US Looks to Help Ukraine Increase Its Own Weapons Production

Jake Sullivan says the idea is to make Ukraine less reliant on US aid

Ukrainian officials traveled to Washington this week to attend a conference on building up Ukraine’s own military industrial complex to reduce its reliance on the West for military equipment.

Opening the conference on Wednesday, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said the US and its allies would work to strengthen “Ukraine’s defense industrial base, both to maintain Ukraine’s current war effort and to bolster Ukraine’s national strength and deterrence long into the future.”

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told Reuters that Ukraine “becoming more self-sufficient in weapons production obviously alleviates the long-term need for continued supply of weapons from the United States and other Western countries.”

The US and Ukraine are also looking to jointly produce arms. A Ukrainian minister who attended the conference said Kyiv had an agreement with two American companies to jointly manufacture 155mm artillery shells, which are in short supply as the US shipped millions to support the war against Russia.

The minister, Oleksandr Kamyshin, said the production of 155mm shells wouldn’t start for at least two years since Ukraine has never manufactured them before. He would not specify which American companies would be involved in the endeavor.

Ukraine has successfully produced drones domestically that it has used in its war with Russia, including sea drones it used to attack the Crimean Bridge. According to The Washington Post, the sea drones, known as Sea Babies, were developed as part of a top-secret operation involving the CIA and other Western intelligence services.

Other Western arms makers have agreed to produce weapons inside Ukraine despite the risk of their factories becoming targets of the Russian military. Earlier this year, the German arms maker Rheinmetall announced it would be opening a tank production facility in Ukraine.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.