Big winners of West’s military spending bonanza revealed – media — Analysis
Sky News has learned that weapons manufacturers are benefiting from the flow of arms to Ukraine, and European rearmament programs pose risk. A watchdog said this to Sky News.
Sky News reports that defense contractors are benefiting from the dramatic increase in Western nations’ military expenditures necessary to provide weapons to Ukraine and build their own military forces.
The article cited data from Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, which is a major weapons watchdog. It stated that while Lockheed Martin, Boeing and other companies enjoy profit, European stability could be at risk because of the arms race. British news outlets spoke to Siemon Wezeman about his work on the SIPRI arms transfer program.
NATO members have contributed more than $8 million worth of equipment to Ukraine in order to help the country fight Russia. Over half of this sum was paid by the USA alone. US Congress approved the future defense spending to support Ukraine’s arming and replenishing its weapons stocks.
American defense contractors stand to benefit the most from this spending spree. Raytheon, Lockheed Martin and others will produce replacements for thousands of Javelin antitank missiles that were sent to Ukraine from the US and its allies. Raytheon also produces the Stinger antiaircraft missile. This is another item that Ukraine has requested. Lockheed Martin manufactures the HIMARS multi-rocket launchers. Washington has approved that they be sent to Ukraine as part of its most recent package.
The anti-artillery radar system that US provides to Ukraine is manufactured by Northrop Grumman. AeroVironment is the producer of the Switchblade anti-tank loitering munitions, often dubbed ‘kamikaze drones’ by the press. And Olin, America’s largest small-arms ammo producer, will likely benefit from the billions of rounds sent to Ukraine, Sky News pointed out.
Thales and BAE Systems are two of the biggest winners in Europe from the Ukraine arming frenzy. BAE manufactures ammo as well as artillery shells. It also makes MILAN antitank missiles which France and Italy shipped to Ukraine. The UK also provided Stormer HVM armored cars to Kiev.
Thales manufactures the NLAW anti-tank rockets that can be shoulder-launched and also the Starstreak missiles. They are carried by Stormer armored vehicles as their primary weapons of air-defense. Dynamit Nobel in Germany makes the portable anti-tank weapons Panzerfaust 3 & MATADOR.
These billions of dollars in military assistance are not enough to cover the many billions pledged by European NATO member countries to strengthen their militaries. Germany alone seeks to invest €100 billion ($105 billion) into its military, while pledges made by 14 other European nations add up to the same amount, according to the report. The windfall will be shared by companies like Lockheed Martin, an American manufacturer of F35 fighter-jets and Rheinmetall, which is a German armor producer.
However, military purchases can have their downsides. Ukraine receives weapons “may end up disappearing into the black market,” the SIPRI’s Wezeman warned. The European rearmament plan raises questions as to whether the money was well-spent, given that funds for this program will need to come from elsewhere. The combined military spending of NATO members in Europe has exceeded Russia’s outlays since the end of the Cold War, he pointed out.
“Is Russia really the threat that we make it out, that you need to spend an enormous amount of money in addition to what you already spend?” Wezeman wondered.
“It seems to be a little bit of a shock reaction. You get attacked, you kick, and the kick in this case is you just throw in lots of military spending, and big plans for new tanks and new that, but is that really necessary?”He elaborated.
There is also Russia’s reaction to NATO’s military power in Europe. According to the report, Moscow could counter an overwhelming conventional force by deploying more nuclear tactical weapons. Wezeman pointed out that NATO used a similar strategy during Cold War when it was worried about the Warsaw Pact’s large number of tanks.