Belgian arms and ammunition production falls

Production of arms and ammunition in Belgium dropped by 30 percent in 2022. This was partly due to much lower exports to Saudi Arabia, De Standaard reports.

In the year that EU countries announced plans to invest heavily in their armies, Belgian defence industry turnover declined. According to figures from business federation Agoria and the National Bank, turnover in the security and defence sector fell from 2.14 billion euros to 2.04 billion. For arms and ammunition, the drop was even more spectacular: Belgium production was worth 426 million euros in 2022, down 30 percent from 2021 and half the value of 2019.

A revival of the Belgian defence industry is expected, however, as European countries increase their defence budgets and armies that have supplied arms and ammunition to Ukraine replenish their stocks.

As the war in Ukraine continues, EU member states have agreed to supply 1 million pieces of ammunition to Ukraine in the next 12 months. They will provide Ukrainian forces with howitzers, replenish the strategic stocks of European countries and compensate them for ammunition supplied to Ukraine. There is also an agreement to strengthen the production capacity of European arms manufacturers. ​ 

Ukraine has long been asking for additional ammunition to sustain its military efforts against the Russian army. President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked leaders at the EU summit in Brussels via video while visiting the front line.


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