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By the end of the year, the EU will produce 1.7 million shells per year

By the end of the year, the EU will produce 1.7 million shells per year

EU Europe Production of ammunition World

The defense industry of the EU countries is actively increasing the production of ammunition and plans to match the number of shells fired by Russia by 2025.

Thierry Breton, EU Commissioner for the Internal Market, announced this.

The European Commissioner responsible for the defense industry spoke about the rapid growth in the production of artillery ammunition, which has already surpassed the volume of production in the United States.

“We have accelerated the production of ammunition. In March 2023, we were producing 500,000 shells a year in Europe and were already better than the Americans, who were producing only 300,000. But since then, we have doubled this capacity,” the Commissioner said.

According to Breton, the European Defense Fund is largely responsible for scaling up production, and Europe must continue to rearm in the coming years.

According to the official, due to rising tensions with Moscow, the EU should continue to increase defense purchases in line with possible threats.

“On January 24, we had a production capacity of one million shells per year. By the end of the year, we will have a production capacity of 1.7 million shells per year, and by 2025 we should reach 2.5 million shells per year. The production capacity is comparable to that of Russia,” Breton said.

Scaling up capacities

Rheinmetall is one of the leaders in ammunition production and the locomotive of the arms industry in Europe. The German defense giant plans to reach a production rate of 700,000 rounds of ammunition per year by the end of 2024.

However, these volumes should only be an interim result on the way to producing one million rounds of ammunition in 2027. The company’s new plants under construction in Germany, Ukraine and Lithuania are expected to boost production.

According to Armin Papperger, CEO of Rheinmetall AG, almost all of the company’s ammunition is currently being shipped to Ukraine.

However, the bottleneck in the production of artillery shells in the EU remains the logistics and supply of raw materials for the production of explosives and gunpowder. Currently, the EU is actively engaged in import substitution of this nomenclature, much of which comes from China.

In particular, the European leader in the production of explosives, the French company Eurenco, has invested €500 million in the production of powders at its plants in Europe. The company plans to increase production volumes to 1800 tons per year.

At the same time, amid an acute shortage of explosives, Finland, together with its allies, plans to urgently build a TNT plant. The country’s minister noted that this was a joint project. The issue is being progressed in close dialogue with the Nordic countries and other allies. So far, no final decision has been made on where the new plant will be built.

EU Europe Production of ammunition World