June 28, 2022

The Pentagon is popping to a particular group to reply to elevated demand for brand new weapons gross sales and requests to switch current weapons amongst U.S. allies as international locations together with Ukraine scramble to acquire arms following Russia’s invasion, three folks aware of the hassle stated.

The Pentagon’s workplace of Acquisition and Sustainment, the weapons purchaser for the U.S. Division of Protection, has been fielding elevated demand from European allies hoping to ship weapons to Ukraine by way of third celebration transfers or to purchase arms to bolster their very own defenses, the sources stated.

The fast response group was revived in current days to coordinate and reduce by way of the forms round gross sales and transfers whereas prioritizing requests from allies, the sources stated.

The beforehand unreported effort comes because the Pentagon works to reply to a quickly altering panorama for arms offers and transfers. The Pentagon made use of the fast response group throughout the Trump administration.

“As a part of Division of Protection’s ongoing provide chain resilience efforts, the Division is evaluating industrial base capability to supply objects important to our nationwide safety and that of our allies and companions. This effort is targeted on figuring out key provide chain constraints and mitigation actions to enhance capability,” a protection official stated.

The operation is being run in cooperation with the U.S. Protection Safety Cooperation Company, which oversees weapons gross sales and transfers to different international locations for the Division of Protection.

Based on an e-mail seen by Reuters, DSCA not too long ago requested the protection business for gadgets that can be utilized to disable or shoot down drones that had been both in inventory or might be prepared for supply in 120 days.

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“In mild of the continued disaster in Europe, the USG (U.S. authorities) continues its efforts to determine efficient options which might help Ukraine within the ongoing state of affairs. Considered one of our focus areas is C-sUAS,” the message stated. Counter small unmanned aerial methods (C-sUAS) know-how is used to defeat drones.

Counter-drone gadgets are available a wide range of sizes, costs and codecs together with the moveable radar gun-like Dronekiller made by IXI Digital Warfare and the Dronebuster from Radio Hill Applied sciences that may value within the tens of 1000’s of {dollars} every. There are additionally bigger variations of the know-how together with one that might defend an space the dimensions of a stadium made by SRC Inc. The bigger methods can value within the $3 million to $6 million vary, business executives have stated.

The Pentagon has careworn that smaller methods similar to Javelin anti-tank methods and Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, which allies are transport to Ukraine by way of truck near-daily, are most helpful.

“We consider the easiest way to assist Ukrainian protection is by offering them the weapons and the methods they want most to defeat Russian aggression, specifically anti-armor and air protection,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby has stated.

In some instances allies are attempting to leverage the Ukraine state of affairs to “press for issues they wished even earlier than the battle,” one U.S. official stated on situation of anonymity, including that offer chains are nonetheless careworn from the pandemic so there was uncertainty about how this demand might be instantly met.

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Nations in Europe – and throughout the globe – are taking a look at increasing protection budgets to fulfill an more and more unsure safety outlook, with Germany amongst these promising a pointy improve in spending.