NATO signed a contract to buy artillery shells worth more than 1 billion USD
155 mm artillery shells on the production line in Unterluess, Germany in June 2023. Photo: Reuters

NATO announced signing a contract to buy 155 mm of artillery shells worth more than 1 billion USD, part of which will be transferred to Ukraine.

“The war in Ukraine has become a conflict revolving around ammunition,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg commented on January 23. “It is important for coalition members to stock up on ammunition while continuing to support Ukraine.”

NATO signed a deal to buy 155 mm artillery shells worth 1.1 billion EUR (about 1.2 billion USD) on behalf of several alliance members, which will transfer ammunition to Ukraine or fill existing ammunition stocks. 

According to NATO officials, this deal will provide about 220,000 artillery shells and the first shipment is expected to be delivered by the end of 2025. A French company and a German defense enterprise will provide this ammunition.

Last year, NATO launched a plan to boost defense industry output and signed joint ammunition purchases worth about $10 billion. Among the contracts is an agreement to purchase up to 1,000 Patriot missiles made in Europe, signed in December 2023.

European nations seek to replenish ammunition stocks and increase defense industry output amid doubts about support for Ukraine’s future. The USNATO Secretary-General announced that parties supporting Ukraine would continue to support the weapons and ammunition the country needs.

On January 23, Mr. Stoltenberg admitted that NATO “does not perceive any threat from Russia ” to members of the alliance. However, NATO will continue to maintain its deterrence capacity with its largest military exercise in 35 years, scheduled to begin this weekend.

“We do all this to ensure the alliance has enough forces so that Russia does not miscalculate or underestimate NATO’s readiness to defend every inch of the alliance’s territory,” Mr. Stoltenberg said. “There will not be any attacks on NATO territory while we do this.”