The US is running out of bombs — and it may soon struggle to make more

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Key suppliers for weapons such as the AIM-120 advanced medium-range air-to-air missile are fleeing the defense-industrial base, which could have an impact on the ability of America to wage war in the future. (R. Nial Bradshaw/U.S. Air Force)

 

WASHINGTON ― The Pentagon plans to invest more than $20 billion in munitions in its next budget. But whether the industrial base will be there to support such massive buys in the future is up in the air — at a time when America is expending munitions at increasingly intense rates.

The annual Industrial Capabilities report, put out by the Pentagon’s Office of Manufacturing and Industrial Base Policy, has concluded that the industrial base of the munitions sector is particularly strained, something the report blames on the start-and-stop nature of munitions procurement over the last 20 years, as well as the lack of new designs being internally developed.

Some suppliers have dropped out entirely, leaving no option for replacing vital materials. Other key suppliers are foreign-owned, with no indigenous capability to produce vital parts and materials ― setting up the risk that a conflict with China could rely on Chinese-made parts.

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Navy Faces Deployment Crisis as Aging Ships Get Sidelined

When the next war begins, America might not be ready or have to sit on the sidelines and watch on as allies are attacked — if not America itself.

 

Experts warn of U.S. inability to respond in Persian Gulf, Asian Pacific

The U.S. Navy is suffering from an inability to deploy ships to key international conflict zones due to rising maintenance issues on an aging fleet, that is increasingly being sidelined for lengthy repairs, according to military experts and a new government investigation.

Heavy demand on the Navy’s fleet during the past decade has compromised the operational conditions of many ships, forcing military leaders to sideline these vessels for lengthy repairs that experts say will severely limit the Navy’s ability to respond to emerging threats in the Persian Gulf and Asia-Pacific regions. Continue reading