Ammo Born again Cynic! War

Pentagon Says Russia Will Soon Be Forced to Use Old, ‘Degraded’ Ammo In Ukraine Properly stored ammunition can last a lifetime but Russia has a bad track record of improper storage that leads to massive explosions and death. Matthew Gault By Matthew Gault


According to the Pentagon, the Russian military is running out of ammunition. The problem is so bad, the U.S. military said, that the Kremlin will soon start dipping into stocks of ammunition produced during the Cold War.

This isn’t necessarily a problem as ammunition isn’t perishable. In the right conditions, it can last a long time. The problem is that Russia tends not to store its ammo in ideal conditions that keep it from rotting.

An anonymous source in the U.S. military told reporters on Monday that Russia was running out of new ammunition. “Their stocks of, again, fully serviceable ammunition, you know, this would be new ammunition, is rapidly dwindling,” the unnamed official told reporters. “Which is probably forcing them to increasingly use ammunition in what we would consider degraded conditions.”

The Pentagon said that, at the current rate of use, Russia might run out of “fully serviceable” artillery and rocket ammunition by early 2023. As Moscow continues to burn through ammo in its war with Ukraine, the official said it will have to rely on less safe munitions.

“They have drawn from [Russia’s] aging ammunition stockpile, which does indicate that they are willing to use that older ammunition, some of which was originally produced more than 40 years ago,” the official told reporters.

Moscow isn’t the only country on the planet that uses old ammunition. The U.S. Air Force has repurposed 18,000 40mm shells built during World War II for use in the AC-130. The Pentagon has wanted to retire the AC-130’s 40mm cannons for a while, but they’ve proven too effective.

Properly stored in a climate-controlled environment, ammunition can last a long time. The U.S. Defense Logistics Agency oversees vast stores of munitions left over from America’s various wars. Some of what it’s sitting on is almost 100 years old. Kept in a cool dry place, some of these ammunition might still be usable. An improperly stored round can be volatile, misfire, and even explode, however.

Russia has never done a great job of properly storing its ammo. We know this because their depots tend to explode. In 2020, an ammo storage warehouse southeast of Moscow exploded, taking 75,000 tonnes of ammo with it. In 2019, an ammo storage depot in Siberia exploded. The warehouse was used to store artillery shells, rockets, and various other munitions. A similar explosion injured eight people in 2015, also in Siberia. In 2009, an explosion at an ammo storage warehouse in the city of Ulyanovsk killed two people.

These are just a few of dozens of examples of ammunition exploding in Russia. Ammo depots have exploded in former Soviet countries like Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. It’s also happened in Ukrainemultiple times.

The use of aged ammo is not necessarily the problem, it’s that Russia could soon be relying on unstable and improperly stored munitions pulled from Soviet-era warehouses that they’re lucky haven’t already exploded.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *