President Biden next week will visit a Javelin anti-tank missile factory in Alabama, the White House announced Wednesday, the source of a weapon that is playing a key role in Ukraine’s defense against a two-month-old Russian invasion.
Mr. Biden will visit the Lockheed Martin facility amid concerns that the U.S. is depleting its supply of long-range, guided Javelin missiles as it continues to ship the weapons to Kyiv to fend off Russian tanks.
The White House did not offer any further details about the trip.
The visit comes as lawmakers raise concerns about the U.S.’s Javelin missile supply, which has dropped 33% since the Ukraine invasion.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut Democrat, said at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing this week that the U.S. has given about one-third of its Javelin missile supply to Ukraine. He estimated that it would take 32 months for the U.S. to replenish its stock of the weapons.
Mr. Blumenthal said if the Pentagon continues to provide Ukraine with Javelin missiles under the current rate of domestic production, the U.S. will experience a shortage of Javelin weapons in the near future.
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Lawmakers have been calling on Mr. Biden to invoke the Defense Production Act to ramp up the manufacturing of more missiles. The 1950 law grants the president emergency powers to require private businesses to prioritize goods deemed necessary to the nation’s security.
Former Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment Ellen Lord, who served under the Trump administration, told lawmakers this week that the Defense Production Act is critical for the U.S. to replenish its Javelin stock.