The war in Ukraine has been consuming munitions, both conventional arms and so-called “smart” weapons, at a prodigious rate. The use rate, particularly for the more capable (but also more complex and expensive) long-range precision weapons, has far exceeded pre-war inventories and the limits of current production capabilities. In a prospective conflict with a great power adversary, the United States will need more munitions of all types, but particularly long-range precision strike systems. Experts have warned that the U.S. military may find itself out of ammunition, such as the advanced long-range precision strike systems that provide it with a distinct advantage over prospective adversaries, early in this scenario. Current efforts to expand munitions production are focused largely on items such as 155mm shells, Javelins, Stingers, and MLRS rockets and not on sophisticated, long-range precision strike weapons such as LRASM, JASSM, Tomahawk, or PrSM. Yet it is clear that the U.S. military needs to invest in affordable mass fires systems to complement this arsenal of high-performance precision strike capabilities. Fortunately, such capabilities are available. I have written more on this subject here.
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