Mr. Speaker, the recent conflict and crisis in Ukraine has exacerbated global tensions and threats to the rules-based international order. This has resulted in competition for limited supply, increases to lead time, costs, and challenges for governments all over the world to resupply their inventories. Particularly, the 155mm artillery shell is globally in demand, with Partners and Allies looking to invest in 155mm production capabilities.
With regard to (a), (e), (f), and (g), the Munitions Supply Program, or MSP, established in the 1970s, provides a framework under which the Government of Canada sources ammunition and small arms for National Defence from unique domestic industrial facilities that have been designated as strategic sources of supply and centres of excellence. Such suppliers include General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems Canada located in Repentigny, Quebec.
While National Defence is the program’s biggest client, the MSP is available to other government agencies such as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Correctional Services Canada. Details on all current and historical rates of production and status of suppliers under the MSP are not held by National Defence.
Under the Defence Production Act, Public Services and Procurement Canada, or PSPC, is responsible for the management of the MSP. PSPC, on behalf of National Defence, purchases 155mm artillery shells from General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems Canada for the Canadian Armed Forces, or CAF. Replenishment occurs on a multi-year basis. For example, in 2021, General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems Canada did not deliver any 155mm rounds to the Canadian Armed Forces. In 2022, General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems Canada produced just under 20,000 155mm projectiles. Already in 2023, General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems Canada is producing approximately 3,000 rounds of the M107 variant 155mm ammunition per month.
With regard to (b) and (h), since February 2022, Canada has donated approximately 40,000 rounds of 155mm artillery ammunition to Ukraine. Approximately 20,000 rounds were sourced from existing CAF inventory, and the remaining 20,000 from the United States Government.
In accordance with a request from the Government of Ukraine, and in order to maintain operational security for Canadian personnel and Ukrainian forces, Canada does not publicize the details of contracts related to military assistance to Ukraine. NATO has also asked Allies for discretion in this regard.
More information about Canada’s military support to Ukraine can be found at the following link: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-national-defence/campaigns/canadian-military-support-to-ukraine.html
With regard to (c), (d), (i), (j), (k) and (l), in terms of stocks and current and future planning for them, the classification of information on CAF ammunition holdings and replenishment is vital for national security and exact details cannot be further disclosed for operational security reasons.
National Defence has identified a need to update the production capability for 155mm ammunition and is working with Canadian suppliers under the MSP and Allies to improve overall munitions availability.
Earlier this year, National Defence provided $4.3 million for IMT Defence to ramp up their ability to produce M107 155mm projectile bodies from 3,000 to 5,000 a month by the end of this calendar year. We are also assessing other potential investments to support the production of M795 ammunition.
Ultimately, the Government of Canada, in its Defence Policy – Strong, Secure, Engaged – recognizes the importance of industry in support of the CAF. It is important that we continue to work with the defence industry to ensure that our partners have the support they need to manufacture the military equipment required to protect the rules-based international order.