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"Ammo??" Topic

16 Posts

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35thOVI Supporting Member of TMP20 Nov 2023 6:44 a.m. PST

Subject: Watching Ukraine burn through ammo fighting Russia has the US Army rethinking how much it really needs for when war breaks out


soledad20 Nov 2023 8:20 a.m. PST

I am astonished how planners have constantly undereestimted how much ammo is used in war.

In every war ammo expenditure have been way higher than projected. how come no one has thought to take the carefully studied numbers and just said "good work now triple it"! This to get closer to a more realistic number.

Something that surprises med alot is at the end of the article. US is giving artillery ammo to Israel…

WTF, can't Israel use its own artillery ammo? Is Israels own stock so low to begin with that they need Uncle Sam after three weeks of whoopin´Hamas?

If that is true Israeli stocks must have been very very low to begin with. Scandalous low.

Tortorella Supporting Member of TMP20 Nov 2023 10:48 a.m. PST

You apparently can never have to much. Over a billion fired in WW1 and they still find tons in France, unexploded, every year.

Bunkermeister Supporting Member of TMP20 Nov 2023 11:36 a.m. PST

Ukraine is firing 8,000 rounds of 155mm per day.
The US makes 24,000 rounds of 155mm per month.

If the US were fighting a near peer adversary how much ammo would we use in a day? Probably more alike 50,000 rounds.

It is a scandal that in WWI, and in WWII in both North Africa, the Pacific, and Europe that the US ran so low on artillery ammo that we used 25 pounders in Africa and Europe and just did without in the Pacific.

It's sexy to build an F35 but boring to build and stockpile ammo. We even lack mining for lead and other minerals and the infrastructure to build more.

It is sad how far out industrial base has fallen.

Mike Bunkermeister Creek

ROUWetPatchBehindTheSofa20 Nov 2023 11:49 a.m. PST

The ammo-issue has been a thing since the opening months. Clearly it seems various militaries and their respective governments have taken note. Problem is that after a flurry of activity and we're a few years down the track everyone will go back to sleep. The problem isn't so much low production in peace time but the assumption your going to have a couple of years warning to ramp up production. Because politics might, might, spot a incoming threat but it usually remains business as usual until its almost too late. Arguably going forward the real requirement may be to have domestic drone component industries as much as artillery.

The other problem with taking lessons from Ukraine is some of the unusual aspects of it. Assuming a European land war NATO could very well burn through its war stocks in weeks or days but there probably wouldn't be much left of the other side at the end of it…

Israel may also be something of a special case – how much of handing over of ammo is political rather than actual need?

Raynman Supporting Member of TMP20 Nov 2023 12:05 p.m. PST

You never have enough ammo! Every unit I was ever in, if given the chance to carry more food or more ammo, always, always took more ammo! Soledad was correct. Study the past, count what was fired and then triple it! Actually, multiply it by ten!!

Stryderg20 Nov 2023 1:39 p.m. PST

It's probable that the accountants and experts are also taking into account the storage and disposal costs, in case peace breaks out.

Personal logo McKinstry Supporting Member of TMP Fezian20 Nov 2023 1:54 p.m. PST

In every war ammo expenditure have been way higher than projected.

So true and I suspect, true in every war ever.

I believe Salahdhin's insuring a plentiful resupply of arrows helped at Hattin.

Personal logo Dye4minis Supporting Member of TMP20 Nov 2023 4:31 p.m. PST

(Rant mode ON:) Checking what a combat load is for a platoon of infantry, I don't see how they could carry any more without the aid of some mechanized transport. It's not fair to compare WWI and WWII expenditure rates of small arms ammo to todays rates. Everyone has weapons capable of full auto longarms so the burn thru rate has to be very high. With ammo for long ranged engagements and sustaining those fires requires lots of transportation, specialized storage and material handling equipment all along from factory to battlefield. Maybe we can supply more from the factory but where do we put it at home and in theatre? Surely your enemy knows where all those non-moveable facilities are; what ships are transporting it from the CONUS; airlift is very expensive and impairs our ability to deploy and sustain our own combat assets in the world; and our country would rather send money to our enemies or sit on our petrolium assets in lieu of even more money to spend on "Green" energy than to spend it on our "green" defense readiness! Indeed, the industrial defense complex has been gutted and now, almost unable to protect our own homeland. Yeah, it may soon tested with thousands of "questionable" get-away migrants running lose inside out borders with fewer targets to neutralize. Too bad congress does not look past the politics and actually work to defend our liberties by bolstering our defense capabilities instead of stripping them dry. (Rant mode off)..(PS: while we may be spending more on defense, the fact is that with the cost of petroleum everything costs more so we are getting less of it with that money spent!)

Personal logo Legion 4 Supporting Member of TMP20 Nov 2023 4:34 p.m. PST

Raynman +1

I remember we discussed something like this at the Infantry Adv Course or CAS3. If WWIII broke out in West Germany with the USSR/WP flooring across the IGB. The tempo of combat may be so intense ammo, fuel, parts and other assets may be used up very quickly by all involved. The war might not last that long ? But still many will die, etc. with all that steel, etc. flying around.

But bottom line, the US has to get up on a war footing when it comes to 155, etc. ammo. Based on now supporting 2 wars and having to keep war stocks for the US Military, etc.

Once again like in WWI and WWII the US won't be able to properly fight in the first battle of the next war, etc. Guess those in charge don't read history, or cares.

Maggot20 Nov 2023 4:40 p.m. PST

Another reason I'm skeptical of some of the rationale behind the Army's newest rifles and SAW systems. While a more powerful round, the basic load drops from 210 rounds of 5.56 for a rifleman to 140. The response: the new system is much more accurate and soldiers won't use as much ammo….

Now, my younger infantry days we always carried a second bandolier of 5.56 per rifleman; and buddies of mine in the Gulf always tried to carry that, PLUS two to three extra ready magazines (normal being 7x 30rnd). Infantrymen pour through ammo in even short firefights…

But I keep being told by those in the know that our artillery, tanks and rifles are (will) be soooo much more accurate than before, so ammo expenditure will be soooo much lower….Ukraine is not a good sample due to their lower tech fighting, I'm told.

I wonder…

Swingfire Supporting Member of TMP20 Nov 2023 4:47 p.m. PST

The article 35thOVI referenced was essentially concerning artilley ammo… especially 155mm

I truthfully admire you infantry guys, but you aint gonna be hauling arty ammo around with you lol

Maggot20 Nov 2023 4:52 p.m. PST

HA! Point taken Swingfire!

But I think it is somewhat emblematic of the belief in senior military leadership circles (even though 20 years of COIN combat has NOT proven same) that current and future weapon systems will be so accurate that mass ammo use will be a thing of the past…

I'm not so sure; in an empty battlefield were IDing the enemy is always a challenge the soldier's greatest friend has always been more ammo sent downrange…

Swingfire Supporting Member of TMP20 Nov 2023 7:06 p.m. PST

It's predominantly drones now …

I have two verified videos of drones (Ukrainian drones) that make me a bit uncomfortable…

One is a Russian surrendering (and it ends well),

One is a Russian firing his AK at an incoming drone, but the drone gets him … violently

Im not gonna post the videos … I consider that distatfull

But it's effed up in a way

smithsco20 Nov 2023 8:09 p.m. PST

I'm not concerned as much about ammo for small arms. All issues with misguided accuracy aside, the civilian side of ammo production in America can add a lot of capacity to military production in a war. Also the army plans to keep the M4 in service for a long time with rear echelons and support elements. Diversification makes things complicated but also guarantees the 6.8mm for infantry exclusively.

I'm way more concerned about 155mm rounds and pretty much any air, ground, or ship launched missiles. Can't support a full scale conflict for long. I've read a lot of research in regard to wargames, exercises, studies on recent conflicts etc, that the more launch platforms you have the more likely success is. 5 ships with 10 missiles each will outperform 1 ship of equal quality with 50 missiles. Means you need a lot of different ordinance and the capability to move it quickly.

Beyond that we need to bulk up air defense production. Patriots, stingers, all of the navy SMs, THAADs, iron domes. Ukraine and Israel have proved you can expend a lot of ordinance in a hurry.

Personal logo Legion 4 Supporting Member of TMP21 Nov 2023 10:26 a.m. PST

the basic load drops from 210 rounds of 5.56 for a rifleman to 140. The response: the new system is much more accurate and soldiers won't use as much ammo….
We who were Infantryman know this is a bad idea. Modern Fire & Maneuver tactics require suppressive fires on the enemy. From one element while the other element maneuvers. As we learned from DAY 1 … "To close with kill, capture, destroy enemy personnel & equipment" … Less ammo won't cut it IMO.

smithco +1

Again in modern warfare it requires a lot ammo to be effective. Even if fires are more accurate.

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