US places $625Mln order for stingers: Pentagon
The Pentagon has revealed a new $625 million US order for Stingers to replenish a depleted stingers arsenal.
Raytheon has been given a $625 million contract for Stinger air-defense systems, which are expected to be ready in just over four years, according to a Pentagon press briefing.
The acquisition comes as the Pentagon and defense industry battle to fulfill a shortage of both Stingers and Javelin anti-armor systems. Last week, Congress enacted legislation granting over $20 billion in security aid to Kiev, including funds to supplement Stingers and Javelins deployed to Ukraine.
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"Raytheon Co., Tucson, Arizona, was awarded a $624,601,212 [contract] modification... for the procurement of Stinger missiles and associated equipment. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of June 30, 2026," the release said on Friday.
The Pentagon plans to buy 1,468 more Stingers, but delivery might take up to 30 months, according to Reuters.
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Raytheon announced earlier this month that it will not be able to ramp up manufacturing to meet the requirements of the Javelin and Stinger until at least 2023-2024. Meanwhile, US Army Secretary Christine Wormuth reminded Congress that an obsolete part is required to build Stingers and that the US government will need to create a workaround or a next-generation design.
The Biden administration has already deployed 1,400 Stinger anti-aircraft systems and 5,500 Javelins to Ukraine since Russia's special military campaign began in February. This, however, falls far short of what Ukraine claims it requires. Every day in March, Kiev wanted 500 Javelins and 500 Stingers, but US officials told CNN that the Pentagon believes Ukraine is inflating its needs.
Earlier on Friday, Pentagon Spokesperson John Kirby stated that the US is aware of Ukraine's demands for modern, long-range rocket systems to support their forces in the Donbass region, but would not comment on decisions that have not yet been taken. According to CNN, quoting officials, the package might be announced as soon as next week.