The U.S. State Department has approved the potential sale of F-16 C/D Block 70 Aircraft and related equipment to Bulgaria for $1.673 billion, the Defense Department said on Monday (April 4).
The principal contractor will be Lockheed Martin, the Pentagon said.
U.S. Weapons Makers See Longer-Term Benefits of War in Ukraine
US defense contractors are expected to make long-term profits from the war in Ukraine as they will directly benefit from the Pentagon sending weapons into the conflict and the US’s European allies increasing military spending.
Since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, the US has pledged over $1 billion in new military aid for Ukraine. The US has been pulling weapons from its own stock to send to Ukraine, and as the arms are replenished, the profits of US weapons makers are expected to soar.
The main weapons being sent into Ukraine are Javelin anti-tank missiles and Stinger anti-aircraft missiles. The Javelins are a joint venture made by Raytheon and Lockheed Martin, while the Stingers are produced solely by Raytheon. Before taking his post as Pentagon chief, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin was on the board of Raytheon.
According to AFP, Raytheon’s Stinger missiles were not being produced anymore until the Pentagon ordered $340 million of them last summer. Now, the US and its allies that are sending the Stingers into Ukraine are looking for more. A recent spending bill signed by President Biden included $3.5 billion for the replenishing of US arms sent to Ukraine.
US arms makers are also cashing in from the spike in European spending in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.