The old Krudten ammunition plant, near the northernmost tip of Denmark, is a quiet shell of a factory that has sat empty for years despite its legacy of churning out bullets, artillery and explosives for the Danish military.
But that is about to change: With the war in Ukraine fueling growing demand for Western weapons, the Danish government has decided to revive its role in the ammunition business.
In 2008, amid defense cutbacks that swept across Europe and cratering global economies, Denmark sold off Krudten, its military’s main munitions plant. It was passed around among private firms until October, when the government decided to buy it back, becoming one of the latest countries to increase its focus on weapons manufacturing and counter Russia’s rapidly expanding arms industry.
“It was crucial to get this plant,” the Danish defense minister, Troels Lund Poulsen, said in an interview this month, noting “a greater demand for ammunition” across Europe.
“We should be concerned because Russia is ramping up production of ammunition and also other kinds of military equipment,” Mr. Poulsen said. “That’s the reason why we have decided in the European Union that you have to support countries doing what they can to ramp up production.”
Officials from NATO countries worry that Ukraine will run out of weapons early next year, given that Republicans in Congress have blocked additional U.S. military aid and Hungary has vetoed another financial package from the European Union. Russia’s skyrocketing weapons industry has triggered palpable anxiety within NATO — not only because it has helped stall Ukraine’s six-month counteroffensive, but also as a sign of Moscow’s growing might.
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