​Defense Industry Giant Northrop Grumman Enters Ukraine with Ammo Production Factory

Illustrative photo credit: Northrop Grumman
Illustrative photo credit: Northrop Grumman

Northrop Grumman has become another big industrial enterprise to open production facilities in Ukraine as part of an intergovernmental project

American defense corporation Northrop Grumman plans to establish a production of medium-caliber ammunition in Ukraine. This officially declared intention is the result of a government project with state funding from Ukraine and approval from Washington.

The acknowledgement of this agreement was made during the Eurosatory 2024 international exhibition, currently being held in Paris, Breaking Defense reports. Rather than an announcement, it was almost a slip of the tongue during a speech from Stanley Brown, the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs in a verbal exchange with Dave Bartell, director of international business for Northrop’s defense systems sector.

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On a note from Defense Express, the category of medium-caliber ammunition mentioned by Bartell is designed primarily for automatic cannons. According to Northrop Grumman's list of products, those encompass: 20x102, 30x113, 30x173, 40x180, and 50x228 mm rounds. Speaking of applications, those are used for the M61 Vulcan and the Bushmaster Chain Gun type M230, Mk44, and XM913.

M230 Bushmaster Chain Gun / Defense Express / Defense Industry Giant Northrop Grumman Enters Ukraine with Ammo Production Factory
M230 Bushmaster Chain Gun / Open-source illustrative photo

These calibers are standard for many combat vehicles and anti-drone air defense systems which prioritize efficiency over sheer firepower. Importantly, these projectiles are produced in multiple variants: armor-piercing, high-explosive fragmentation, airburst, etc.

The company official also noted that they plan to expand from the production of medium calibers into tank and 155mm artillery ammunition in the future. The U.S. Department of State official, in turn, mentioned during his speech that the Ukrainian government is currently investing a total of $2 billion in the defense industry. This could have become the key factor for Northrop Grumman.

Northrop Grumman declined to comment further at this point in time. Therefore, questions like when the production will start or what exactly types of ammunition will be made there remain unknown.

Worth adding, Northrop Grumman is considered to be the third largest defense company in the world in terms of revenue, estimated at $32.5 billion per year, behind RTX and Lockheed Martin.

Moreover, Northrop Grumman offers a huge variety of weapons and their components that the Ukrainian military might be extremely interested in. Rather, it would be easier to name what this defense giant does not make because, objectively, the production of gun ammunition for Northrop Grumman is at the bottom of the spectrum, while the high end of products includes anti-missile defense, hypersonic technologies, strategic aviation and aerospace projects.

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