STAFF: Hi. Good afternoon, everyone. Happy Friday, as well. Joining us today is Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, Dr. Bill LaPlante and Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, Ms. Sasha Baker. Dr. LaPlante and Ms. Baker will each open with a statement, and then we’ll take questions from the room and the phones for Q&A. We’ll have about 30 minutes, so we’ll do our best to get to as many questions as we can.
And with that, I’ll turn it over to Dr. LaPlante.
UNDER SECRETARY OF DEFENSE WILLIAM A. LAPLANTE: OK, thank you, Sabrina, and before we dive into the questions, I want to quickly provide a couple of updates on recent and anticipated contracting actions mostly related to Ukraine.
To meet Ukraine’s evolving requirements, we’re continuing to work every day with our allies and partners to provide key capabilities. Secretary Austin announced yesterday in Ramstein that President Biden approved the 20th drawdown of equipment from DOD inventories for Ukraine, and that’s the 20th since August of 2021. This package, valued at over $675 million — or up to — excuse me — includes additional Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Systems, sometimes called GMLRS, 105 mm howitzers, artillery, ammunition and more.
As we work with industry to accelerate production on both replenishment systems and direct procurements under the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, or USAI, we’re using a number of tools to get the funding moving and the contracting happen quickly. These include using contracting mechanisms called — things like undefinitized contracting actions, sometimes called UCAs. What that allows you to do deliberately is to get industry working on initial contract before we definitize it. And you can put a UCA together within a week, and we’re doing that.
We also are making use of indefinite delivery indefinite quantity contracts, or IDIQ. If you have IDIQs — and we have many of them — what you can do is just add task orders to them very quickly to get equipment on contract. To date, approximately $1.2 billion is already on contract of the $4.8 billion committed through USAI. And then for replenishment, an additional $1.2 billion is on contract of the over-$7 billion that is notified to contract — Congress — excuse me.
Throughout the remainder of the month, we expect to announce several additional awards. We remain committed to getting things on contract as quickly as possible, ultimately to send that clear and persistent demand signal to our partners in industry.
As Secretary Austin also announced yesterday, I will be chairing a meeting of the National Armaments Directors to discuss how the global Defense Industrial Base can continue to support Ukraine in the near-, mid- and long-term. This special session on industrial production will be conducted under the auspices of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group, which includes more than 50 countries. I look forward to discussing how we can continue to work together to ramp up production of key capabilities and resolve supply chain issues and increase interoperability and interchangeability of our systems.
With that, I’ll turn it over to Ms. Baker.
DEPUTY UNDER SECRETARY OF DEFENSE SASHA N. BAKER: Thanks, Bill, and thanks, everyone, for joining us today. As Dr. LaPlante said, yesterday, the secretary announced that the department will provide an additional $675 million in security assistance for Ukraine, and again, as Bill mentioned, this represents the 20th drawdown package we’ve provided to Ukraine. It includes equipment, as Bill described, that the Ukrainians have already demonstrated, in many cases, that they can use to great effect.
With this announcement, our total commitment to Ukraine comes to $15.2 billion in security assistance, and that includes $14.5 billion that’s been provided since February. We think this underscores our unwavering support for Ukraine as it continues to defend its sovereignty in the face of Russian aggression. We believe, at the end of the day, that Russia’s efforts have not succeeded and will not succeed, and when it comes to helping Ukraine to defend itself and when it comes to making sure that there is significant pressure on Russia to end this conflict, when it comes to making sure that our own alliance is as strong and as resolute as it can be to deter Russian aggression, I think what you’re seeing now is real unity in action, as represented by the contact group meeting earlier this week, and incredible resolve from our allies, from our partners, and from the Ukrainian people, in particular, at — really, at every level.
So with that, I’ll turn it back, Sabrina, to you for any questions.
STAFF: Great, thank you. Our first question we’re going to take from Lita Baldor from AP. I believe you’re on the phone.
Q: Hi, yes. Thanks so much. One sort of detail and then a broader question.
Of all the funding that you’ve outlined, including on the chart that you all sent out, does any of that or how much of it would expire at the end of the fiscal year — so the end of the month — or is the bulk of it sort of two year or multi-year funding?
And then the broader question — can you address — you talked a little bit about supply chain issues and some efforts to expand or accelerate production by investing in some of the industrial base. Can you provide a little bit more granularity on that? Give us some — maybe some examples on where you see the challenges are. So where you are — where do you see the need for investing in the industrial base in order to meet some of this demand?
DR. LAPLANTE: Well, thank you. I’ll take the question and see if there’s anything more that Ms. Baker wants to comment on.
I think the answer to the first question is pretty straightforward — it does not expire at the end of the year, it’s two-year money, I’m pretty sure, in all cases.
The answer to the second question, which is a more complex question, of course, which is about getting into supply chain industrial base and how we — how we accelerate production, how we build that up — well, it — really, it’s all — it’s a lot of different ways.
To start with, most production lines that are active can have some capacity to increase their capacity, to increase production but not all. And the question is how quickly can they increase the capacity?
Typically, what happens is you run into some type of an obstacle — maybe it’s a supplier, maybe it’s a part, it’s something else — that you have to work. And sometimes, we found — in many cases, we found solutions very quickly. I can give examples. I think on the Stinger, we had some issues with obsolescence when we started that production line back up in the spring, and we, working with the contractor and with the Army, were able to find basically other ways to get around the obsolescence of some of the parts.
So every time you look at a supply — a production line and what it takes to get it to go to higher numbers, you come up with a different answer, and that’s not a bad thing because typically — let’s say — let’s take the case of the 155s. Right now, the 155 munitions are at about 14,400 a month. And we have plans, working with the contractor, to get that in increments up to — ultimately, up to 36,000 a month by about three years.
So it’s going to be in steps and each step takes it to another level. For example, when we get to the next step of casing, then we can get the production, say, from 14,000 up to 20,000. What do we need to get to — it from 20 to 25? So it’s usually a combination of things.
The other piece I will just point out is that a lot of times in a production line, the prime who’s at the production line, that’s not the bottleneck. The bottleneck will be a supplier or something that’s a sub-contractor.
MS. BAKER: And the only thing I might add, just on the first question — Bill’s exactly right, the funding is two-year funding, so it does not expire. The authority to do drawdown is typically provided — so those are two separate pieces — typically provided on an annual basis. I think we have no reason to expect that that would change.
DR. LAPLANTE: Yeah, that’s a good point, that the authority is different but the funding itself of what we’ve already had is two-year money.
STAFF: Great, thank you. With that, we’ll go to the room first. Yeah, Oren, go ahead.
Q: A question for each of you — just more specifically on the 155 millimeter, you’ve provided about 800,000 rounds of ammo roughly, give or take, over the last six months. Given current inventories and production rates and the expectation that Putin’s not ending this war anytime soon, are — are you able to provide that same number over the next six months or does there need to be a change in — in production rates or …
DR. LAPLANTE: Well, without giving a number, any one number, because we’re still learning a lot, I would say that we’re continuing both to provide them to ourselves and to the Ukrainians. What we’re learning — this is a great example of learning in 155s — the United States is not the only country that makes 155s. So we were able to — two weeks ago, the Army contracted with several production companies around the world to purchase 250,000 rounds of 155. So we have a variety of ways that we are looking at the 155.
I would say it — the other piece of it, as I just said earlier, we are producing at 14,000 a month as we speak, so.
Q: But — but that doesn’t come close to matching another 800,000 over the next six months, not domestically and it sounds like not globally either.
DR. LAPLANTE: It may or may not. I think you — you’d be — I think we’re learning still about the global production lines on 155. But you’re right, 800,000 is a lot, that’s right.
STAFF: Great, thank you …
Q: … and then I had a question for Sasha as well.
STAFF: Oh, I’m sorry. OK.
Q: You talked about sort of the U.S. leading the effort to put — and I’m looking for your wording here — making sure there is significant pressure on Russia to end this conflict. Do you think the efforts to create that pressure have changed Putin’s calculus in any way?
MS. BAKER: I — you know, I think it’s clear that Putin’s invasion is not going exactly as he anticipated and the Russians have thus far failed to achieve their strategic objectives, I think they’ve failed to achieve even their reduced objectives.
So certainly, you know, as you’ve heard from the Secretary and others, our goal is to support the Ukrainians in defending their territory and putting them in the strongest possible position both to preserve and regain, in some cases, their sovereignty, and then, you know, should they choose to, go to the negotiating table to have the strongest possible hand.
STAFF: Great, thank you. Sam?
Q: Yeah, hey. Sam LaGrone with USNI News. Just a quick follow up to the alloy magnet issue with the F-35 — just to be clear from you all, does it affect operational aircraft, doesn’t it have to be replaced in the operational aircraft? You’re not considering a contract violation with Lockheed or Honeywell or any of those …
DR. LAPLANTE: Yeah, let me tell you the situation as best we know it. So as was pointed — as some of you know, the contractor is actually a sub-supplier to Lockheed Martin, self-reported that they discovered an alloy that goes into a magnet and is made in China, and by the DFARS, that meant that we had to stop until we understood it, accepting the airplanes, in what they call in acquisition speak, DD 250. That’s basically where the airplane is signed over to the government, so pending the results of the investigation.
I — they’re moving pretty quickly. They’re looking at two things, right? One, impact on security, if any, and impact on air worthiness — or safety, if any. Right now, so far, it doesn’t appear to be either of them but I’m waiting for them to finish what they’re looking at and come to me.
It’s likely, if, in fact, we find neither of those to be the case, we’ll be able to — to do a waiver and do the replacements and get the production line moving again. So I’m hoping this can be resolved pretty soon.
Q: And just as a follow up, are there going to be any investigations into, like, changes in procedure, to make sure that, you know, some of these buy American stipulations continue on and you don’t have another …
DR. LAPLANTE: Well, I think there’s a bigger picture here, which there’s ongoing study a lot, which is called supply chain illumination, and that is the understanding of primes suppliers of what is even in their supply chain.
And I had a CEO of a company tell me about three — two weeks ago that he thought he had 300 suppliers, then he discovered no, when he counted all of his suppliers, he probably had 3,000 suppliers. And suppliers can change overnight.
And so what this is becoming is — and it’s been recognized for some time — almost a real time issue of tracking and making sure that there’s integrity in your supply chain. So I think it’s part of a broader issue which we call supply chain illumination.
The good news is there are tools coming out using artificial intelligence and open source that can dive in and maybe find some of these things, but I think it’s going to be a constant — a constant issue for us, is — is understanding our supply chain.
STAFF: Great, thank you. I’m going to open it up to the phones for a question. Tony Capaccio, Bloomberg?
Q: Hi, sir. I wanted to follow up on the F-35 question. The JPO today acknowledged that every plane that’s been delivered to date has this magnet in there, this alloy. It raises the question of why Honeywell, over the last 15 or 16 to 17 years, didn’t detect it. Does this bother you or is it more of a niggling issue that, you know, things are going to happen, given the complexity of the supply chain?
DR. LAPLANTE: Tony, I’ll give you credit for great question. I actually don’t know the answer on this particular case. I’m — I will find out and we will let people know. I could speculate. I have just seen enough cases of discovering things and supply chains that — you know, that I wouldn’t be surprised by anything. I’ve often said and others have said any company that says they know their supply chain is like a company saying they’ve never been hacked. So it’s an endless battle. But, Tony, I don’t know the answer to the question.
STAFF: OK. And we’re take one more from the phones. And then I’ll come back to the room. And we’re going to stick with Tony… Tony Bertuca, Inside Defense.
Q: Thank you. I wanted to ask you about the meeting of National Armaments Directors that you’re going to be chairing. That sounds like a significant level of coordination with the global defense industrial base. Can you tell us what your goals are for this meeting? Do you have any deliverables or what kind of commitments you want to get? And when the meeting will be?
DR. LAPLANTE: Sure. Happy to do it, Tony. Meeting is going to be in Brussels on September 28th. We intend — what we’re doing or intend to do is invite the National Armaments Directors of all the contact group, which is sort of my equivalent, to the meeting. Right now we have three kind of themes but this is — this will evolve as we build the agenda. The first is comparing notes and giving situation reports on ramping up production of key capabilities. We have a lot to learn from each other. I should point out that there are a lot of defense companies have international business and joint ventures between the European countries — companies, excuse me, and American companies. Some American companies have production facilities in Europe. So we want to kind of take a bigger picture look talking with the contact group on that and compare notes.
And then related to supply chain, what are we seeing in the supply chain? You know, the typical things in supply chain are microelectronics and obsolescence of them, things like ball bearings even and solid rocket motors, other sensors. We want to compare notes on what people are seeing in their supply chain, what answers people have had. And then finally, how do we, as we replenish both our own capabilities and other countries replenish their capabilities and build towards the future, and the future including of what Ukraine builds towards, what — how can we not just increase interoperability between our systems, what I would call an increased interchangeability. That is the ability for us to take a munition from one country and use it in a weapon system of another, and vice versa.
So that’s a summary.
STAFF: Great. Thank you. I’m going to turn it back to the room.
Dan, do you have a question?
Q: Two questions. One is, are you at all considering providing Gray Eagle drones to the Ukrainians? And if not, why not? And because in the past there has been some weapons and munitions that initially the administration chose not to provide and then over time your view evolved.
DR. LAPLANTE: I’ll defer to Sasha.
MS. BAKER: Yes. It’s certainly — we are aware that the Ukrainians have indicated an interest in Gray Eagle. And we’re looking at it I think is the short answer, you know, to — for questions of technology security, for questions about survivability of the platform in the contested environment in Ukraine. And of course for the readiness impact that it would have for us, specifically for the Army. So that is an ongoing conversation within the department. No decision has been made at this point.
Q: And then as you talk about all of these weapons and ammunition moving to Ukraine, how do you see the Ukrainians putting them to use at the moment? And what is your assessment of the state of the counteroffensive now as the Ukrainian government is saying they’ve gained some — made some significant gains in the east?
MS. BAKER: Yeah, of course, we’re watching the progress on the counteroffensive quite closely, as you can imagine. I would say, and I think you heard this from the chairman yesterday in Europe, it’s early days, so probably too soon to have a definitive assessment. They launched the counteroffensive on the first of the month, so we’re a little over a week in.
I think we’ve seen some encouraging signs, and certainly, even in just the last day or two. But again, you know, the Russians are a formidable adversary and they, you know — there’s a — I think a long fight ahead.
As it relates to how the Ukrainians are using the capabilities that we’ve provided to them, I think we agree that they’ve been able to do so to great effect, and that they’ve been very creative in integrating capabilities not only from the United States, but from partners and allies around the world into their order of battle, which I think this is quite an impressive accomplishment.
We, of course, now have an SDO DATT on the ground in Kyiv, General Harmon, who — that I think has just in the past couple of weeks provided us even more visibility and into what and how the Ukrainians are operating, and as another layer in sort of the communication that’s happening between the United States and Ukraine at all levels.
STAFF: Great, thank you. I’m going to go to Lara, and then I’ll come back over there, OK?
Q: Yeah. Yeah, so one for each of you. Dr. LaPlante, can you just clarify? You said that none of the money expires, but — so does the PDA — do you have to re-up that when the fiscal year ends?
DR. LAPLANTE: Yeah. I’ll try to do the best job I can to explain it, but then I’ll have my more wise colleague correct me.
So the way I think about it, there’s three — kind of three pots — three buckets, if you want to call it, of money and authority that we typically talk about. One is the drawdown itself, which is presidential drawdown. That’s an authority, so they’ll give an authority up to a certain amount of dollars, OK? That is what I believe is what Ms. Baker was saying may have to be redone again with the new fiscal year.
But then there’s the other two pots — that are actually pots of money. One is a replenishment. The replenishment is as best as we can, try to do one-for-one for what we’ve given in the drawdown, and that’s about roughly the same amount of money as in the drawdown — slightly more to take into account inflation. And then the other pot is what we mentioned earlier, USAI, OK? So again, in the replenishment money and the USAI, that’s the two-year money. The drawdown authority itself may — and I’ll defer to Ms. Baker about that.
MS. BAKER: Yeah, you got it. I would just say, look, the drawdown authority has existed long before Ukraine…
DR. LAPLANTE: Yeah.
MS. BAKER: … and has for many, many years, received broad bipartisan support. We don’t have any reason to expect that would change.
Q: Do you need to spend the remaining money that’s in there by the end of the fiscal year before you re-up it, or does — is it just you’re re-upping the authority?
MS. BAKER: So you know, this is a conversation we’re having with Congress, and I don’t want to get ahead of that. But the hope is — and expectation is, that that will roll over, either roll over or will be re-authorized in the coming year.
Q: But you’re discussing that with Congress, yeah. OK, I see.
And then just to follow up on what you said about, you said there was an SDO DATT on the ground in Kyiv. Can you all say, what does that acronym stand for? What does that mean?
MS. BAKER: Sorry. Defense attaché at the embassy, or in Kyiv. So this is a one-star which we had previously announced and he’s there on the ground helping to facilitate the communication between the Ukrainian MOD, Ministry of Defense, and our team.
Q: And has he been there before, or did he just arrive?
MS. BAKER: I don’t know the exact date when he arrived. I believe it was about a month ago.
DR. LAPLANTE: It was a month ago.
MS. BAKER: Yeah.
Q: OK. And what is the significance of having him there?
MS. BAKER: Well, I mean, look, we have defense attachés with most of our — in most of our embassies around the world, and particularly, I think it’s important with partners and allies where we have this kind of close security cooperation ongoing. It provides us an additional level of eyes on the ground, of oversight and an ability to get sort of real-time information about what the Ukrainians are seeing and experiencing, and what they might need.
STAFF: Great. I’m going to go to Luis Martinez over there.
Q: Hi. Mr. LaPlante, you — earlier this week, you brought up the issue of Harpoons…
DR. LAPLANTE: Yeah.
Q: … and the improvised system and the training and all that. Can you talk some more about that? And also, can you talk to us about the additional two systems that I think were going to be…
DR. LAPLANTE: Sure.
Q: … produced domestically, and what is the status of that?
And then I — if I can ask both of you, how does the ebb and flow of the battlefield affect the supply chain plans that you have here? So for example, when you talk about ramping up, let’s say, HIMARS up to 12- to 14,000, I think, a year? I mean, is it safe to assume that most of that is going to go for replenishment, or are we talking about it being — continuing to flow to Ukraine as needed?
DR. LAPLANTE: So let me try to answer the questions in reverse, and I’ll try to remember them.
On the HIMARS’ production increase, it’s really anticipating all of the above. Number one, we know we have to replenish some of the ones we’ve provided, but we also know that foreign military sale requests are coming in for them, too. So it’s sort of, this is what — this is why it’s sort of difficult, because you have to kind of make your prediction about two, three years from now what we think the likely demand is going to be, because that’s what we’re really talking about here. But it’s really for a replenishment, and because of the expected foreign military sales for HIMARS.
Let me go back to your first question, as I remember, your first question. Yeah, the Harpoon example was really what I was making the point of, is about the timeline. It wasn’t — the training was not done in this country; the training was done somewhere else. It was done by the vendor. But the point I made was about the timeline. It was the middle of May when the idea was first brought forward to do this. The training happened over — at the end of that month, which happened, of course, in this country, the end of Memorial Day, but it wasn’t in this country. And then they were provided operationally the next week to the Ukrainians.
Now, I would say the bigger picture that this points out is training overall as we — is going to end up being increasingly a bigger endeavor by the enterprise. And I’d point out, training is a multinational effort. It’s not one country. It’s not one vendor, and we are putting a lot of effort into that, and what we call generally sustainment.
I think your middle question was something about the supply chain.
Q: With the ebb and flow of the battlefield.
DR. LAPLANTE: Yeah, I would say the way I’d say it is more, its prediction. I don’t know who would have predicted 10 years ago we would have needed Stingers in 2022.
I was with a colleague on the Joint Staff who was a Navy aviator, and she said when we were talking on the Hill, had you asked her 10 years ago, “What weapon would you like to have 10 years from now?”, she would have described a highly-precise weapon with low collateral damage that would work in the desert.
So part of it is, it’s not — the ebb and flow; it’s about, you don’t know which weapons are going to end up being effective, depending on where the ebb and flow of the battle goes and what Ukrainians are able to use. That’s the harder part.
MS. BAKER: Yeah, I agree completely. The only thing I might add is, you know, we are seeing and we’re in ongoing conversations with a number of partners and allies around the world who are seeing some of the capabilities that Bill described, HIMARS being one of several put to use in Ukraine, and are newly, in some cases, interested in thinking about whether that might be a capability that they want to acquire.
So again, these are, you know, potential future FMS cases. The — this is a process that moves relatively slowly, but I think we see the beginnings, at least, of a pretty substantial interest amongst non-Ukraine countries.
STAFF: Great. I’m going to go back to the phones quickly. Steven with Defense News?
Q: Hi. My question was already answered. Thank you very much.
STAFF: Great, thank you. Alex Horton, Washington Post?
Q: Hey, thanks for doing this. I was curious, from this latest contracting package, what it has to do with hardware for training, for example, Javelin trainers, simulators, that sort of thing? Thank you.
DR. LAPLANTE: We include in some of these packages, then the drawdowns, as well, provisions for training, provisions for supplies and the rest. So it’s all included in the package. Now, we continue to evaluate, based upon the use, based upon the need, how easy the training is going and whether we have to adjust those.
And so I would say one thing that we’re doing in USD A&S is we have the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Sustainment, Mr. Chris Lowman with the Joint Staff J4. They’ve stood up a whole sustaining the fight, sustaining the force group, looking at Ukraine.
So this is going to be a long haul on sustainment and keeping these parts going and keeping the equipment working.
MS. BAKER: And I would just add to that — that’s consistent with our broader approach to security assistance not only for Ukraine but around the world, that when we offer security assistance or offer a particular capability to a country, it comes with an offer of training and of sustainment because we’re trying to provide a wraparound package, such that this is something that will endure and not just get used and forgotten.
STAFF: Great, thank you. We’re going to take a few more before we have to wrap. So, Joe, over to you.
Q: Hi, great to see you for a second time in a week — hi. I have a question for each of you.
One is more of a follow up. You know, as you were talking about the meeting of armaments directors — underneath this, is there any concern about — you know, we’re talking about the health of the U.S. industrial base — what’s the level of concern about the health of the industrial bases in the member countries? And I know they span a range …
DR. LAPLANTE: Well, I think a couple of things. I don’t know that I have a lot of insight. I’ve been to — when I — about a month after I got in the job, I went to a contact group — sorry, a NATO meeting with the armaments directors and we compared notes at that meeting.
And I think people are sort of in the same position we are but I should remind everybody the scale of the United States defense enterprise is just something very different than what our partners and allies have. So think about everything that we have but on a smaller scale.
And so I think that that’s — but we’re going to find out. I think that’s one of the topic areas, is to compare notes and see where people are. And also, hopefully people will be able to reveal, because part of this is revealing your own situation. And so I — that’s part of the reason to have the meeting.
Q: Thanks. And my question is about the foreign military financing that got notified by State. What’s — what do you anticipate the — kind of the knock-on here is going to be and what kinds of demand are you expecting to see from Eastern European countries, for what types of weapons will — because I assume they’ll be working with DOD to — on what — on their — what their needs are?
MS. BAKER: Yeah, and I think this is relevant to Bill’s earlier point and to what I was just saying about partners and allies seeing some of these capabilities in action and expressing interest in acquiring them for themselves.
We cooperate and coordinate closely with the State Department on this. So the announcement that they made yesterday, you know, we, of course, had an opportunity to provide some input into and we’ll be responsible, in large part, for fulfilling, and those are ongoing conversations that we have with State, that we have with the countries in question, that we have with our own industrial base about what is possible to provide on what timeline.
I don’t think we know yet exactly what each of these countries might be asking for. This is sort of the starting gun for that process. But, you know, I think certainly they’re looking to learn lessons from what they’re seeing in Ukraine and apply them for their own security.
STAFF: Thanks. We have time for one more. Ellee, did you have a question? If not …
Q: I was just going to ask in general have — has the U.S. promised to backfill any of the equipment that other countries have already sent into Ukraine? Have there been any specific pieces of equipment the U.S. has promised?
DR. LAPLANTE: Yeah, I don’t know that we’ve promised to backfill. What we have — what has happened is it’s leading to — it’s what Ms. Baker was just talking about — is leading to a lot of conversations about FMS cases.
So country X may have provided some capability to the Ukrainians and then they want to replenish their own with the next generation of it, which may be a U.S. FMS case. That is — that’s kind of the conversations that are happening that Ms. Baker referred to, that we believe is coming at us, but that’s all I know.
MS. BAKER: Yeah, and I think, you know, the conversation with each — I think that’s largely right. I can’t at least recall any specific instances where we’ve made commitments of that nature. But the conversation with each country is unique.
So some countries are looking for one-for-one replacements, right, where if they give a particular item to Ukraine, they just want another from someone else, whether that’s us or industry or a — another partner. There are some countries I think who see this as an opportunity to upgrade. And, you know, both of those are entirely valid approaches and we’re going to look to support as many of our partners as we can.
STAFF: Great, thank you all. I think we’re going to leave it there. It’s time and enjoy your Friday. Thanks, all.
DR. LAPLANTE: Thanks.