US Arms Companies’ Profits Soar Thanks to Ukraine War

January 26th, 2023 - by Dave DeCamp /

US Arms Sales Soared in 2022 Due to Ukraine War

Dave DeCamp /

(January 23, 2023) — US arms sales to foreign governments boomed in 2022 as defense firms cashed in on the war in Ukraine.

According to State Department numbers, sales rose to $205.6 billion in the 2022 fiscal year. The sales are divided into two categories: direct military sales between a US company and a foreign government and sales that are overseen by the US government, known as Foreign Military Sales.

The State Department said the US government approved $51.9 billion in potential arms sales in 2022, up from $34.8 billion in the previous year. Direct sales between governments and contractors rose to $153.7 billion in 2022 from $103 billion in 2021.

One of the primary drivers of the increase in arms sales was the US’s European allies increasing military spending in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and looking for new equipment.

The US has been encouraging countries in Eastern Europe to get rid of their older Russian-made equipment by sending it to Ukraine and replacing it with new US-made arms.

One major deal from last year was Germany’s decision to purchase Lockheed Martin-made F-35 fighter jets worth about $8.4 billion. The F-35s are meant to replace Germany’s fleet of Tornado aircraft that are capable of dropping US nuclear warheads stored in the country.

The US is also encouraging countries in the Asia Pacific to beef up their militaries as part of a buildup aimed at China. One major sale in the region was for Indonesia to purchase 36 Boeing-made F-15 fighter jets in a deal worth $13.9 billion.

Lockheed Says It’s Ready With F-16s If US
and Allies Choose to Send Them to Ukraine

Lockheed says it’s ramping up production of the jet.

Dave DeCamp /

(January 25, 2023) — Lockheed Martin has said that it’s ready to meet demands for F-16 fighter jets if the US and its allies choose to ship them to Ukraine.

So far, the US and its allies have been hesitant to send fighter jets to Ukraine due to concerns that they could be used to target Russian territory. But the Western powers seem less and less concerned about escalation as the US and Germany have now pledged to send their main battle tanks.

Frank St. John, chief operating officer of Lockheed, told Financial Times that there has been a “lot of conversation about third-party transfer of F-16s,” which would involve European nations armed with the F-16 shipping them to Ukraine.

St. John said Lockheed wasn’t involved in the conversations but was preparing for the eventuality. He said the arms maker was “going to be ramping production on F-16s in Greenville [South Carolina] to get to the place where we will be able to backfill pretty capably any countries that choose to do third-party transfers to help with the current conflict.”

The Netherlands expressed openness to sending its F-16s to Ukraine last week, with the Dutch foreign minister saying it would look at any requests for the aircraft with an “open mind.” Another option could be for former Warsaw pact countries that are now NATO members to send their older Soviet-made MiG fighter jets to Ukraine and replace them with F-16s or other modern Western-made aircraft.

A Ukrainian Air Force spokesman claimed on Tuesday that the US and Ukraine have already determined an aircraft that Washington will provide for Kyiv. The spokesman didn’t specify which one, and there’s been no sign from the American side has agreed to send planes.

US is encouraging Eastern European
nations to get rid of old Russian weapons
and purchase new US arms

Throughout the war, Ukraine has been lobbying for the US to provide F-15 and F-16 fighter jets, which would involve months of training for Ukrainian forces. The US has already pledged weapons systems that require extensive training, including the Patriot missile defense systems and M1 Abrams tanks.

Lockheed Martin has benefited greatly from the war in Ukraine as many of its weapons systems are now in high demand, including the HIMARS rocket systems and Javelin anti-tank missiles. President Biden showed his appreciation for the arms maker last May when he visited a Lockheed Martin plant producing Javelins and said, “thank you, thank you, thank you.”

Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.