Germany to triple ammunition purchases in 2024 - defence minister

Britain's Secretary of State for Defence Ben Wallace visits Berlin

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany plans to significantly boost purchases of ammunition in 2024, Defence Minister Boris Pistorius said on Wednesday, as Western countries are scrambling to replenish stocks depleted by donations to Ukraine.

"We aim to more than triple our spending on ammunition purchases in 2024," he told lawmakers in a speech to parliament, without going into detail. Germany is the second-biggest donor to Ukraine after the U.S.

The war in Ukraine has developed into a war of attrition, with both sides firing thousands of artillery shells every day, making them a key element on the battlefield and meaning they now are in very short supply across the West.

At the same time, NATO allies are also trying to fill their own armies' inventories.

NATO said in February that it would increase targets for stockpiling ammunition as Kyiv burns through shells much faster than Western countries can produce them and after a year of conflict in Ukraine has left allied stocks badly depleted.

How much ammunition allies still keep in stock is one of the best-kept secrets of the alliance.

(Reporting by Sabine Siebold; Editing by Miranda Murray)