The Biden administration has transferred 5,000 Javelin, or Advanced Anti-Tank Weapon System-Medium, missiles to Ukraine to repel the Russian invasion. Such a large transfer has alarmed politicians Stateside, who warns the US is running low on weapons stockpiling.
Rep. Mike Gallagher, a Republican from Wisconsin, told Fox News the US is dangerously depleting Javelin missiles stockpiles when more hotspots could erupt across the world.
What's bad is the president himself seems at times to constantly want to remind everybody what we won't do and putting arbitrary limits on our assistance, I think, undermines our effort. But, the real ugly is that we are running low in terms of our stockpiles.
We just burned through seven years of Javelins and that's not only important as we continue to try and help the Ukrainians win in Ukraine, that's important as we try to simultaneously defend Taiwan from aggression from the Chinese Communist Party. They are going to need access to some of these same weapons systems, and we simply don't have the stockpiles at present in order to backfill what we've spent in Ukraine.
Last Tuesday, President Biden visited the Lockheed Martin plant in Troy, Alabama, where the defense company assembles Javelins. Lockheed is expanding its workforce amid the tightest labor market in decades to build more missiles. The defense contractor is expected to ramp up weapon production in the near term.
On Sunday, president and chief executive officer of Lockheed Martin Corporation Jim Taiclet told Face the Nation that Javelin production would double from "2,100 missiles per year" to "4,000 per year," adding that production "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."
For how long is Lockheed Martin preparing to ramp up production of javelins and other weapons? Their president and CEO says they are planning for “the long run.” pic.twitter.com/lnNQ98q8Yx— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) May 8, 2022
Western officials and their corporate media counterparts have praised the effectiveness of the anti-tank missile. However, some "Javelins didn't prove useful, especially in urban warfare," according to one Ukrainian military commander.
"We couldn't even launch one. I think it's completely useless in an urban environment, as something always gets in the way," said Colonel Vladimir Baranyuk, the commander of Ukraine's 36th Naval Infantry Brigade, quoted by the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph.
Besides Javelins, the US has transferred shoulder-fired anti-aircraft stinger missiles that are effective against military aircraft. But every US shipment of stingers depletes stockpiles where Raytheon CEO Greg Hayes recently warned increasing production would be challenging due to snarled supply chains.
Could the US be running critically low on missiles at a time the world is dangerously spiraling toward a possible world conflict?