Russia produces shells three times faster, cheaper

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By Creative Media News

  • Russia outpaces Ukraine allies in artillery production
  • Ukraine faces severe ammunition shortages in combat
  • Western allies struggle to match Russia’s shell output

Russia is producing artillery shells at a rate that is approximately three times quicker than that of Ukraine’s Western allies and at a cost that is approximately one-quarter of the cost.

The Ukrainian armed forces are confronted with a significant challenge as they depend on ammunition from the United States and Europe to combat Russia’s full-scale invasion, as evidenced by the figures generated by the management consulting firm Bain & Company.

From the outset, the war has been referred to as a “battle of fires” due to the significant number of artillery projectiles employed.

In response, the United States, the United Kingdom, and other European allies were compelled to increase production in their respective factories. However, despite their combined economic power, which significantly surpasses Moscow’s, their capacity to produce artillery ammunition still needs to be improved to that of Russia.

Consequently, Ukrainian soldiers on the frontline report that the invading forces can launch approximately five shells in response to each round they fire at Russian positions.

The Ukrainians assert that they have developed a high level of proficiency in combating the odds and attempting to make every round matter.

Senior Lieutenant Kostiantin, an artillery battery commander with the 57th Brigade, stated, “Frequently, we can destroy a target with just one, two, or three shells.” The 57th Brigade is currently combating a new Russian invasion of the Kharkiv region in the northeast of Ukraine.

However, the commander stated that Ukrainian forces require additional supplies.

“We must continue to prevent the Russians from advancing…” which will result in the loss of hundreds of lives for each meter of land they attempt to seize.”

Defenders must feign during training due to shortages.

Bain & Company’s research on artillery rounds, which was based on publicly available information, forecasted that Russian factories would manufacture or refurbish approximately 4.5 million artillery shells this year. This contrasts with a combined production of approximately 1.3 million rounds across European nations and the United States.

It stated that the average production cost per 155 mm shell, which is the shell produced by NATO countries, was approximately $4,000 (£3,160) per unit. However, the cost varied considerably between countries. This contrasts with the reported Russian production cost of roughly $1,000 (£790) per 152 mm projectile employed by the Russian armed forces.

Ukraine is confronted with numerous munition deficiencies, including artillery.

A group of recruits in the eastern region of the country were instructed on the operation of an N-LAW anti-tank missile, which the United Kingdom initially supplied to the Ukrainian military.

According to them, a scarcity of supplies necessitates that they simulate firing the weapon during training and only employ it in actual combat when sufficient inventories exist.

A soldier with the callsign “Bolt” was training the new soldiers in a reconnaissance battalion of the 5th Brigade. He stated, “We need more N-LAWs.”

When asked if he had a message for the factory workers in the UK who assembled the weapon, Bolt responded, “We would like to express our gratitude to our Western partners for their assistance.” However, we would be extremely appreciative if they could supply additional NATO munitions.

Factories could win the conflict on the frontlines.

Many experts believe the Ukraine conflict could be won on factory production lines rather than the frontline, due to the significance of weapon and ammunition production.

The assembly is conducted in a spacious hall that is home to various machinery for grinding metal and desks where intricate work is performed on small but critical components.

The production line’s working hours were limited to four days per week, from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., although they were rumored to expand.

Thales also produces armaments in this location, such as the Lightweight Multirole Missile (LMM) and the Starstreak, a short-range, surface-to-air missile capable of destroying aircraft. Ukraine also employs both of these systems.

The primary factor in increasing production in the United Kingdom

Mr. Philip McBride, the managing director of Thales Belfast, stated that N-LAW’s production capacity has doubled since the beginning of the year and has the potential to double again.

When asked why the expansion only commenced at that time, he attributed it to various factors, including the full-scale conflict that broke out in Russia in February 2022.

Ukraine initially received N-LAWs from the UK Ministry of Defence rather than directly from Thales. The Ukrainian military was initially provided with missiles already in the possession of the British armed forces.

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“They have consented to that and subsequently conduct their procurement process to determine their precise requirements in the United Kingdom.” Mr. McBride stated that once they have decided, they will place orders that will enable us to increase our production.

Another factor is that the N-LAW may necessitate procuring elements that can take up to two years.

However, when asked whether production at the factory would have been expanded more rapidly if the Ministry of Defence had placed orders earlier, the managing director responded, “The earlier an order is received, the more quickly we can increase production.”

The facility is currently engaged in significant work to modernize the equipment and facilitate the expansion of production lines.

The number of employees has also increased, with approximately 900 individuals currently employed at the site and a second facility in Belfast, as opposed to only 500 a few years ago.

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