Belgian police face shortage of ammunition for new anti-terror weapons

Belgian police face shortage of ammunition for new anti-terror weapons

The police in Belgium have a shortage of ammunition for their anti-terrorist weapons (SCAR machine guns) that were purchased after the attacks in Zaventem and Brussels.

Belgium's police had concluded a contract with an American company for €1 million for hundreds of thousands of bullets for the machine guns for a period of seven years, but the manufacturer that was supposed to supply the ammunition now said it cannot deliver at the agreed price.

"We regret this of course," An Berger of the federal police told VRT radio on Wednesday.

The daily operations of the police, however, are not compromised, as the ammunition is specifically intended for new anti-terrorist weapons, purchased in the wake of the terrorist attacks in 2016.

While waiting for the right ammunition for these guns, the police can still use older weapons.

"This is not a reason to panic," Berger added. "We also have other submachine guns like the Uzi's, which we have been working with for years. And there is absolutely enough ammunition available for that."

The only issue, according to her, is that the police was planning on switching to the scar machine guns earlier, as a number of people have already been trained to work with them.

"Those were mainly the shooting monitors who would have to give training to others," Berger said.

The shortage of ammunition affects both the federal and local police, but in some areas, the problem is much less severe.

"There are indeed some zones that have already been able to make smaller tenders. So they have already managed to get some ammunition," she added.

The police are now looking for a solution, as a large delivery of bullets is still needed, and there is a chance that the police will eventually have to order them from somewhere other than the American firm with which they originally had a contract.

The Brussels Times

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