In Race to Arm Ukraine, U.S. Faces Cracks in its Manufacturing Might

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SCRANTON, Pa. — A sharp hissing sound fills the factory as red-hot artillery shells are plunged into scalding oil.

Richard Hansen, a Navy veteran who oversees this government-owned munitions facility, explains how the 1,500-degree liquid locks in place chemical properties that ensure when the shells are fired — perhaps on a battlefield in Ukraine — they detonate in the deadly manner intended.

“That’s what we do,” Hansen said. “We build things to kill people.”

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