US maintenance of weapons sent to Kiev a "headache"
With depleting US stockpiles, repairing the weapons sent to Ukraine is becoming a headache for US officials.
Since the war began in Ukraine, Western countries such as the US, Britain and European states have supplied Kiev with billions of dollars worth of weaponry, adding fuel to the fire in the war in Europe.
With Washington's weapon stockpiles depleting, and Kiev's call for maintenance amid gun burnout and overuse, the US is being forced to speed up its own weapons acquisition programs to compensate for its increasing shipments to Kiev.
US media reports that as the US and its western allies continue to pump weapons into Kiev, maintenance of the armaments is increasingly becoming a headache.
Weapons overused by the Ukrainian military are either being wiped out or damaged during the conflict.
At least one-third of the 350 US-made howitzers sent to Ukraine are already out of action, according to defense officials in the US. Howitzers fire 152-millimeter ammunition and date back to the Soviet era.
The Pentagon has also sent Ukraine 142 M777 howitzers, which is enough to supply 8 battalions, according to the report.
Citing US and Ukrainian officials, the report noted that dozens of howitzers were towed off to be repaired. Most of the damaged armaments could not be maintained on the field, and the Ukrainian military is not up for the job. Moreover, Pentagon's European Command finds maintaining the armaments a headache.
However, the US European Command contends that Ukraine has what it takes to maintain the armaments: “With every capability we give to Ukraine, and those our allies and partners provide, we work to ensure that they have the right maintenance sustainment packages to support those capabilities over time,” said Lt. Cmdr. Daniel Day, a spokesperson for the US European Command.
Kiev has been constantly asking for more and more weapons and shell deliveries. The US is said to have promised Ukraine a million more shells from its stockpiles.
In the time being, maintenance crews are on standby in Poland, supervised by US European Command based in Stuttgart, Germany, to repair the howitzers and change their barrels. However, Ukrainian authorities are demanding that the maintenance sites move closer to the front lines.
From what is known, the Pentagon has spent over $2.6 billion in replacing weaponry in Ukraine for the ongoing fighting.