FACT CHECK: Can The US Not Produce Missiles Anymore?

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter
A post shared on X claims that the U.S. is running out of cruise missiles and cannot produce anymore.

Verdict: False

The U.S. is not in danger of running out of cruise missiles, according to an expert. The U.S. has the ability to produce more missiles.

Fact Check:

The U.S. has struck the Houthis multiple times since Jan. 12, with a recent missile strike on a Houthi anti-ship missile, according to Voice of America.

Social media users have been sharing claims that the U.S. is going to run out of missiles and lacks the ability to make more. One user wrote,” Man, it literally took us two weeks for these fucking morons to go from “FAFO, America is gonna pwn you sksks jdams are a gemini thing!!!!!”……to them crying and whining because the US is going to run out of 20 year old missiles with zero ability to make more!”

However, there is no evidence that the U.S. does not have the ability to create more missiles or is in danger of running out of cruise missiles. While Politico reported that the lawmakers are pushing for more funding for Tomahawk cruise missiles and other missiles, there is nothing in the report that notes the U.S. military is running out of missiles.

Arnold Punaro, a retired U.S. Marine Corps major general and former Senate Armed Services Committee staff director, told Politico that “we haven’t been adding a lot of Tomahawks over the years, but we haven’t used a lot of Tomahawks, either.”

The U.S. procured around 350 Tomahawks between FY 2020 and FY 2023, according to the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense (Comptroller) and the Chief Financial Officer. Biden’s FY 2024 budget asked for 34 Tomahawks. The Pentagon requested $30.4 billion for munitions in its FY 2024 budget.

While it’s not known how many Tomahawks have been fired in the U.S. campaign against the Houthis, the U.S. did fire over 800 Tomahawks in its 2003 invasion of Iraq. The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Missile Threat Project notes that “the United States fired dozens of Tomahawk missiles in response to a Syrian military chemical attack on the rebel-held city of Khan Sheikhoun.”

The U.S. also has multiple types of cruise missiles beyond the Tomahawk, such as the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile and the Standoff Land Attack Missile Expanded Response.

A Pentagon spokesperson told Check Your Fact in an email that the claim that the U.S. cannot produce any missiles “is false.” (RELATED: Houthi Rebels Claim To Hit U.S. Warship In Red Sea)

Ryan Brobst, a senior policy analyst at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a think tank focused on foreign policy, said that claims in the social media post were “unfounded.”

“Claims that the United States will run out of cruise missiles during its campaign against the Houthis are unfounded, as U.S. air and naval forces in the region have a large number of cruise missiles available, as well as a variety of other precision-guided munition. The U.S. defense industrial base is capable of producing hundreds of cruise missiles per year to replace any that are expended,” Brobst said to Check Your Fact.

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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