The demand for US arms weapons increased dramatically last year as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, reaching a record $238 billion (£187 billion).
According to the State Department, the US government directly negotiated sales of $81 billion, a 56% increase from 2022. The remaining amounts were direct sales to foreign countries by US defense companies. Poland, Ukraine’s neighbor, made some of the largest purchases as part of its current military buildup. Poland paid $12 billion for Apache helicopters, $10 billion for Himars artillery rocket systems, and $3.75 billion for M1A1 Abrams tanks, according to a report from the department for the US government’s fiscal year that concluded in October.
It also invested $4 billion in battle command systems for integrated air and missile defense.
The goal of the previous conservative government’s military modernization program was to make Poland “the most powerful land force in Europe,” and Prime Minister Donald Tusk has pledged to carry it out.
Germany, on the other hand, purchased Chinook helicopters for $8.5 billion. Norway purchased $1 billion worth of multi-mission helicopters, while Bulgaria paid $1.5 billion for Stryker armored vehicles.
The Czech Republic purchased F-35 aircraft and munitions for $5.6 billion.
The State Department stated in its annual memo, which was made public on Monday, that “arms transfers and defense trade are important US foreign policy tools with potential long-term implications for regional and global security.”
According to the head of the department’s arms transfers office, sales were also aided by nations withdrawing from Russia, which for decades had been the second-largest seller of weapons after the US.
Mira Resnick told Politico that “the Russian defense industry is failing and continues to fail” and that Russian arms makers are “denied the resources that come from exports,” such as money.
The administration of President Joe Biden has maintained that through arms sales, US assistance to Ukraine strengthens the home economy. Nevertheless, a growing number of Republicans are calling for aid to be conditional on a revision of US immigration laws, suggesting that US lawmakers may soon be willing to stop providing direct assistance to Ukraine.
In a strategic move to underscore the significance of the US defense sector within the alliance, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg is set to visit a Lockheed Martin missile facility in Alabama this Wednesday. This visit aims to showcase the cutting-edge capabilities of American defense technology and strengthen NATO’s cooperation with the United States.
The recently released weapons report unveils substantial international investments in advanced military equipment. Beyond European borders, Australia has committed $6.3 billion for C130J-30 Super Hercules aircraft, while South Korea allocated $5 billion for F-35 jets. Additionally, Japan solidified a $1 billion agreement for the procurement of an E-2D Hawkeye spy plane, further emphasizing global partnerships in defense innovation.
- US weapons demand surged to a record $238 billion due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
- The US government negotiated sales of $81 billion, a 56% increase from 2022.
- Poland, Ukraine’s neighbor, made significant purchases, including $12 billion for Apache helicopters, $10 billion for Himars artillery rocket systems, and $3.75 billion for M1A1 Abrams tanks.
- Poland also invested $4 billion in battle command systems for integrated air and missile defense.
- Germany, Norway, Bulgaria, and the Czech Republic also purchased weapons.
- The State Department emphasizes the importance of arms transfers and defense trade for regional and global security.
- Russia’s defense industry is criticized for failing and lack of resources from exports.
- President Biden’s administration believes US assistance to Ukraine strengthens the home economy through arms sales.
- NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg plans to visit a Lockheed Martin missile facility in Alabama.