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9 Aug, 2023 12:57

Profits of Western arms makers top $200 billion – report

US, EU, and UK defense contractors have been major beneficiaries of weapons sales to Ukraine
Profits of Western arms makers top $200 billion – report

The revenues of the top Western defense contractors have been soaring, with American weapons makers dominating the global arms industry, Defense News reported on Monday.

According to the magazine’s new ranking of the top 100 defense firms, in 2022, America’s top five weapons contractors made $196 billion in military-related revenue.

The ranking shows that four US-based companies were among the world’s top five military contractors. The US has emerged as the main source of weapons for Ukraine amid its conflict with Russia, having committed around $37 billion in security assistance to Kiev.

In the first half of the year, the revenue of the top 25 Western defense contractors increased by 11% to $212 billion, corporate information cited by the Ravenstvo Media Telegram channel shows.

According to the calculations, the total arms sales for these companies for 2023 are expected to amount to $448 billion – a $47 billion increase on last year. By 2026, the amount could rise by more than 20% to $554 billion on the back of arms deliveries to Ukraine and rearmament in Europe, the report noted.

It is estimated that Western defense contractors will increase revenues by $150 billion, or 37%, from 2021 to 2026. In contrast, economic growth in advanced countries will be half of that pace in the same period, Ravenstvo Media reported. It cited IMF projections that by 2026, the collective GDP for advanced nations will be $67.8 trillion, compared with $56.6 trillion in 2021.

US manufacturer Boeing is dominant among defense-focused companies, data shows, with supplies to Ukraine ranging from ScanEagle unmanned aerial vehicles and Avenger air defense systems, to Harpoon and Hellfire missiles, and Ground Launched Small Diameter Bombs.

Fellow US defense contractor RTX, formerly known as Raytheon Technologies, has also supplied an array of arms and systems, including Patriot long-range missiles, Javelin and TOW anti-tank systems, and Stinger MANPADS.

France has sent SCALP long-range missiles, which are manufactured by MBDA, a joint venture between BAE Systems, Airbus, and Leonardo.

A recent report by the Pentagon inspector general revealed that some of the military equipment supplied to Ukraine by the US and its allies has fallen into the hands of criminal groups. Moscow, which strongly opposes the supply of Western weapons to Kiev, has frequently pointed to the danger of arms being smuggled out of Ukraine and sold on the black market.

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