Europe plans to ramp up production of shells needed by Ukraine, COVID-style

The European Central Bank could be used to raise much-needed funds to place orders big enough to persuade the continent’s defense contractors to ramp up production.


Kallas said: “The industry always needs a guarantee that these things will be bought because there hasn’t been a demand for ammunition and weapons so far.

“But now there’s a demand, and in order for them to crank up production lines and start new ones, they need the guarantee.”

The Commission has been given similar powers by Member States during the coronavirus pandemic to jointly buy vaccines on their behalf.

The Brussels-based executive placed orders for billions of injections for short- and long-term distribution, allowing manufacturers to significantly expand production lines to meet demand. Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the Commission, is expected to join the leaders of Germany, Finland and the Baltic States in supporting the plans, which will be discussed in detail at a European Council meeting next month.

Charles Michel, the president of the European Council, said the bloc needed to “work with the industrial sector and make sure we can speed up ammunition production”.

Senior UK officials have also expressed their support, but it’s not clear if the UK could be invited or would attend. The purchase of 155mm artillery shells would be the initial focus, but could later expand to other arms shipments.

The Telegraph, London

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Callan Tansill

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