Department of Defense Spokesperson Lt. Cmdr. Tim Gorman provided the following statement:
Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment Dr. William A. LaPlante chaired the second meeting of the National Armaments Directors (NADs) from member nations of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group (UDCG) on November 18 in Brussels. He was joined by NADs and representatives from 45 nations, the European Union, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Participants discussed accelerated sourcing, production, procurement, and sustainment of capabilities critical to Ukraine’s defense against Russia’s unlawful invasion.
Building on consensus at the last UDCG NAD meeting held in September 2022, the NADs discussed efforts in four key areas: (1) ground-based, long-range fires, (2) air defense systems, (3) air-to-ground capabilities, and (4) sustainment support. In each area, the U.S. delegation and international partners shared progress toward mapping current global production capacity of key capabilities and component parts, and identifying associated supply chain and production constraints. The discussion set the stage for member countries to collaborate on increasing production and identifying opportunities to create interoperability between systems. In addition, the NADs discussed building sustainment capacity in Ukraine, including forward repair activity, access to spares, and other sustainment enablers.
Under Secretary LaPlante noted the unprecedented nature of this effort, which comprises significant national-level investment and support to countries’ respective industrial bases, as well as multi-national coordination to strengthen defense production and sustainment capacity. NADs discussed innovative solutions to collaborate at the multi-national level, including mechanisms to aggregate demand for certain capabilities, establish international funds to invest in production and procurement, identify co-production opportunities with the Ukrainian defense industrial base, and provide additional sustainment and maintenance support to international coordination centers. NADs agreed to reconvene in early 2023 to share progress on these and other initiatives.