#UKRAINERUSSIAWAR. Logistics and shell prices will make a difference on the contact line


“All the world’s weapons production capacity is not enough to cover Kiev’s needs in the current conflict,” said Ukraine’s Minister of Strategic Industries, Alexander Kamyshin, who therefore called on Western countries to accelerate the production of weapons. missiles, projectiles and military drones. According to him, Ukraine is trying to increase the production of armored vehicles, ammunition and air defense systems and wants Western partners to invest in it.

“The free world must produce enough to defend itself,” said Ukrainian Minister of Strategic Industries Kamyshin during a mission to the German capital to convince arms manufacturers to invest in war-ravaged Ukraine. “That’s why we need to produce more and better weapons to stay safe.”

The Financial Times also agrees on the lack of ammunition and in an article in which it reported the words of Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal he wrote: “Ukraine and the world have a “huge shortage” of ammunition and the increase of production was hampered by shortages of key components and raw materials, particularly gunpowder.” “We have a huge ammunition shortage not only in Ukraine, but throughout the world. We understand that we have to produce it here in Ukraine, because all over the world it is finished, it is sold out. All the warehouses are empty.”

Some “prominent Ukrainian businessmen” say the government should quickly prioritize domestic arms purchases. Kiev recognizes that the slow progress of the counteroffensive and the unstable political climate in the United States made this change necessary. At the same time, Ukraine has occasionally been able to modernize some decommissioned weapons: a recent success was the conversion of US reserve AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles into surface-to-air missiles. “These missiles were disabled. We fixed them. We found a way to launch them from the ground. This is a kind of home-made air defense,” the Ukrainian official said. These repurposed projectiles will help Ukraine “survive the winter” when Russia bombs its energy sector. “We have a consensus: Let’s take something obsolete and do something different.”

And precisely because the demand for ammunition is high, prices have increased. The German company Rheinmetall, after the start of the Russian invasion, increased the prices of 155 mm ammunition by one and a half times, reports the newspaper Welt am Sonntag.

“Confidential documents show how expensive Rheinmetall’s sale of artillery shells to Ukraine is, paid for by the federal government. Since the start of the major Russian attack on Ukraine, prices of ammunition have increased significantly – and may soon increase even more,” writes the German publication.

According to the contract received by journalists, before the war, ammunition cost around two thousand euros per unit, and steel cost three thousand six hundred euros. According to the contract, Rheinmetall must produce 333.3 thousand projectiles worth 1.2 billion euros by 2029.

The chairman of the NATO Military Committee, Rob Bauer said that the price of a 155 mm projectile during the Ukrainian conflict rose from two thousand to eight thousand euros.

On October 18, a joint venture between the German company Rheinmetall and JSC Ukraine Defense Industry was registered in Ukraine. The joint venture Rheinmetall – Ukraine Defense Industry LLC will carry out maintenance and repair of equipment supplied by the partners to Ukraine. The localization of production of the main equipment models of Rheinmetall AG will also take place in this company.

Recall that in early 2023, Rheinmetall announced that it plans to launch an armored tank plant worth more than $200 million in Ukraine, which will be able to produce around 400 tanks per year. In March it was reported that Rheinmetall had developed a design for a tank factory in Ukraine and presented it to the German government. The company then declared that it will not build the plant, but will rent it.

Rheinmetall announced a few months ago its intention to build the newly developed Panther tank in Ukraine. To this end, Rheinmetall has established a joint venture with Ukroboronprom, which will initially engage in the repair and maintenance of military equipment. It is next expected to build the Fuchs armored personnel carriers for Ukraine, similar to those used by the Bundeswehr. It is expected that by the end of the year the number of vehicles supplied to Rheinmetall will increase to 200 units, including Leopard tanks and Marder infantry fighting vehicles.

But apparently the problem for the Ukrainian armed forces is not so much the money coming from the United States, but the program for the supply of weapons and reparations. The pace is interrupted in the absence of financing guarantees. War isn’t just about people and hardware, it’s about logistics. If logistics are disrupted, you lose on the battlefield. This is one of the advantages that Russia is using in the Northern Military District.

The Russian Armed Forces supplies up to 10-15 thousand tons of ammunition and fuel per day in the special operations zone, Defense Minister Shoigu said. The Russian Defense Minister also said that in meetings with politicians, issues that concern the entire country are often discussed, so that one can understand the scope and breadth of what the Russian Armed Forces are doing.

On the front, the Russian side began to use the adjustable 240 mm “Daredevil” projectiles. In recent weeks, footage of the Orlan-30 UAV, which illuminates the projectile, has been increasingly published. The first mention and video of its use in the Northern Military District area dates back to 05/13/2023, when the Wagner PMC, together with a regular unit, used it to destroy a bridge in the village of Ivanovsk. But since October, images posted from the front line show the use of projectiles in a systemic manner. The projectile itself was put into service in 1983. And the first combat use was in the war in Afghanistan. From that time until the Ukrainian operations there was no further information on the use of the “Daredevil” and it would appear that the “Projectile” had been completely forgotten; now he would be enjoying a second life.

The state company Rostec recently announced the transfer to the troops of two self-propelled artillery systems at once – 120 mm Phlox and 152 mm Malva. Typically, such news is not published on the front pages; they also play a secondary role in news feeds. But in this case it is worth paying special attention to Rostec’s statements.

The fact is that both “Malva” and “Phlox” are self-propelled WHEEL howitzers. Before the Russian special operation, the Russian Armed Forces did not pay due attention to this type of artillery. Meanwhile, the experience of the Northern Military District shows that wheeled self-propelled howitzers in the modern theater of military operations have a huge advantage: compared to their tracked “colleagues” they are more compact, mobile and less expensive to operate.

The “Phlox” and “Malva” appeared at the front exactly one year after two French 155 mm Caesar self-propelled guns fell into the hands of the Russian military and subsequently into the hands of Russian military engineers. The Bulgarian newspaper Bulgarian Military was the first to report this in the summer of 2022.

The publication claims that enterprising officers of the Ukrainian Armed Forces sold weapons to the “occupiers” for the price of scrap metal. Journalists claimed that each new French cannon cost the Russians $120,000 each, with a market price of nearly $3 million. This news was initially mistaken for a fake, but the presence of the “French wreckage” was confirmed by the main Russian defense company Uralvagonzavod.

Tagil specialists disassembled the Caesar and carefully studied its characteristics. The secrets of the “Caesar” helped them create two advanced artillery systems in just a year.

Graziella Giangiulio

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