WASHINGTON : War has always been big business in the United States. According to the seminal anti-war essay “War is a Racket,” gunpowder manufacturer Du Ponts saw their profits increase by more than 950% during The Great War.
US arms sales to other countries skyrocketed in 2022, providing a tidy sum of profits for weapon manufacturers, according to data released by the State Department on Wednesday.
US weapon sales to other countries, largely driven by NATO’s response to Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine and increased tensions in Asia, jumped from $35.8 billion in 2021 to $51.9 billion in 2022.
Direct weapon sales from US-based weapon manufacturers also saw a massive increase, jumping from $103.4 billion in 2021 to $153.7 billion in 2022.
In Europe, the largest purchasers include Germany, which ordered 35 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter airplanes for $8.4 billion, and Poland, which spent $6 billion on 250 M1 Abrams tanks.
The United Kingdom, Spain, and new NATO member Bulgaria also made significant purchases in 2022.
Meanwhile, tensions in Asia over Taiwan and competing claims in the South China Sea have also been a boon for weapon manufacturers. Significant weapon sales in the area include $13.9 billion from Indonesia for 36 F-15ID fighter jets and a $1.95 billion purchase from Australia for 40 Black Hawk helicopters and other equipment. South Korea and Japan also made significant military purchases, totaling $790 million and $588 million respectively.
The Biden administration also approved a $1.1 billion weapons package for Taiwan in an effort to deter China from militarily seizing the island.
The Middle East, always a reliable profit center for military contractors has continued to be so. The two countries pushing the brutal war in Yemen, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, have asked for $3 billion and $2.2 billion in military weapons and equipment from the United States respectively.
During the 2020 campaign, the Biden administration pledged to stop sending weapons to Saudi Arabia because of its war in Yemen.
Unsurprisingly, this has led to significant revenue gains by weapon manufacturers.
Revenue for Lockheed Martin, which develops the F-16, F-22, and F-35 fighter jets rose 7.13% to $19 billion in the fourth quarter of 2022. Northrop Grumman, which also makes F-35 fighter jets, is expected to report 11.8% revenue growth compared to fourth quarter earnings when it issues its financial reports on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Raytheon, the maker of the Patriot Air Defense System the Biden administration recently announced it will supply Ukraine with, saw its Q4 profit rise of nearly 18% compared to last year.
courtesy : Sputnik news