On Wednesday (26 June 2019), two ongoing multinational initiatives in the munition sector – Land Battle Decisive Munitions and Air-to-Ground Precision Guided Munition – welcomed two additional participants each. This marks yet another enlargement of the two successful projects that aim to make munition acquisition and warehousing simpler and cheaper.
Croatia and the United Kingdom joined the Land Battle Decisive Munitions (LBDM) project which so far has consisted of 16 Allies1 and three partner nations2. The LBDM initiative creates a cooperation framework for acquiring and managing munitions in the land domain. Besides lowering acquisition cost by aggregating demand the project also aims at increasing participants’ ability to share their individual munition stockpiles. In January this year – only six months after the original MOU was signed – Denmark, France and the Netherlands already received the first shipment of anti-tank weapons, procured through the LBDM framework. This validated the ability of this construct to deliver tangible multinational results swiftly.
The Air-to-Ground Precision Guided Munition (A2G-PGM) initiative, which constitutes the first high visibility multinational cooperation project created in the munition field and consists of 11 Allies3 and one partner nation4 , welcomed Italy and Slovakia on board. Beyond an expansion in membership the amendment also widens the scope of the initiative to include all air-launched guided munition. Under this multinational initiative participants have already received first deliveries of munitions in August 2018 with per unit acquisition cost being around 15-20 percent lower than originally forecasted. Equally, the project demonstrated in March of this year its ability to substantially shorten the time required for transferring munitions between participants from months to as little as several days by implementing new process for mitigating technical and legal obstacles.
Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller praised the two initiatives, both under the leadership of Belgium, for “providing an effective framework for munitions acquisition and bringing their participants, as well as the entire Alliance, the benefit of increased interoperability and lower costs.”