USA DoD: Standardization will help Ukraine defense

Undersecretary LaPlante explained his reasoning in terms of interchangeable parts. He pointed out that the 155 mm artillery rounds for the M-777 howitzer should all be interchangeable.

PREVIEW XML A member of the Ukrainian National Guard fires a D-30 howitzer towards Russian troops, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Kharkiv region (photo credit: REUTERS)
PREVIEW XML A member of the Ukrainian National Guard fires a D-30 howitzer towards Russian troops, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Kharkiv region
(photo credit: REUTERS)

United States Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment William A. LaPlante held a press briefing on September 30 jointly with Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Sasha N. Baker to discuss long-term support for the Ukrainian military. 

"We have seen some evidence already that the UAVs associated with the transfer from Iran have already experienced numerous failures on the battleground."

 Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Sasha N. Baker 

Given the goal of providing effective support to Ukraine, LaPlante stated that, "allies and partners recognize the importance of standardizing systems and munitions, thereby creating more interchangeable and interoperable systems."

LaPlante explained his reasoning in terms of interchangeable parts. He pointed out that the 155 mm artillery rounds for the M-777 howitzer should all be interchangeable, no matter where they are produced. 

"That's where we would like to potentially go; not for everything, but where it makes sense," he added.

 A member of the Ukrainian National Guard prepares a D-30 howitzer for a fire towards Russian troops, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Kharkiv region, Ukraine October 5, 2022 (credit: REUTERS/VYACHESLAV MADIYEVSKYY) A member of the Ukrainian National Guard prepares a D-30 howitzer for a fire towards Russian troops, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Kharkiv region, Ukraine October 5, 2022 (credit: REUTERS/VYACHESLAV MADIYEVSKYY)

To that end, Baker added that allies will need to help Ukraine get its military equipment to NATO standards. Taking into account the time it takes to draw up contracts and begin large-scale production of equipment, Bakers tressed that allies must "get [Ukraine] to a place where they can sustain their military and their defensive abilities over the long term. We have to start that now."

Russia's shortcomings

Baker also told the press that Russia has sent operators to Iran to learn how to use drones that they are providing to Russia. This, she said, signifies desperation and major supply shortages. 

"We have seen some evidence already that the UAVs associated with the transfer from Iran have already experienced numerous failures on the battleground," she added.