US Weapons Exports Continue To Surge

( – Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine set off a chain of events that has negatively affected his country while benefitting the US. International economic sanctions against Russia resulting from the Kremlin’s aggression served to help produce a record surge in US weapons sales to European allies. Recent reports detailed US military-industrial complex increases.

The US Set New Arms Export Records in 2023

A State Department report issued January 29 noted that defense activities, goods, and services traded during fiscal year 2023 under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) system totaled $80.9 billion, representing a stunning 55.9% increase over the fiscal year 2022 total of $51.9 billion. The record 2023 trade figure included $62.25 billion in arms sales to US allies and partner nations.

Some of the most significant sales included a $12 billion order from Poland for Apache helicopters, a $10 billion order from Germany for High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS), a $5.9 billion Czech Republic order for P-8 Posieden anti-submarine aircraft, a $5.06 billion Polish order for F-35 aircraft, and another $4.0 billion from Poland for an Integrated Air And Missile Defense (IAMD) Battle Command System (IBCS).

Additionally, US-associated foreign defense contractors made authorized Direct Commercial Sales (DCS) of $157.5 billion in 2023, up from $153.6 billion in 2022, a 2.5% increase year-on-year.

US Overtakes Significant Share of Russia’s Foreign Arms Exports

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) also released a report recently detailing the trends in global arms interactions over the last year and the last decade. In 2023, for the first time in more than 30 years, Russia fell to third place as a global arms exporter behind the US and France as its global share fell 53% from the first half of the period, 2014 through 2018, to the second half, 2015 through 2023.

Moreover, the US continued to lead the global arms export market with 42% of the market share, followed by France with 11%, showing 47% growth over the same 2014 through 2023 period.

Mira Resnick, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Regional Security, authorizes arms transfers to US allies. She told POLITICO, “The Russian defense industry is failing and continues to fail.” She attributed the failure to international sanctions that have deprived the Russians of valuable resources, leading to logistic and strategic collapses.

As Russia has failed to meet contractual demands with customers in India and elsewhere, US suppliers have stepped in to exploit new opportunities, thus increasing global market share. Yet, the US isn’t the only arms supplier profiting from Russia’s woes. Both France and Italy have significantly increased their global market shares as well.

The ongoing Russo-Ukrainian conflict has prompted European nations to nearly double their arms imports, a 94% increase.

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