By Tom Squitieri
Red Snow News
WASHINGTON — They say war makes strange bedfellows. It may also make strange weapons productions.
Such as U.S. companies making, essentially, Russian military ammo.
Included in the $1.85 billion military aid package formerly announced Wednesday by the Pentagon, is $850 million in assistance via the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, which is to be capabilities likely to be contacted for: 45,000 152mm artillery rounds; 20,000 122mm artillery rounds; 50,000 122mm GRAD rockets; and 100,000 rounds of 125mm tank ammunition.
These are being contracted out because they are Soviet/Russian style ammunition — used by Ukrainians in their so-called “legacy systems” – that does not exist in U.S. stockpiles or in most NATO nation stockpiles.
Yet the Ukrainians need these types of ammo to keep fighting, officials said.
The officials avoided a direct answer when asked if U.S. companies — already lining up to cash in on payola to replenish dwindling U..S. stocks — would also make the Russian-style ammo.
“So we — we source USAI from all around the world. I don’t actually have the specific vendor information for, you know, these — these exact rounds but — but we source from — you know, from — from anywhere that we can find good supply,” one official said.
Under the rules of the background briefing, the officials cannot be identified by name or position.
Each particular kind of ammo has its own timeline.
“We are committing to provide a range of different non — what we call nonstandard ammunitions. This is what we formerly called Soviet-type ammunition,” the official said. “These will be able to help the Ukrainians bring more of its legacy systems, its legacy howitzers back into the fight in greater numbers.”
The official said that the Ukrainians “have a lot of legacy Soviet-type artillery systems, but they were running out of ammunition. So we’d like to enable them to be able to continue to use those systems even as they continue to use the M777 howitzers that we’ve provided, the HIMARS and other NATO-compatible systems. We don’t see it as an ‘either or’ but rather an and.”
Meanwhile, the official confirmed that the lone Patriot air defense system to be sent to Ukraine will come from U.S, stocks but that it will be several months before it will be used in Ukraine, because of training requirements.
The official brushed aside the last warning by Russia about how the Patriot system ups the ante in the war. “At this point, we’re — we’re quite used to heated and threatening rhetoric from Moscow. What I can tell you on this capability is it is a — a defensive capability, and I can just assert that, you know, once again, we will continue to support the Ukrainians with what they need, when they need it, never mind the rhetoric,” the official said.