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Reuters: NATO may adopt decision on standardizing of ammunition at Washington summit

The move aims to enhance battlefield interoperability among member nations.
Ukrainian soldier firing artillery, illustrative image. Photo via
A Ukrainian soldier firing from artillery, illustrative image. Photo via
Reuters: NATO may adopt decision on standardizing of ammunition at Washington summit

NATO is set to issue its first-ever defense industrial pledge at its Washington summit, pushing countries to boost arms production and return to a stricter standardization of ammunition to make shells interoperable on the battlefield, a NATO official told Reuters on a condition of anonymity.

Washington will host a NATO summit from 9 to 11 July. Recently, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced that military aid for Ukraine will be the “most urgent task” at the US capital.

Stoltenberg: Ukraine aid “most urgent” at upcoming NATO summit

“Ukraine has shown that our standardization was good on paper but not so good in the field,” said the official, referring to munitions such as 155mm artillery rounds, which are in short supply globally amid soaring demand triggered by Russia’s all-out war against Ukraine.

While NATO enforces standards for small arms rounds, facilitating interoperability among allies, the situation differs for artillery shells.

Despite the existence of a NATO standard for artillery ammunition, its adoption remains voluntary. It has led to market fragmentation and hindered the efficient distribution of supplies.

Fourteen NATO nations have retained the option to diverge from the standard, resulting in the availability of different types of 155-millimeter ammunition.

“A world in which there was one standardized NATO round, where every ally produced the same thing, would be a much simpler world for military commanders,” the NATO official said.

However, NATO might encounter resistance from munitions manufacturers, as implementing such a measure could potentially increase competition and drive down prices.

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