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UK to boost Ukraine’s artillery reserves with GBP 245 million munitions package

Source: UK Ministry of Defence

The UK will spend GBP 245 million throughout the next year to procure and invigorate supply chains to produce urgently needed artillery ammunition for Ukraine.

 

The UK will spend nearly a quarter of a billion pounds throughout the next year to procure and invigorate supply chains to produce urgently needed artillery ammunition to boost Ukraine’s reserves.

The GBP 245 million announcement comes exactly two years to the day since Putin launched his illegal full-scale invasion of Ukraine – with artillery having proved critical to Ukraine’s battlefield successes, continuously degrading Russia’s forces and preventing them from making significant breakthroughs.

 

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Ukraine has been particularly noted for its highly effective use of its artillery to conduct counter-battery fire – using drones and UK-supplied radar systems to quickly identify the locations of active Russian artillery and rapidly return fire to destroy them.

The UK has been leading international support for the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) for ten years since Russia first invaded Crimea in 2014, training more than 60,000 new recruits since 2015 and committing almost GBP 12 billion in economic, humanitarian, and military aid since 2022.

In an update to Parliament on Thursday, the UK Defence Secretary confirmed delivery of an additional 200 Brimstone anti-tank missiles to the AFU, bringing the total number of Brimstone provided to Ukraine to more than 1,300 – further building on the UK’s enduring support to Ukraine – having been the first country to announce it would provide modern, Western tanks in the form of Challenger 2 and the first country to provide long-range precision strike missiles in the form of Storm Shadow.

 

 

Further to the artillery funding and missiles package, a new multi-million pound series of contracts has been signed between the MOD’s procurement arm, Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S), and UK-based Cook Defence Systems to provide hundreds of spare caterpillar tracks for tanks and armoured vehicles – which will allow the AFU to recover and restore vehicles damaged by anti-tank weapons and landmines. The contracts will involve a mixture of UK funding and funds from the International Fund for Ukraine.

Last week, Defence Secretary Grant Shapps announced the UK will further co-lead an international capability coalition to supply cutting-edge drones to Ukraine, alongside Latvia, alongside the UK’s co-leadership of the international maritime capability coalition announced in December. During meetings with counterparts last week at NATO headquarters in Brussels and at the Munich Security Conference, the Defence Secretary urged partners and allies to commit to long-term support for Ukraine.

The contracts with Cook Defence Systems, a family-owned business in Northeast England, will boost the local economy and have so far delivered 15 new jobs – delivering on the Prime Minister’s priority to grow the economy. The company’s experts have been examining and analysing Soviet-era vehicles, some salvaged from Ukraine, to create new tracks to fit a range of requirements.

 

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Tracks will be produced to support hundreds of types of vehicle including Soviet-era platforms abandoned by Russian forces and recovered by the AFU, as well as those provided by the UK such as Challenger 2 tanks and CVR(T) reconnaissance vehicles.

UK-provided capabilities have proved highly effective on the battlefield – with Challenger 2 having been described my members of the AFU as being “like a sniper rifle” due to its accuracy at long distances. Brimstone anti-tank missiles have also seen significant use on the battlefield – in one instance, they were used to help force a Russian formation to withdraw from attempting a river crossing.

During a visit to Kyiv last month, the Prime Minister announced a further GBP 18 million in humanitarian and economic aid for Ukraine, building on almost GBP 340 million already provided. Some of that funding will support organisations like the UN and Red Cross to provide humanitarian aid on the frontline, and GBP 8 million will go to fortify Ukraine’s energy infrastructure against further Russian attacks.

 

 

The UK’s non-military support to Ukraine since the start of the invasion comes to GBP 4.7 billion. This includes GBP 4.1 billion in fiscal support, and over GBP 660 million in bilateral assistance. We have introduced the largest and most severe package of sanctions ever imposed on Russia or indeed any major economy. And we have now sanctioned over 1,700 individuals and entities since Putin’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

The Prime Minister, Foreign Secretary, and Defence Secretary are all committed to continuing military support for Ukraine, which is why the UK’s military aid budget for FY24/25 has been increased for the first time to GBP 2.5 billion.

 

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