Skip to comments.US asks private sector to ease bullet shortage
Posted on 05/26/2004 6:53:33 PM PDT by NCjim
Even in the age of unmanned aerial vehicles, satellite-guided bombs and night-vision goggles, the US army cannot fight a war without its most basic necessity: bullets.
And with more troops in Iraq, more intense combat than expected and the need for almost every soldier from frontline infantryman to rearguard logistician to be prepared for an ambush, the army suddenly finds itself in a bullet crunch.
According to a requisition last week by the Army Field Support Command, the service will need 300m to 500m more bullets a year for at least five years, or more than 1.5m a year for combat and training. And because the single army-owned, small-calibre ammunition factory in Lake City, Missouri, can produce only 1.2m bullets annually, the army is suddenly scrambling to get private defence contractors to help fill the gap.
The bullet problem has its roots in a Pentagon effort to restock its depleted war materiel reserve. But it has been exacerbated by the ongoing operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, where rearguard and supply units have been thinly-stretched throughout the countryside, occasionally without active duty combat soldiers to protect them.
The army's formal solicitation acknowledges that its current m anufacturing abilities have been all but exhausted. "Increasing military contingencies have created a situation where the capability to produce small calibre ammunition through conventional methods has been fully exercised," it said.
Specifically, the army is looking for 300m more bullets annually, potentially rising to 500m a year.
Alliant Techsystems, which runs the army-owned factory in Lake City, is in talks with the military about remedying the bullet production shortage, insisting it could expand output by 200m to 300m a year.
General Dynamics, the US defence contractor which submitted its proposed solution on Tuesday, said it had pulled together several small bullet suppliers - including Winchester, a unit of Olin Corporation; Israel Military Industries; and Canada's SNC Technologies - to meet the army's gap.
"We're using so much ammunition in Iraq there isn't enough capacity around," said Eric Hugel, a defence industry analyst at Sephens Inc. "They have to go internationally."
"....Alliant Techsystems, which runs the army-owned factory in Lake City, is in talks with the military about remedying the bullet production shortage, insisting it could expand output by 200m to 300m a year..."
Gadzooks, another illiterate journalist. The word he wants is "remediating"...
Response: Yet another result of "outsourcing?"
More a victim of piss poor planning. The private sector can easily pick up the slack provided that they can make a reasonable profit.
Interesting thought. If OUR troops, who are well trained to aim before firing, are getting a bit short, you gotta wonder about the Jihadists whose supply lines gotta be much more fragile than ours and whose primary "tactic" is to spray 'n pray a whole mag.
There's something I find vastly amusing about getting the civilian ammo market to make up for military shortfalls. Heck, they oughta just pass the hat at my local range.
Didn't they do something like this in WWII?
there are millions of tons of munitions buried all over the country - tons stored in mosques. they have plenty I think.
but isn't alot of our ammo specialized? who in the private sector makes ammo for AC130 guns, or the guns on the Bradleys?
"The private sector can easily pick up the slack provided that they can make a reasonable profit." Not necessarily. Winchester is already into the act with a contract to produce 5.56mm Ball M855 ammunition. Just how much do you know about the Remington Arms Company and Federal Cartridge Company's current capacity to produce such ammunition? Can you name any other U.S. manufacturer with the capability and capacity? Please get your facts correct before posting.
because the single army-owned, small-calibre ammunition factory in Lake City, Missouri, can produce only 1.2m bullets annually, the army is suddenly scrambling to get private defence contractors to help fill the gap.
From the article. We are using more then this factory can make. That is all.
I suppose they could buy another one but start-up would take a while. Not sure how I feel about the army owning factories in the first place. Just seems wrong somehow.
The government owns the ammunition production facility in Lake City, Missouri but private industry operates it.
How about a bullets fundraiser. Imagine school children sending their penies to bullets to kill terroirsts. The left would go bald from pulling their hairs.
Why do you speculate without knowing the facts?
I respond to the point you made, the one blaming this on clintoon and two wars.
You posted the exact comment about a year ago. Is it possible that they don't have a cartridge problem and they are having trouble producing quality projectiles?
I think the problem is that our ammo has to be envirowacko freindly.
Am I the only one who is wandering what would happen if we were in a real shooting war instead of fending off a bands of thugs and terrorists as claimed by our leaders?
Now we are running short on ammunition at the same time as we are running short on troops.
Isn't this "war" going ass backward? Isn't the usual process of wind-down after a victory? Isn't it usual for need of troop strength to decrease after defeat of the enemy instead of a build-up? Shouldn't there be less demand for ammunition in mop-up then would be required in full combat between regular armies?
I'm all for supplying the army with more bullets, but it would be better if they gave the troops powder and primers as well, maybe in some sort of self-contained cartridge.