Germany’s recent agreement to provide $400 million worth of NATO standard 155 mm shells to Ukraine is very generous, but it may end up being irrelevant as there’s reasonable doubt as to whether the war will still be going in 2025 when the shells are due to be delivered.
The $400 million breaks down to two major orders: a $305 million order from an undisclosed French company for 68,000 155 mm shells, and a $110 million order from Rheinmetall guesstimated to total some 24,000+ shells, bringing the number of shells Germany will send to Ukraine to about 92,000.
These artillery purchases average out to a whopping $4,485 price per shell, but apparently that’s a bargain as purchasing smaller quantities can yield prices of up to $8,500 per round. This is a lot per round, but not enough to purchase precision-guided rounds. Consequently, we can assume the purchases for Ukraine are mostly for standard unguided high explosive fragmentation rounds. These rounds will be roughly comparable to the U.S. Army’s 155 mm M795 round, which in 2020 was going for $1,400 per round. So, we’re looking at price premiums of roughly 300 to 600 percent above what’s already a high price for an unguided round….
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