According to CSG, the Ukrainian military fires around 40,000 NATO-standard grenades every week. A problem for Kyiv is that the depots of the western countries are empty. The Czech company can produce a maximum of 100,000 pieces of ammunition per year.
The Czech armaments group CSG warns of massive bottlenecks in artillery ammunition in the West in view of the Ukraine war. "Artillery ammunition is a very scarce commodity today," said group owner Michal Strnad. He estimates that it will take 10 to 15 years to replenish Western armies due to Ukraine's support in fighting the Russian invasion. The background is the limited production capacities.
The Ukrainian armed forces are already feeling the effects of this deficiency, Strnad said. European countries have meanwhile emptied their arsenals considerably in order to support Ukraine, which Strnad says is firing 40,000 shells a week from several hundred western-supplied howitzers against the Russian attackers. "A lot has really been delivered to Ukraine," he said. "But the fact is that today the Ukrainians are shooting less than they could because they don't have enough ammunition."
His company, the Czechoslovak Group, is currently responsible for about 25 to 30 percent of Europe's production of NATO-standard 155mm artillery, Strnad said. It has an annual production capacity of 80,000 to 100,000 artillery shells. This makes up a significant part of the annual capacity in Europe, which he put at 270,000 to 300,000 shells. The company plans to hire 250 to 300 new employees and increase capacity to 150,000, but this would take around two years due to long delivery times for the production equipment.
CSG is a major supplier of modernized Soviet-era weapons to Ukraine. However, the stocks and delivery options would also be scarce here, said Strnad.