artillery and guided missile manufacturing are apparently hindered, Ukraine can be grappling with a scarcity of standard artillery rounds. Leaked Pentagon paperwork not too long ago steered that the shortfall is delaying a deliberate spring offensive by Kiev’s forces, whereas the US is reportedly trying to its allies to replenish its depleted stockpiles.
Russia has repeatedly warned that the inflow of Western weapons will solely lengthen the battle in Ukraine. The West’s involvement “is rising regularly,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated earlier this month, including that the West’s assist for Kiev “can not affect the ultimate end result of the particular operation.”
You’ll be able to share this story on social media: