Nammo ramps up 155mm artillery ammunition production by getting $95M

Jonas Gar Støre, the Prime Minister of Norway, recently announced that the Norwegian government will be injecting an additional NOK 2 billion, which is approximately $191 million, into the country’s defense industry. This move, reported by various Norwegian media, is intended to expand the industry’s production capacity significantly. 

Nammo ramps up 155mm artillery ammunition production by getting $95M
Photo credit: nytimes.com

Støre’s statement indicates that the ongoing conflict in Ukraine has led to an escalating demand for substantial volumes of ammunition. Given these circumstances, the Norwegian government is stepping in with robust measures designed to enable the defense sector to boost its production. 

Details of the funding reveal that half the amount, one billion kroner or around $95 million, will back specific projects at Nammo to enhance the making of artillery ammunition. The remaining NOK 1 billion, again approximately $95 million, has been allocated for supporting various other initiatives within the Norwegian defense industry. According to a press release from the government, these funds will be provided through the Nansen program.

Russia monthly produces more shells than US produces 155mm shells
Photo credit: Konstantin Mihaylchevkiy

Several measures

Previously, the government-sanctioned around one billion NOK – approximately $95 million – aiming to enhance production capabilities. Moreover, they – the ministerial council members – have initiated multiple strategies to restock the gifted ammunition and solidify Norway’s emergency reserves in the long term. 

Norway, in the previous year, has successfully secured numerous significant contracts with the ammo manufacturer Nammo, even including the most sizable contract in the organization’s history. Norway finds itself engaged in a Scandinavian ammo project as well. 

Ukraine gets 155mm M982 guided shells: PBX warhead, 23-70 km range
Photo credit: Naver

“The defense industry’s capacity augmentation holds paramount importance not just for Ukraine, but also for our own security protection. Currently, we’re significantly supporting Nammo’s production capacity boost to fulfill the needs of Norway, our allies, and Ukraine,” stated Defense Minister Bjørn Arild Gramm.

Difficult production

Just a few days after Russian warplanes effectively targeted Ukraine’s production facilities, Norway has stepped up to increase its manufacture of 155mm ammunition

MiG-31K with installed Kinzhal hypersonic missile lands in Kaliningrad
Photo credit: Wikipedia

In what constituted a significant ballistic missile attack, the Russian Air Force zeroed in on critical Ukrainian military installations on January 13. The major targets included factories producing 155mm and 152mm artillery rounds, as well as drone workshops. 

The attack didn’t end there. Gunpowder factories and facilities designed to manufacture 125mm tank rounds were also on the list. The Russian Defense Ministry has declared all these strikes to have been successful. 

A critical concern for Ukraine’s Western allies is the country’s reliance on old Soviet ammunition sizes for most of its artillery and armor. This makes sourcing 155mm, 152mm, and 125mm ammunition a complex task, as these sizes are not standard production in Western countries. 

Ukraine is using Indian 155mm shells for the Polish Krab SPH
Photo credit: Telegram

Neutralizing these defense industrial targets is likely to intensify Ukraine’s Army’s already severe ammunition deficit. It’s already evident across various units, particularly their elite mechanized brigades and artillery.

Not just Norway

Not just limited to Norway, other Ukrainian allies, including the US, have expressed intentions to ramp up their manufacturing of 155mm artillery ammunition. For instance, Rheinmetall, a German company, announced an expansion of their 155mm artillery ammunition production line at the end of 2023. 

In Ukraine Soviet Nona-K artillery fires US-made M1101 shells
Photo credit: Telegram

Earlier in December 2023, Rheinmetall [RHM], a German defense giant, formally acknowledged receiving a significant order for artillery ammunition production intended for Ukraine. This hefty order commands a price tag of 142 million euros and involves the creation of tens of thousands of units of 155mm artillery ammunition.  

Our coverage from October indicated that the manufacturing cost for each 155mm artillery ammunition piece stood at 3300 euros, as per the pricing strategy of the Spanish Expal plant. By this valuation, the output would equate to almost 43,000 rounds of ammo.  

Rheinmetall’s Spanish munitions facility, Rheinmetall Expal Munitions, which was acquired by the German company for a staggering €1.2 billion, will shoulder the responsibility of executing this massive manufacturing project. The first batch is speculated to roll out as soon as 2025. But when it comes to further details about this contract, Rheinmetall has kept shtum.  

As of January 1, murmurs circulating in the Russian and Ukrainian informatics arena suggest that Ukraine could possibly be the recipient of Indian 155mm artillery rounds. Based on data extracted from this TG account, these shells are a perfect match for the AHS Krab self-propelled howitzers that Poland supplied to Ukraine.

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