The US, Poland, UK and western allies have provided all of the weapons that they can spare to Ukraine. There will be a lag for many weapons like Stingers while missile factories are ramped up. American stockpiles of key weapons are small because of production constraints and because most of the Pentagon’s roughly $750 billion budget goes to manpower, health care and things other than bullets and bombs.
Both Ukraine and Russia are running low on weapons. There is a lot of attrition on both sides.
Stinger anti-aircraft missile production was halted during a transition to a new missile. The U.S. Army launched an effort to replace Stinger missiles with a next-generation interceptor for Short-Range Air Defense capability as the aging weapon system heads toward obsolescence.
The Army will award a $1.5 billion contract in the second quarter of FY23. The design, development, prototyping and performance assessment ongoing through the fourth quarter of FY28.
The US Army will also add a 50-kilowatt class laser weapon to the SHORAD system and is outfitting four prototypes with the capability as it prepares to hold a competition to build more. The Army plans to begin design and development of the replacement missile in FY23, which will lead to production of 10,000 M-SHORAD “Inc. 3″ missiles beginning in FY27.
Stinger can be fired from a shoulder-launched system, but the Army rapidly fielded a Stryker-based SHORAD system equipped with Stinger missiles to Europe last year in response to an urgent request in theater. The Army is preparing to field a complete Stryker-based SHORAD battalion by the end of 2022.
General Mark Milley, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the West has provided 60,000 antitank weapons and 25,000 anti-aircraft weapons to Kyiv. The Pentagon is now rushing additional artillery, coastal defense drones and other materiel to Ukraine. The US has a new $800 million package including helicopters and armored personnel carriers.
Ukraine and Russia are fighting a high-intensity conventional fight which uses a lot of munitions. Ukraine is using week’s worth of deliveries of antitank munitions every day. It is also running short of usable aircraft as Russian airstrikes and combat losses take their toll.
The U.S. has provided one-third of its overall stockpile of Javelin anti-tank missiles. The US cannot five much more in case the US has some other war. It will take months or years to significantly ramp up production.
Written by Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
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29 thoughts on “Weapons Shortages Will Cause Less Active Russia-Ukraine War This Summer”
Ah, OK, I got it now.
This is looking more and more like WWI not WWII with Stingers and Javelins doing to aircraft and tanks what machine guns and barbed wire did to infantry in the Great War.
In order to break the deadlock of trench warfare, armies relied on massive and sophisticatedly coordinated artillery barrages – but to little effect. And after the initial rush in August 1914 both sides ran out of artillery shells, delaying further major offensive action until stockpiles of artillery shells could be replenished later (there were sizable battles throughout 1915 but the full scale offensives of Verdun and the Somme – 1 million total losses for each offensive – would have to wait until 1916).
Like the Kaiser, Putin may decide to use chemical weapons, but only achieve at most a temporary advantage. The West can counter with chemical protection suits, missile counterattacks in Russia against chemical stockpiles , etc. The one known effect of massive use of chemicals on a modern battlefield is that they will slow down all military movement – which does not help the Russians.
Meanwhile, Ukraine can be massively resupplied by Western nations. Russia, cut off from the world economy and with a crippled industrial/technical base cannot.
So, as the article says, we should see a slow down through the summer as Ukraine rearms and Russia cannot, with a war winning Ukrainian counter-offensive in fall 2022.
I suppose the big issue is a direct top attack flight profile for a tank, versus a tank overflight and a downward shooting warhead using a side shot shape charge somehow. It might work if you basically had multi-shape charge warhead shooting plasma jets in 5 directions…
There should be deterrence before an end game like this covering also Russia attack on other countries.
that's the unknown quantity – the russian people. Support, abstain, or sheepishly concur? Media is quick to point all drama to a single character – not down-playing obvious malignant intent of Putin- but every country gets the government they deserve – so, despicable by default or inaction???
Javelins and NLAWs have multiple modes for warhead.
NLAW used against a wall has a different explosion vs a tank. Breaching is different than anti-armor.
No way Russia goes for Poland or the Baltics. That would be at best a conventional war against better equipped, better motivated, better rested, and better trained forces.
US has adequate nuclear deterrence. Were Russia to launch nuclear weapons we would launch them in return.
"If Russia isn’t stopped permanently they will attack NATO nations like Poland and Baltic states"
It would be the start of massive scale WW3, possibly nuclear. They aren't that retarded. From their perspective the main point of this war is security/survival(they really believe that if Ukraine would join NATO and will have unfriendy forces so close to them, NATO may one day attack them and threaten their long term survival as a nation/people/culture. War with NATO is suicide. Once again, they want to live and prosper(therefore war with Ukraine), not disappear.
War will take place only in Ukraine and end there
Your future warhead description seems perfectly logical to me… except for the dialable effect warhead. I don't see how you can do that with chemical explosives, nor why you'd want to.
The number I saw floating around for the first round of javelins was some ridiculously high rate of 280 effective hits from 300 shots.
Russia doesn't have a year, probably not six months. Once the money runs out and salaries can't be paid, the Uky soldiers will keep fighting anyway. The Russians certainly won't.
I think the first rule of war is to never underestimate your opponent.
Russia has been holding back. Just like our country did in Iraq, and Israelis vs. the Palestinians, there was plenty more death damage that could be dealt out.
One way for Russia to conquer the eastern third of Ukraine is to blow up the bridges across the Dneiper river. I counted them on a map, there are less than 20 that I could see. They could wait a year, seige the area and walk in.
Another tactic would be to blow up all the Ukr. fuel storage and refineries, which they confusingly only started targeting 2 weeks ago. That is how Germany lost WWII, no fuel for tanks and supplies in Ukraine, while the Soviets (Russians) had plenty of fuel. I don't know the extent of how extensive the attacks are on Ukr. fuel grid, it could be ramped up. The Russians do provide almost 100% of Ukr. gas and oil, as the back flow from Poland is originally from Rus/Blrs. Pipelines/ pumping stations are fragile, even more so when the valves are in your enemies country.
Our country is supplying the equivalent of WWII Lend/lease to UKR, so that is a plus. Obviously all the braggadacio coming from the UKR politicians is actually US Intelligence, which is invaluable and costing RUS dearly. I don't think it is sufficient to drive the Russkies back. Our enemies the Russians, have not deployed cyber or tac nuclear, the former may have been purposely withheld or blocked by US.
Oddly enough, you're going to start seeing more efforts to facilitate a Stinger/NLAW replacement programs, precisely because Ukraine is burning off the remaining stockpiles so fast. At this stage, a new small missile that is "universal", in so much that it is man portable/launchable as well as can be launched from small drones, with a multiseeker mixed EO/IR/radar seeker, and self selecting dialable effect warhead and flight profiles, is probably going to happen. Common seeker and body means it's mass producible.
Probably the biggest limitation is the multiseeker, as it would be nicer to have it all integrated on one chip, but there may not be enough semiconductor fab capacity to do it.
Good question, would indeed be interesting.
Russia only has some 1500 warplanes though, and some 3000 deployable tanks (most of the rest is scrap metal, in storage). That is the total, not just in Ukraine.
If the Ukrainians have used up most of those anti-weapons, that would mean that their effectiveness is not great.
I don't know if that is because of weapons shortages. Russians have plenty of weapons. Willingness to continue to fight among ordinary soldiers is what may be the limiting factor.
Make no mistake though: the Russian leadership – the old men – do want to continue the fight and get the land as much as they can. Hopefully the younger men who are doing the fighting and dying realize that they have little to gain and everything to lose and stop fighting.
NATO's goal was never to destroy Russia's military with just man portable weapons. Javelins and NLAWs work in conjunction with Abrams, Bradley, A-10, Apache, F22, F35, B52, etc.
Ukraine is accumulating enough weapons to attack after the Moscow Victory Parade. Precision counter battery artillery fires from Ukraine will rule the next phase of battle. Russian conscripts are waiting for their overdue release. Regulars did not get paid. Putin is sucking his thumb. He lost.
Perspective: Russia is in a stalemate against NATO man portable weapons. Imagine if western tanks and air power were involved.
either way Europe is going to be a hot bed of military upgrade and investment – hope everyone got their Raytheon and General Dynamics stock for the 2nd/ 3rd quarter…
"…3. Putin is barely in charge and insane. Almost none of his senior staff are totally loyal; most will flip quickly. Almost no influential people are loyal; many will flip quickly. The minority of the population is uninformed but most are generally anti-Putin. This is optimistic. Russia will accelerate toward a major disruption with new institutions and increased productivity in the next few years. Glasnost and Perestroika will have nothing on the changes about to occur. Likely widspread economic chaos but not too bloody. Russia may need to broken up and de-nuclearized (weapons)…."
The only things to worry about, in order of decreasing importance/ likelihood, is:
1. Russia shutting off fuel completely to its client countries-especially in October or later-especially within the next 6 – 9 months.
2. Russia undertaking huge worldwide, strategic cyber attacks
3. Russia destabilizing and/or laying economic waste to the small border countries and shadowy regimes for which it has some influence or proximity
4. Russia losing control of/ accidentally executing/ insanely triggering an air, land or sea nuclear device/ reactor
5. Russia starving/ freezing out its own citizens causing them to destabilize their own/ neighboring countries.
The question is what paths are open to the above things happening. Its unclear who are supportive and what the nature of their influence is. Order of circumstances:
1. Putin is in charge and sane. Most of his senior staff are totally loyal. Most influential people are mostly loyal. The majority of the population is uninformed or closet-supportive. This is the worst. Russia will continue to be a nuisance for most of a decade.
2. Putin is partly in charge and barely sane. A few of his senior staff are totally loyal; many will flip. Some influential people are mostly loyal; many will flip. The minority of the population is uninformed or closet-supportive. This is unfortunate. Russia
will continue to be a nuisance for a few more years…"
A good point but it would be best not to rely on that. The faster Ukraine burns through Russia’s materiel the less they will have access to later if they somehow get to the point where they stop making really bad decisions. If Putin gets replaced by someone just as arrogant and vicious but who can adapt and learn the way Putin never could. It wouldn’t be the first time an army started off horrible and improved over the course of a conflict. I’d like to see their forces grinder down as fast as possible just in case that happens.
They squandered their materiel advantage of “stuff you start the war with” and the clock is ticking on their dubious advantage of “stuff held in reserve”. When the war gets to the “stuff you can repair and stuff you can replace via new production” phase their advantage is gone due to sanctions and brain drain.
NATO and all nations friendly to Ukraine need to go budget on a war footing. If Russia isn’t stopped permanently they will attack NATO nations like Poland and Baltic states.
Russia can’t keep up with NATO if its members even start meeting their treaty spending obligations.
Widen sanctions to apply to any company, nation or group which assists Russia. Invest in fracking (I was told their shouldn’t be a “K” in fracking but every spell checker and online dictionary seems to fell there is) nuclear and non-Russian coal—anything to get off Russian gas. Every reduction helps.
Even a tiny success for Russia in this war will encourage them to try for more again later.
3. Putin is barely in charge and insane. Almost
none of his senior staff are totally loyal; most will flip quickly. Almost no
influential people are loyal; many will flip quickly. The minority of the
population is uninformed but most are generally anti-Putin. This is optimistic.
Russia will accelerate toward a major disruption with new institutions and
increased productivity in the next few years. Glasnost and Perestroika will have
nothing on the changes about to occur. Likely widspread economic chaos but not
too bloody. Russia may need to broken up and de-nuclearized (weapons).
War should motivate changes. The US succeeded in quick mass production of vaccines, it ought to do whatever is needed to rapidly produce more small missiles. It’s worth the risk at the same time to drawn down stockpiles further to give Ukraine what it needs to win. The DOD is saving them for a hypothetical war against what enemy? Russia has always been the primary enemy. This is what those weapons were made for.
The war is stalled and may stay so for awhile. The US needs to use this time to increase its deterrence against Russia nuclear weapons that it may use against Ukraine and countries that support it including the US of course. First and foremost we need to have a quick and effective way to destroy Russia's nuclear weapons launching capabilities as well as increasing missile defense capabilities
This would be interesting if it included an "effectiveness" assessment.
If there are 10,000 Russian warplanes available and it takes 10, or 100, Stingers to destroy an aeroplane, who runs out first?
How many Stingers did the Taliban find at Kandahar, and how much would it cost to buy them back?
How many Javelins per T-72? or T-80? Do they work against Armadas?
Does anyone have a good source of news with proper tactical and logistic analyses?
I saw one last month showing the Russian Armour and Logistics train stymied by the spring mud. In Canada we call this "Breakup" and farming or oil drilling is not pursued until the ground is dry.
Ideally a Putin shortage will solve the prob by then.
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