In a significant move to bolster Ukraine's defense capabilities, NATO has inked a contract for the procurement of artillery ammunition worth 8.2 billion Danish kroner (approximately $1.23 billion USD), as reported by Reuters. This development marks a strategic step by the defense alliance in supporting Ukraine amidst its ongoing conflict with Russia.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg emphasized the importance of this contract, stating that ramping up ammunition production is crucial for sustaining support to Ukraine in its war against Russia. He noted that the conflict has evolved into a battle heavily reliant on ammunition supplies.
The contract, signed at NATO's headquarters in Brussels, involves the purchase of 155-millimeter artillery ammunition, with part of the supply designated for Ukraine. Stoltenberg, acting on behalf of several allied nations, executed the contract, though further details on the participating countries were not disclosed by Reuters.
This move follows NATO's prior announcement that a significant acquisition of this specific type of ammunition was in the pipeline. Post-purchase, individual nations have the option to replenish their own ammunition stockpiles or forward supplies to Ukraine.
By opting for a collective procurement approach, NATO aims to secure a lower price for the ammunition, as opposed to individual NATO countries purchasing separately.
Stoltenberg reassured that there is no immediate military threat from Russia to any NATO member states. However, the alliance remains vigilant, as evidenced by both the ammunition purchase and the planned extensive military exercise in February, involving 90,000 soldiers.
"We are doing all this to ensure that our forces are ready, so that Moscow does not miscalculate or misunderstand our readiness in terms of protecting every inch of NATO territory. As long as we do this, there will be no attacks on NATO territory," Stoltenberg stated, according to Reuters.
An unnamed NATO official informed Reuters that the first deliveries of the ammunition are expected by the end of 2025. Industry sources indicate that French arms manufacturer Nexter and German Junghans are likely to produce the ammunition, though these details, including the delivery timeline, have not been confirmed by NATO.