Armament directors of the US and partner countries are meeting in Brussels this week to discuss a long-term arms assistance strategy for Ukraine.

The US undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment Bill LaPlante will lead the first meeting of national armament directors on September 28, including more than 40 members of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group. 

The meeting will focus on ways to shore up arms production for Ukraine and identify the capabilities the country will likely need in the future, the US Department of Defense (DoD) explained in a briefing.

“We will also discuss what capabilities Ukraine is likely to need in the future like long-range fires and air defense and how to posture the broad industrial base of the contact group to meet those needs,” the briefing added.

How to ‘Bridge Capability Gaps’

The discussion will include a production request for “things like gun barrels, ball bearings, steel casings,” and “obsolescent parts and microchips,” a DoD official said in the briefing. He added that “interchangeable systems” provided to Ukrainian forces with modifications to “bridge the capability gaps,” will also be discussed.

Finally, a long-term strategy will be discussed to ensure the Ukraine equipment remains in workable condition in the long run.

“Even if we get — even just sharing best practices, lessons learned. I’m actually looking forward to discussion and we’ve got really positive feedback as we’ve been doing the preliminary work. So my hope is that going out of the session, there’ll be much more willingness — the ability for us to work together across countries to try to — solve some of these challenges we’re all facing,” the official said.

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