Ukraine's new defense minister says he wants to rebuild the country's military industrial complex

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Ukraine's new defense minister says he wants to rebuild the country's military industrial complex
Ukrainian Minister of Defense Rustem Umerov said Ukrainian forces are making a push to produce ammunition locally.Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters
  • Ukraine's new defense minister says the country is focusing on increasing local arms production.
  • The push comes as Ukrainian forces burn through artillery shells.
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Ukraine's parliament approved a new defense minister earlier this month. Rustem Umerov came to the post with experience negotiating grain exports and prisoner exchanges with Russia.

Now, two weeks into the job, Umerov said one of his top priorities is to rebuild Ukraine's cache of ammunition by ramping up local production, using local manufacturers whenever possible, The Economist reported.

"Anything that can be produced locally, must be produced locally," Umerov told The Economist.

Umerov's push for local manufacturing comes after the US announced yet another boost in the production of 155mm artillery shells to help replenish Ukraine's supply. The US has already doubled its production of these shells this year, jumping from 14,000 per month to 28,000 per month, Insider previously reported.

That number could even reach 57,000 per month by next spring, according to Bill LaPlante, the US under secretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment.

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Umerov said he plans to boost local production by reforming state enterprises and incentivizing private arms manufacturers, which make up between 20% and 30% of local production, according to The Economist. Under Umerov, those private manufacturers could eventually account for as much as 80% of local output within five years, Oleksandr Kamyshin, Ukraine's minister of strategic industries, told the outlet.

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