Ukraine crisis increases European demand for US drones, missiles
European governments are approaching the US government and defense contractors with a shopping list of arms, with the Ukraine crisis driving an increase in demand.
As Russia's operation in Ukraine ramps up, Europe's governments have readied shopping lists of arms for the US government and its defense contractors.
The list includes drones, missiles, and missile defenses. Germany, which is nearing a deal for 35 F-35 jet fighters, inquired about systems to defend against ballistic missiles, while Poland was looking to purchase Reaper drones from the US according to a Polish government official.
"This order is an answer to (the) ... security situation, particularly in central and eastern Europe," Krzysztof Platek, a spokesperson for the Polish Defence Ministry's Armament Agency, said in an interview on Wednesday.
Other countries in Eastern Europe have also submitted requests for weapons being used by Ukraine against Russia's forces, such as anti-aircraft Stinger missiles and anti-tank Javelin missiles.
Keeping up with demand
Mara Karlin, a Pentagon assistant secretary of defense said last week that the US' European allies are "doubling down" on their defense spending.
Moreover, the Pentagon's Defense Security Cooperation Administration is having weekly meetings to review requests related to the approval of arms sales to foreign governments by US contractors. A team has been set up to respond to the increased demand.
"The Department of Defense is exploring options to support Ukraine's needs, rapidly replenish U.S. inventories and backfill depleted stocks of allies and partners," a senior Defense official said according to Reuters, adding that the Pentagon was working with contractors on ways to "mitigate supply chain constraints (and) accelerate production timelines."
The potential surge in sales of US weaponry raised Lockheed Martin's stock by 8.3% and Raytheon's by 3.9%. The two manufacturers jointly produce Javelins, while Raytheon produces Stingers.