UK arms company considering to restart production of M777: WSJ
While the article states it may take around 30 to 36 months to resume the production of the weapon, it may take longer than specified since the US seeks to sever dependency on Chinese companies for the provision of materials.
Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday that the UK-based arms company BAE Systems is considering resuming the production of M777 howitzers in light of Ukraine's growing demand for the artillery.
According to WSJ, BAE is currently negotiating with the US army over the resumption of the production as it runs the M777 program. The US government must however provide its authorization for the weapon to be sold to foreign buyers.
Some Central European countries have already expressed interest in the purchase of the weapon, but due to the depletion of the US' own inventories, it is unlikely that it may replenish its stockpile of this particular item.
The company estimates that 30 to 36 months is the set limit to resume the M777's production while the UK-based company waits for new suppliers of titanium material and lightweight components for the weapon.
It may however take longer than specified since some US executives and department officials stated that the Pentagon is intensifying efforts to sever US defense companies' ties with the global supply chain from China.
As of October 4, according to the US Department of Defense, the US transferred more than 170 Howitzers and more than 1,000,000 artillery rounds; laser-guided rocket systems; Switchblade, Puma, and Counter-Unmannered Aerial systems; about 700 Phoenix Ghost Tactical Unmanned Aerial Systems; counter-artillery radars; 38 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) and HIMARS ammunition; eight Surface-to-air Missile Systems (NASAMS); HARM missiles; 1400 Stinger and 8500 Javelin missiles; 1500 TOW missiles; 20 Mi-17 helicopters; anti-armor systems, small arms and various munitions; more than 60 millions rounds of small arms ammunition; body armor; hundreds High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWVs).
The total amounts to $17.5 billion in security aid since the Biden Administration began.
The US has been pushing for further assistance to Ukraine as the EU struggles to deliver its previous commitments.
In July, EU chief Josep Borrell urged the EU to amp up cooperative weapons purchases to restore stocks depleted by the military support provided to Ukraine, improving NATO and the bloc's military capacities, adding that the EU needs more deployable and interoperable armed forces to confront the whole spectrum of dangers and threats the unit is now experiencing.
The US has also demonstrated its stance on the matter, by not only providing its own troops for the Ukrainian forces but also recruiting former Afghan special forces and IS members to join the Ukrainian forces.
Although the US and the EU have been quite supportive in financial terms, they have not met Ukraine's needs in terms of military equipment, as per Ukrainian demands.
It was reported on September 30 that the White House might sign an order that would provide Ukraine with the most up-to-date Abrams and Leopard tanks - some of the highly sought weapons Ukraine has been demanding from its allies.
Military Watch Magazine published on September 30 an article that detailed five reasons why it is improbable that the US and Germany would deliver Leopard II or Abrams Tanks to Ukraine - one of the reasons being that NATO would not want to compromise the intelligence invested in the production of its most valuable tanks through capture.
At some point, Spain offered to provide Ukraine with some tanks but was later pressured by Germany to reduce the number of Leopard tanks - which were not even the most up-to-date.
Read more: US weapon supplies 'uncomfortably low' due to Ukraine aid - WSJ