European defense factories are facing the challenge of supplying inputs to meet Ukraine’s arms needs.
Financial Times on March 19, citing sources familiar with the matter, said that some European weapons manufacturer officials said that defense factories in the region were facing a shortage of supplies of materials such as drugs. guns, TNT explosives. This could delay the plan to increase artillery production by about 3 years.
According to the source, this means that Europe’s defense industry is unlikely to be able to meet the growing munitions demand caused by the war in Ukraine even with large sums of money poured into it.
“The basic problem is that the European defense industry is not prepared for a large-scale war scenario,” a German official said.
Jiri Hynek, president of the Czech Defense and Security Industry Association, said it was easy to build a factory, but it was impossible to produce shells without raw materials. The official also pointed out that it is not possible to sharply increase gunpowder production in a short time. “To increase the production of gunpowder, we need about three years,” Mr. Hynek said.
Gianclaudio Torlizzi, an Italian defense official, said that to overcome the situation, the European Union (EU) needs to find new sources of supply. According to him, the EU needs to reach out to countries that it considers “non-traditional” suppliers.
EU officials have repeatedly expressed concern about the depletion of defense stockpiles after a long period of military aid to Ukraine. Last December, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Policy Josep Borrell admitted that limited investment over a long period of time has caused the bloc’s stockpile of weapons to rapidly deplete. Faced with this situation, some regional leaders have suggested that the bloc moves to a wartime economy mechanism.