Since the beginning of the Russia-Ukraine armed conflict in February 2022, defence companies have seen their stocks rise as the West rushed military aid to Kyiv. Many of these weapons came from reserve stockpiles of Western countries, requiring these systems to be replenished through fresh contracts to arms makers. And while Europe has upped its contribution in recent months, the US still remains the largest individual contributor towards weapons for Ukraine, committing $18.5 billion till November 20. In December, Washington announced another $1.85 billion in military aid for Kyiv, which included the Patriot air defence system.
The US defence budget will hit a record $858 billion —bigger than Switzerland’s GDP—this year out of which at least $800 million will go towards security assistance to Ukraine. The defence bill authorises specific purchases from arms companies like Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics whose systems have already marked their presence on the Ukrainian frontline. In fact, the American Himars rocket launcher used by the Ukrainian forces in the Donetsk strike was probably of Lockheed Martin make. Therefore, it is hardly surprising that American defence companies are having a good time. Lockheed Martin’s share price over the past year grew by 11%, Northrop Grumman by 23%, and Aero Vironment by 21%.
Arms manufacturers like wars. And they must be loving the Ukraine-Russia conflict, which has the potential to carry on for months more. It is one of the reasons that neither imperialist Russia nor the Western imperialists including US who are backing Ukraine do not want to end the war as government—arms manufacturer nexus is a feature of crisis-ridden arch reactionary imperialism-capitalism who are trying to stave off the growing economic crisis by increased militarization of economy. (Times of India-04-01-23)