NATO allies agree to partner for joint weapons purchases

July 12 (UPI) — Two separate deals for group procurement of weapons by NATO allies and partners have been solidified with the signing of letters of understanding this week.

The two deals cover the purchase and warehousing of land battle munitions and of naval munitions, with each deal expected to lower costs for each country, as well as increase their interoperability.

“Over time, it will increase our interoperability, our ability to share our munitions and to work smoothly and effectively together, whatever the circumstances,” Camille Grand, NATO’s assistant secretary general for defense investment, said of the maritime munitions deal in a press release.

NATO members Belgium, France, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, and Spain have agreed to sign a Letter of Intent on Multinational Cooperation for the Provision of Maritime Battle Decisive Munitions in order to help standardize naval weapons. The agreement is expected to coordinate weapons procurement in order to for lower prices through economy of scale.

The agreement also calls for common storage and warehousing solutions to further reduce cost.

The plan covers many different types of weapons systems, including surface-to-air and surface-to-surface missiles, torpedoes and artillery shells, among others.

A Memorandum of Understanding on Multinational Cooperation for the Provision of Land Battle Decisive Munitions was also signed by 16 NATO members, and Macedonia, during the summit as well. Ministers of Austria and Finland were expected to sign the agreement following the end of the summit.

NATO Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller said in a press release that the deal “will increase our ability to share our munitions and work more smoothly and effectively in the field.”

“Over time, this initiative will help our troops to increase their interoperability and effectiveness where it is needed most,” Gottemoeller said, and that it would “help to reduce costs, enabling our rising defense budgets to go even further.”