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​EU Approves New €500 Million Tranche for the ASAP Program to Make More Ammunition for Ukraine

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Illustrative photo: 155mm artillery ammunition production at KNDS, Belgium / Photo credit: KNDS
Illustrative photo: 155mm artillery ammunition production at KNDS, Belgium / Photo credit: KNDS

The ASAP initiative was introduced to rapidly expand production of artillery ammunition in the European Union

European Commission has approved the decision to prolong the Act in Support of Ammunition Production (ASAP) program, which is purposed to incite the arms companies to scale up their production of artillery shells and missiles, aiming for 2 million rounds manufactured yearly by the end of 2025.

The new tranche allocates an additional EUR 513 million, resulting in a total investment of €1.4 billion in the supply chain, particularly in defense enterprises of the EU and Norway. For example, Norwegian Chemring Nobel will get €66 mln to increase production of explosives, French Eurenco receives €47 mln for making powder, Rheinmetall and Nammo get €22.5 each to produce shells, and so on.

Read more: Greece to Supply Ukraine with Aviation Missiles, Artillery, and M114 Howitzers in 2024
Defense Express / EU Approves New €500 Million Tranche for the ASAP Program to Make More Ammunition for Ukraine
Illustrative photo credit: KNDS

Overall, the new allocation encompasses 31 projects submitted by the manufacturers, ¾ of the money is injected into expanding production of ammunition components — powders and explosives (€248 mln and €124 mln, respectively).

The statement from the European Commission says by January 2024, production of artillery rounds had already reached 1 million a year. However, despite the whole program being originally initiated in response to russia's aggression against Ukraine, only part of those shells are sent to Ukraine because of ongoing defense contracts the companies need to fulfill.

Together with two other investment programs, the EDIRPA and EDF, the total contribution to EU defense in the coming years amounts to almost €2 billion.

Worth noting, the approval of the new tranche comes within the framework of EU's transition from emergency measures such as the ASAP program, in favor of a long-term perspective identified in the European Defence Industrial Strategy (EDIS) and European Defence Industry Programme (EDIP), two key documents outlining the vision of defense industry development until 2035. Defense Express has covered the topic in detail here.

Read more: ​EU Comprehensively Transforms its Defense Industry and Integrates Ukraine in the New Development Plan for 2025–2030