US arms sales to foreign governments boomed in 2022 as defense firms cashed in on the war in Ukraine.
According to State Department numbers, sales rose to $205.6 billion in the 2022 fiscal year. The sales are divided into two categories: direct military sales between a US company and a foreign government and sales that are overseen by the US government, known as Foreign Military Sales.
The State Department said the US government approved $51.9 billion in potential arms sales in 2022, up from $34.8 billion in the previous year. Direct sales between governments and contractors rose to $153.7 billion in 2022 from $103 billion in 2021.
One of the primary drivers of the increase in arms sales was the US’s European allies increasing military spending in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and looking for new equipment.
The US has been encouraging countries in Eastern Europe to get rid of their older Russian-made equipment by sending it to Ukraine and replacing it with new US-made arms.
One major deal from last year was Germany’s decision to purchase Lockheed Martin-made F-35 fighter jets worth about $8.4 billion. The F-35s are meant to replace Germany’s fleet of Tornado aircraft that are capable of dropping US nuclear warheads stored in the country.
The US is also encouraging countries in the Asia Pacific to beef up their militaries as part of a buildup aimed at China. One major sale in the region was for Indonesia to purchase 36 Boeing-made F-15 fighter jets in a deal worth $13.9 billion.