WASHINGTON (NEWSnet/AP) — NATO has signed a nearly $700 million contract to have member countries produce more Stinger missiles.

It's one of many steps the alliance is pressing at its summit in Washington to get each country to boost its own weapons production capabilities.

Outgoing NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced the contract Tuesday at a Chamber of Commerce industry day focused on increasing NATO member countries’ defense manufacturing capabilities to deter future attacks.

The Stinger is a portable surface-to-air defense system that can be carried and fired by troops or mounted to a vehicle and used as short-range defense against aircraft. The Raytheon-produced system was one of the first weapons the U.S. shipped to Ukraine following Russia’s 2022 invasion.

National security adviser Jake Sullivan told Tuesday’s gathering that for the first time ever, the NATO countries will each pledge to make plans to strengthen their own industrial defense capacity. He said this would help the alliance “prioritize production of the most vital defense equipment we would need in the event of a conflict.”

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