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New Texas Facility to Produce 30,000 Artillery Casings Per MonthThe facility ‘will significantly increase our country’s ability to manufacture parts that are used to produce artillery ammunition,’ John Kirby said.

The Biden administration is opening a new facility in Mesquite, Texas, that will greatly improve the rate of manufacture for critical munitions used in Ukraine and elsewhere.

The plant will be operated by General Dynamics and produce parts for 155-millimeter artillery shells, according to National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby.

He told reporters on May 29 that the new facility “will significantly increase our country’s ability to manufacture parts that are used to produce artillery ammunition.”

The facility began construction last year and will be operated in part with funds allotted by the $95 billion security supplemental passed by Congress last month “to stand up new production lines as part of a national effort to significantly increase the number of artillery shells that we produce every month,” according to Mr. Kirby.

“These 155-millimeter shells and, of course, the guns that go with them, have absolutely made a significant impact on Ukraine’s ability to repel Russian attacks,” he said.

The Biden administration has delivered millions of 155-millimeter shells to Ukraine since 2022 through presidential drawdown authorities, which directly transfer the rounds to Ukraine from U.S. stockpiles.

The continued flow of such rounds to Ukraine, which has, at times, fired thousands in one day, has led to increasing concern among U.S. military leadership that the United States might face its own shortages.

Last year, Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth said demand for the rounds had pushed production to “the absolute edge of defense-industrial capacity.”

At that time, Ms. Wormuth said the Army was spending $1.5 billion on new munitions production facilities and depots and was working with industry partners to simultaneously replenish the nation’s stocks and support Ukraine

Then-Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley similarly said the nation had “a long way to go” to replenish its sorely depleted stockpiles.

Mr. Kirby expressed optimism that the new facility would begin to correct that trend. He noted that the Biden administration had doubled its production of the rounds since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022 and will likely have more than quintupled production by the close of 2025.

“When Russia invaded Ukraine back in [2022], the United States was producing about 14,000 155-millimeter artillery shells every month,” he said.

“We’re already now having more than double that number and we expect to double it again. We’re on track to manufacture 100,000 155-millimeter artillery shells per month by the end of next year.”

Of that number, the new plant in Mesquite is slated to produce some 30,000 steel casings for artillery shells each month, thanks to new automation by specialized robots that are part of the military’s modernization plan for its aging munitions production facilities.

That modernization process is part of a broader multiyear procurement effort, which the Biden administration has frequently touted as something of a jobs program that is good for the economy, while detractors have repeatedly accused the administration of using the self-imposed munitions shortages as a form of war profiteering.

For his part, Mr. Kirby said the Mesquite site will employ hundreds of American workers and contribute to the growth of the defense-industrial base.

“This is very good news today, indicative of the sincerity with which we want to support Ukraine, but also to support our own defense-industrial base here at home,” he said. “And, of course, it also helps support jobs in places like Mesquite, Texas.”

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