After putting out an open call for the arms industry to offer new weapons and other systems for Ukraine, the Pentagon is now reviewing hundreds of proposals as US arms makers stand to reap the benefits of President Biden’s Ukraine policy.
On April 22, the Pentagon posted a Request for Information on the website SAM.gov for new weapons that could be rapidly delivered to Ukrainian forces. The listing closed Friday, but at this point the Pentagon won’t offer details on when it might start handing out contracts.
Pentagon acquisition chief Bill LaPlante said the offers range in arms that could be delivered in as soon as 30 days or up to six months. He said the hundreds of proposals could help mitigate supply chain issues Pentagon is facing as it pours billions in weapons into Ukraine.
The US is having issues with the production of Javelin anti-tank missiles and Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, thousands of which have been sent to Ukraine since Russia invaded on February 24. Lockheed Martin, which produces Javelins with Raytheon, said Sunday that it plans to double its production of the anti-tank systems.
“Right now, our capacity is 2,100 Javelin missiles per year. We’re endeavoring to take that up to 4,000 per year, and that will take a number of months, maybe even a couple of years to get there because we have to get our supply chain to also crank up,” said Lockheed Martin CEO Jim Taiclet.
Last week, President Biden visited a Lockheed facility in Alabama that manufactures Javelin in an unusual trip that highlights his focus on arming Ukraine. During a speech at the plant, Biden praised Lockheed workers for making the weapon. “The bottom line is I came to say thank you, thank you, thank you. That’s the reason I’m here,” he said.