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BRUSSELS: NATO on Tuesday signed contracts worth $1.2 billion to acquire over 200,000 155-millimetre artillery shells in the face of Russia’s invasion on Ukraine. Members of the Western military alliance have drained their stocks sending shipments of heavy ammunition to help Ukraine’s forces battle Russia in a brutal war of attrition.

The latest deals — signed with French firm Nexter and Germany’s Junghans Microtec — are estimated by officials to cover around 220,000 shells and deliveries to NATO members will start at the end of 2025.

“It is important that our allies refill their own stocks as we continue to support Ukraine,” NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said. The US-led alliance last year launched a plan to bolster defence production and has since inked joint procurement contracts for ammunition worth some $10 billion.

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