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Read with interest the following Ukraine War and US "funding" but the one question that was not addressed was who is manufacturing this military equipment. (Presumably the US Dept of Defense orders equipment from US manufacturers.)

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  • What do you mean by "this military equipment", more precisely? Glancing at the article, it's a diverse list. Some of it US made, some was refurbished Soviet stuff. The majority seems to be the former kind. Sep 27, 2023 at 0:53
  • See the table: "How Ukraine Is Tapping the U.S. Arsenal". I wasn't aware that the US was refurbishing "Soviet Stuff". In any event, is the equipment listed in this table actually coming from current US military arsenals stockpiles or is it coming from US based weapons manufacturers? (or perhaps newly manufactured that must be delivered to a US military arsenals before being shipped to Ukraine?)
    – BobE
    Sep 27, 2023 at 1:08
  • what I'm wondering are the US based manufacturers making an extraordinary load of $$ by ramping production to go to Ukraine.
    – BobE
    Sep 27, 2023 at 1:16
  • @Fizz I think the military aid from the US doesn't contain a lot of refurbished Soviet stuff if any at all but the donations from the EU contain a lot of it. Either way it is a big win for all Western weapons manufacturers because the donated stuff is going to be replaced by newly made weapons.
    – quarague
    Sep 27, 2023 at 7:50
  • @quarague: well, the US appears to be paying for some of the refurbishments, e.g. 45 T-72B tanks "via the Czech Republic", according to the article linked. I'd agree that's not the majority of the US contribution though. Oct 2, 2023 at 6:22

2 Answers 2

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TL;DR

Seems a mix of both from stock, manufacturers via DoD, and refurb Soviet stock from other sources.

This appears to have shifted from the beginning of the war to where it is now: At the beginning the Presidential Drawdowns authorized direct equipment transfer from US DoD stock to Ukraine. As time went on, they established the USAI which is now the main way of supplying Ukraine, establishing a connection between contractors supplying the US military that can now also supply Ukraine, but from US funding.

So yes, a lot of money is being made, but a lot more is being made in the long term as the US has found it needs to not only replenish its depleted stocks but to stock pile far more in advance of any future effort beyond the Ukraine situation. Recent wargames (CSIS in the Pacific) found that major US weapon systems (or key long range munitions) would run out within a week of major hostilities and they now aim to rectify that.

As a start:

From occasional reading:

...military assistance will not immediately arrive on the battlefield, as it falls under the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI) through which Washington procures equipment from the defence industry or partners rather than drawing from US military stocks.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/9/8/us-to-give-600m-more-in-military-equipment-to-ukraine

US officials worked with European allies to secure additional defensive systems and parts to help Ukraine build what one senior administration official described as a “patchwork” of air defenses, some of which includes using older Soviet-era equipment.

“We really went around the world and found for them, not only additional systems that other countries had and persuade them to transfer them, but parts,” the official said, allowing Ukraine to get non-operational S-300 systems back online.

“The war in Ukraine is consuming an enormous amount of ammunition and depleting allies’ stockpiles. The current rate of Ukraine’s ammunition expenditure is many times higher than our current rate of production.”

The US has already embarked on a massive effort to re-arm, including plans from the Army to increase artillery shell production by 500%.

https://edition.cnn.com/2023/02/22/politics/ukraine-us-military-aid-reservations-one-year/index.html

Ukraine is burning through ammunition faster than the US and NATO can produce it. Inside the Pentagon’s plan to close the gap

the Scranton Army Ammunition Plant churns out roughly 11,000 artillery shells a month. That may seem like a lot, but the Ukrainian military often fires that many shells over just a few days.

To meet that demand, the Scranton plant is undergoing a massive expansion, fueled by millions of dollars in new defense spending from the Pentagon.

The US and its allies have already sent nearly $50 billion in aid and equipment to Ukraine’s military over the past year. To keep that up, and to rebuild its own stockpiles, the Pentagon is racing to re-arm, embarking on the biggest increase in ammunition production in decades, and putting portions of the US defense industry on a war-footing despite America technically not being at war. The Pentagon has allocated roughly $3 billion alone to buy munitions overseas from allies and to ramp up production at home. Some of that money will go toward producing what has become a staple of the war – 155 millimeter artillery shells.

The Army is planning a 500% increase in artillery shell production, from 15,000 a month to 70,000, according to Army acquisition chief Doug Bush. Much of that increase will be fulfilled by the Scranton plant, which makes a large share of the country’s supply of artillery shells.

A Lockheed Martin plant in Camden, Arkansas, is cranking out a series of rockets and missiles, including those used by the Army’s Patriot missile system – all of which are in high demand in Ukraine. Bush told reporters in January that the Army was standing up a new plant in Garland, Texas to make artillery shells, while an existing plant is being expanded in Middletown, Iowa that loads, packs and assembles 155 millimeter shells.

Bush told CNN the Army intends to double the production of Javelin anti-tank missiles, make roughly 33% more Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (GMLRS) surface-to-surface medium-range missiles a year, and produce each month a minimum of 60 Stinger anti-aircraft missiles – which were “almost not in production at all,” according to Bush.

“current rate of Ukraine’s ammunition expenditure is many times higher than our current rate of production,” which is putting “our defense industries under strain.”

Much of that strain is being shouldered by American defense contractors.

In addition to ensuring Ukrainian troops have the equipment they need, the US also has to keep up with orders of more equipment from allies – which have only been increasing.

“Many allies in Europe right now are increasing their orders for US military equipment as a result of the war, so that’s adding to demand for our production,”

America’s assistance to Ukraine has “depleted US stocks of some types of weapon systems and munitions, such as Stinger surface-to-air missiles, 155mm howitzers and ammunition, and Javelin anti-tank missile systems.

https://edition.cnn.com/2023/02/17/politics/us-weapons-factories-ukraine-ammunition/index.html

Ukraine to launch joint weapons production with US

Ministry for Strategic Industries, which oversees weapons production in Ukraine, had signed cooperation agreements with three associations, uniting over 2,000 defence U.S. companies, on future possible work in Ukraine.

"We are preparing to create a new defence ecosystem with the United States to produce weapons to strengthen further freedom and protect life together," Zelenskiy said

Kyiv will soon host an international arms production forum, inviting companies from over 20 countries.

The government is also implementing reforms at its main weapons production company - Ukroboronprom - to improve transparency, boost production capacity and enable it to cooperate more actively with Western producers.

Ukraine has already agreed several joint projects with central European producers to repair Ukrainian tanks and other vehicles, and has been working to develop drone and missile production.

https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/ukraine-launch-joint-weapons-production-with-us-zelenskiy-2023-09-22/

Some of the assistance provided has been new and purchased on contract from defense industry manufacturers as a part of the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative. But much of the equipment, some $12.5 billion worth, has been provided as part of presidential drawdown authority. That means things such as Javelin and Stinger missiles, HIMARS rocket launcher systems, and Switchblade unmanned aerial systems, for instance, have been pulled directly from existing U.S. military inventory to be sent overseas.

Because so much gear has been pulled from U.S. military units, that equipment must now be replaced in order to sustain America's own readiness, and the Defense Department has already contracted with an array of manufacturers to give back to military units what was taken from them in order to support Ukraine.

$1.2 billion in contracts are underway now for equipment promised to Ukraine under USAI, including for things like 155mm ammunition, Switchblade unmanned aerial systems, radar systems and tactical vehicles.

The Department is expediting these efforts by using undefinitized contracting actions, or UCAs, to get industry working on contracts before they are definitized

https://www.defense.gov/News/News-Stories/Article/Article/3154210/department-moves-quick-to-replenish-weapons-sent-to-ukraine/

Note:

Unlike Presidential Drawdowns, USAI is an authority under which the U.S. procures capabilities from industry rather than delivering equipment that is drawn down from DoD stocks.

The assistance will take the form of direct transfers of equipment from the DoD to the Ukrainian military to help them defend their country against Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified invasion.

military assistance from DoD inventories, including anti-armor, small arms and various munitions, body armor, and related equipment in support of Ukraine’s front-line defenders facing down Russia’s unprovoked attack.

intent to deliver five (5) Mi-17 helicopters held in DoD inventories to improve Ukraine’s lift capacity.

https://www.defense.gov/News/Releases/Release/Article/3007664/fact-sheet-on-us-security-assistance-for-ukraine-roll-up-as-of-april-21-2022/

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  • "The Army is planning a 500% increase in artillery shell production, from 15,000 a month to 70,000," That's a 367% increase. Sep 27, 2023 at 2:26
  • @Acccumulation given the benefit of the doubt, he could be rounding the resulting %, or rounding the given quantities (13,000 -> 15,000 and 72,000 -> 70,000) or both. Agreed that the numbers as they’ve stated don’t exactly match, though Sep 27, 2023 at 4:20
  • @fyrepenguin There are two errors: first, they give the percentage as having three significant figures, while rounding it to one. Second, they give the increases as final/initial, when it should be (final-initial)/final. Sep 28, 2023 at 2:18
  • @Acccumulation isn’t 500% only one sig fig? I believe you’re likely right on the second point though. Sep 28, 2023 at 2:59
2

Question:

What has been the impact on U.S. military manufacturers vis-a-vis the war in Ukraine?

Short Answer

The answer is the $46.6 billion total U.S. military aid to Ukraine has had a negligible impact on U.S. military manufacture finances, most of whose stock prices have fallen (see below). The losses have nothing to do with Ukraine.

Of the seven largest U.S. defense contractors, nearly half (three) of their stock prices have decreased since the Russian invasion Feb 22, 2022. Those who have increases can be explained by new U.S. defense spending in 2023 which dwarfs total Ukrainian aid by a factor of eight.

Answer:

Negligible.

The weapons being provided to Ukraine don't come from U.S. defense contractors. A significant amount of the equipment given to Ukraine comes from stockpiles of decades old weapons which the U.S won't ever replace. Like the M777 howitzer (18 years old), Javelin (20 years old), Abrams (43 years old), F18 (49 years old). Much of this equipment won't be directly replaced as newer weapons systems are already being used or already slated to replace those systems.

Nearly half of the big seven defense contractor's stock prices are down since just before the Russian invasion. While the U.S. is the largest contributor of military aid to Ukraine, compared to what the U.S. spends annually in peace time it's a rounding error. The $46.6 billion the U.S. has provided in military aid over the last 20 months comes out to $2.33 billion a month. That's 1.4% of the $167 billion monthly DoD spending for 2023. ($2.04 Trillion US Defense spending in 2023)

The jump in U.S. defense spending from 2022 ($1.635 trillion) to 2023 ($2,038 trillion), a $388 billion increase, is 8.3 times the total Ukrainian military aid provided by the U.S.

Here are the seven largest U.S. defense contractors, their pre-invasion stock price, and their current stock price:

Russia invades Ukraine Feb 24, 2022

  1. Lockheed Martin (up)

    before feb 1, 2022 $387.01

    today 9/27/2023 $408.75

historical stock data for Lockheed

  1. Raytheon Technologies (down)

    before 02/01/2022 $90.10

    today 9/27/2023 $72.26

historical stock data for Raytheon

  1. The Boeing Company (down)

    before 2/02/2022 $207.52

    today 9/27/2023 $195.64

historical data for Boeing

  1. General Dynamics (up)

    before 2/1/2022 $212.19

    today 9/27/2023 $218.18

historical data for GD

  1. Northrop Grumman (up)

    before 2/2/2022 $369.89

    today 9/27/2023 $426.58

historical data for NG

  1. BAE Systems, Inc (way up)

    before 2/1/2022 $580.40

    today 9/27/2023 $1,012.00

historical data BAE

  1. L3Harris Technologies (down)

    before 2/1/2022 $207.40

    today 9/27/2023 $173.48

From an alternative answer:

Sourced from CNN

The Scranton Army Ammunition Plant churns out roughly 11,000 artillery shells a month. That may seem like a lot, but the Ukrainian military often fires that many shells over just a few days

The meaningful equation would include how many artillery shells the U.S. has in its stockpiles. The answer to that is conservatively tens of millions. The rate of production only becomes a problem in a worst case scenario: if the Ukraine war goes on another 5 years, if the US becomes involved in 2 more large wars while that's occurring.

I remember in the first Gulf War the US bombed Iraq for months before the ground invasion. A reporter asked U.S. General Schwarzkopf if the Iraqis were "rope a doping" the U.S.: weathering the air assault allowing for the US to run out of bombs. The general responded that the U.S. could continue its bombing expenditures at the current level indefinitely. It is truly staggering the depth of US stockpiles, for some of these weapons.

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  • This answer appears to be in contradiction to the answer from bobby (above). "According to data released by the State Department (Jan 2023), weapon manufacturers in the US made a great profit in 2022 due to the massive amount of arms sales to other countries - especially Ukraine. As a result of the war in Ukraine and a rise of tensions between the US and China over Taiwan, arms sales skyrocketed from $35.8 billion in 2021 to $51.9 billion in 2022, and an even larger profit was seen due to direct weapon sales from US manufacturers, going from $103 billion in 2021 to $154 billion that same year
    – BobE
    Sep 27, 2023 at 19:04
  • @BobE, Dealing with U.S. military aid to date, My point remains $46.6 Billion, while it's great for U.S arms industry, it's 3% of what the US DoD will spend in 2023. and only 1/8th of the increase in US DoD spending from 2022 - 2023. It's like picking up a nickle on the street, sure it's nice to have, but it's not lifestyle changing. It's negligible to their bottom line. As demonstrated by the stock values of the largest US arms supliers.
    – user47010
    Sep 27, 2023 at 19:35
  • @BobE, Taiwan isn't part of my answer, neither is the price/cost increases from US weapons manufacturers, or overall global weapon sales. I'm discussing exclusively US military aid to Ukraine. However clearly The big 7 US military suppliers are mostly not banking expected profits given their falling stock values.
    – user47010
    Sep 27, 2023 at 19:48
  • @BobE: there isn't necessarily a contradiction. Stocks can go down because investors may expected at one point for profits to grow even more than they actually did. Your Q really is unclear what kind of "impact" you expect answers to talk about. Sep 27, 2023 at 20:25
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    You say GD's stock price is down from 2022 to 2023 but the prices you quote are 212 and 218. I think 218 is greater than 212?
    – nobody
    Oct 13, 2023 at 13:38

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