West Unable to Ramp Up Arms Production Amid Ukraine War: Report

Many Western weapons manufacturers were reportedly unable to ramp up production in 2022 despite increased demand due to the ongoing war in Ukraine.

According to a Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) report, the revenue of the world’s largest arms producers last year reached $597 billion. However, their output was still 3.5 percent lower than in 2021.

In the US alone, the 42 biggest arms companies, which accounted for 51 percent of total arms sales for Western firms, earned $302 billion in 2022 — a 7.9 percent drop from the previous year.

SIPRI director Lucie Béraud-Sudreau stated that many manufacturers struggled to adjust their production for high-intensity warfare.

Labor shortages, soaring costs, and supply chain disruptions exacerbated by the war in Ukraine were also blamed for the failure.

Despite the latest findings, SIPRI senior researcher Nan Tian said that Western companies will see an increase in revenue in two to three years once they complete all existing order backlogs.

Growth in Asia, the Middle East

In contrast to major American and European arms suppliers, companies in Asia and the Middle East saw a significant increase in revenues in 2022.

The 22 largest companies in Asia and Oceania, including South Korea’s Hanwha Aerospace and LIG Nex1, recorded $134 billion in revenue last year — 3.1 percent higher than in 2021.

According to the SIPRI report, the increase in revenues demonstrates their ability to respond to growing demands within a shorter time frame.

“Domestic demand and reliance on local suppliers shielded Asian arms companies from supply chain disruptions in 2022,” SIPRI researcher Xiao Liang added.

The watchdog still sees significant growth in revenue for Asian suppliers, mainly South Koreans, in the next few years after securing substantial arms deals with Poland and the UAE earlier this year.

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