Military Spending Surges, Creating New Boom for Arms Makers
The resupply problem is not only a matter of cash. Military contractors have practically stopped manufacturing Stingers — Raytheon’s final contract from the U.S. authorities was in 2002, Mr. Haynes stated. And whereas Javelins are nonetheless being made collectively by Raytheon and Lockheed — in September they had been awarded a $311 million contract to ship extra of them — traditionally they’ve solely been capable of make about 2,100 a year, or a few quarter of what Ukraine has burned via for the reason that outbreak of the warfare in February.
In complete, the Pentagon as of early December had awarded at least $6 billion to military contractors to resupply these and different gadgets despatched to Ukraine.
“We’re going to ramp up,” Army Secretary Christine Wormuth stated this month. “We’ve really been working closely with industry to both increase their capacity and also the speed at which they’re able to produce.”
The general spending on nationwide protection nonetheless stays comparatively low as a proportion of the nation’s economic system: about 3.2 percent of the gross domestic product this year, in comparison with 37 percent throughout World War II and 13 p.c throughout the Korean War, in accordance with Pentagon data.
Still, corporations are scrambling to keep away from or resolve bottlenecks attributable to the rise in demand.
Lockheed, for instance, spent greater than $60 million of its personal cash upfront of getting Pentagon contract dedication to construct extra of its High Mobility Artillery Rocket System automobiles, or HIMARS, which hearth guided rockets carrying 200 kilos of explosives that may hit targets practically 50 miles away. The automobiles have been a lot wanted by Ukraine, which has used them to devastating impact in opposition to the Russians.
Traditionally, Lockheed has been capable of construct 60 of those vans per 12 months, however it’s now shifting production to 24 hours a day and 7 days every week in an effort to carry that annual complete to 96 units. It additionally now has a brand new $430 million contract to ship extra HIMARS, together with a brand new $521 million contract to construct extra of the rockets, referred to as GMLRS, that these automobiles can hearth.
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