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Finland doubles ammunition production, builds new factory

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MILAN – The Finnish government has announced it will invest more than $130 million over the next three to four years to double the country’s production of artillery and mortar ammunition.

The decision, promoted by Finnish Defense Minister Antti Häkkanen in a post on X on December 12, comes amid stalled increases in the European Union’s supply of ammunition to Ukraine.

Frans Peltonen, a senior specialist in the ministry’s logistics department, told Defense News that the plan includes “heavy ammunition”, meaning 155mm artillery shells and 81mm and 120mm mortar shells. “This includes investments in the production of charges, propellants and explosives filling capacity. Investments are expected to be completed between 2026 and 2027,” he said.

Peltonen declined to discuss production targets, in line with the government’s policy of keeping information confidential. He said the expansion is expected to rely on Nammo Group’s production sites in Norway and Finland, one of the few major ammunition producers in Europe.

“Currently, the Finnish Armed Forces is responsible for the explosive filling of artillery and mortar ammunition, and Finnish industry, namely Nammo Lapua Oy and Nammo Viftavuori Oy, is responsible for the explosive filling of artillery and mortar ammunition, while Finnish industries, namely Nammo Lapua Oy and Nammo Viftavuori Oy, are responsible for the production of various types of ammunition, including propellants, charges, and shells. “We are responsible for the production of various parts and raw materials,” Peltonen said.

In April, The New York Times reported that Nammo plans to increase its production of artillery shells to 200,000 rounds a year by 2028. At the time, it was estimated that the Ukrainian military needed 250,000 155mm shells a month to fight the Russian army.

Peltonen said the decision to double Helsinki’s shell production capacity is tied to the government’s intention to increase aid to Ukraine.

“This is a long-term commitment to increase the production of heavy ammunition, which will allow Finland to continue and expand its military assistance to Ukraine in the future,” he said.

Elizabeth Gosselin Maro is Defense News’ Europe correspondent. She covers a wide range of topics related to military procurement and international security, and specializes in aviation reporting. She is based in Milan, Italy.



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