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The United States will open a plant in Australia to produce missiles for HIMARS: they will be used for the needs of Ukraine

Maryna LisnychukWorld
The United States will open a plant in Australia to produce missiles for HIMARS

The Americans are planning to open the first plant outside the United States to produce missiles that play a decisive role in the war against Ukraine waged by Russia at an Australian military base. These are 227 mm GMLRS guided missiles, which are launched from M142 HIMARS rocket artillery systems.

This was reported by The Wall Street Journal. The journalists emphasized that the White House is seeking to establish several lines of production of critical weapons in allied countries, also in view of the growing competition with China and Russia.

"Rapid consumption of munitions in Ukraine and the Middle East - from missiles to artillery shells - has limited the ability of the U.S. industrial base to meet demand and replenish depleted stockpiles," the publication said.

According to the publication's interlocutors, the attempt to build the plant in Australia provides a glimpse of how Washington's weapons strategy can unfold around the world, as well as the difficulties faced by the United States and its allies in increasing munitions production.

In this context, the problem of strategic competition between the United States and China and Russia is also meant. U.S. officials say they are satisfied with the pace and speed of Australia's efforts.

The United States will open a plant in Australia to produce missiles for HIMARS: they will be used for the needs of Ukraine

"Given the growing competition, precision munitions such as GMLRS and PrSM are becoming increasingly important. It is critical that we have hot production lines to deliver them on a large scale," said Pentagon spokesman Jeff Jurgensen.

According to Australian officials, the first batch of about a dozen Australian-built GMLRS will be tested by the end of next year. And by the end of the decade, Australia intends to produce thousands of missiles annually.

It is noted that initially, the GMLRS will consist of imported components, but later Canberra wants to focus on the production of key missile parts domestically, including rocket engines and warheads. Other types of missiles may also be produced at some point.

However, according to the WSJ, finding a skilled workforce may be a challenge, given that Australia already has a shortage of engineers. Developing new supply chains could be equally challenging, as some systems, such as rocket engines, are already in short supply. Even determining the best way to transport missile components overseas may take practice.

"The United States and its allies need to produce as much munitions as possible and as quickly as possible. Production capacity can also matter during a conflict, which means that the more production sites, the better," said former Pentagon official Zach Cooper.

As reported by OBOZ.UA, in the fall of 2023, the United States announced a new $150 million military aid package for Ukraine. Among other things, it included additional GMLRS missiles for HIMARS and ammunition for the NASAMS anti-aircraft missile system.

The Ukrainian Armed Forces destroyed a Russian Tor missile worth about $25 million with a GMLRS missile. The defeat took place last October in the area of the temporarily occupied Kakhovka in Kherson region.

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