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NATO pledged on Wednesday to expand its arms industry as Russia's invasion of Ukraine has created enormous demand for supplies in the war-torn country and across the alliance that exceeds NATO's capacity to produce weapons and ammunition.

“We have not been able to produce the capabilities at the scale we need for our own deterrence and defense or to support Ukraine,” a senior NATO official told reporters on condition of anonymity.

With the commitment to industrial defence, NATO members undertake not to erect trade barriers in the Alliance's defence market, to purchase weapons jointly wherever possible, and to work more closely with Ukraine and NATO's Indo-Pacific partners in the production of defence goods.

A central part of the commitment is the standardization of weapons within the alliance: the war in Ukraine has shown that even the standard 155 mm caliber ammunition often has small differences that mean it cannot be used in the artillery of different countries.

“It's bad for the military commander because it means you have different ammunition containers and it lengthens the supply lines. It's just terrible all around,” the official said. Ammunition purchases within the alliance would now be subject to uniform guidelines, the official added.

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