US Intermediary Paid 402 Million Dollars for the production of 155-mm Shells for Ukraine in Bulgaria

"For months, Bulgaria's pro-Russian president fought to keep his country out of EU efforts to produce 155mm artillery shells for Ukraine. He appeared to have lost that battle in June, when the country's pro-Ukrainian defense minister said the NATO ally "will not rule out" the possibility of local companies producing the ammunition", writes the American publication Defense One in an article devoted to the supply of ammunition to Ukraine.

However, according to documents from the army and US authorities, Bulgaria has supplied 155 mm shells to Ukraine with the mediation of the United States, with deliveries planned for next year as well.

The previously undisclosed deal sheds light on how the United States has procured coveted ammunition, how Bulgaria has delicately balanced its foreign policy and how some small companies have dethroned major arms giants amid tensions over the war in Ukraine.

Ukraine's hunger for shells has defined the war as artillery-oriented, and Ukrainian gunners fire up to 240,000 rounds a month, or 12 times the US's monthly output. The US effort to power Ukrainian guns has taken many forms, but one of the biggest is a $522 million US military contract awarded in January to defense giant Northrop Grumman and a smaller company, Global Military Products. Shipping should have started in March.

The contract announcement (along with a correction issued later) said the two firms would compete for smaller orders under the $522 million cap through 2027. But information posted on the Federal Procurement Data System shows, that most of the money - $402 million - has already been disbursed and allocated to Global Military Products. Having indicated where the projectiles were purchased - from Bulgaria.

The admission...

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