Lockheed Martin Boasts to Investors: Ukraine War Fueling "$10 Billion of Opportunities ... Now to the End of the Decade"
The defense industry is bullish about military contracts to supply the Ukraine-Russia war, and replenish U.S. military stockpiles depleted by weapons transfers.
Last week, Lockheed Martin executives dined with bankers at the Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach, a shimmering resort that sits perched above a seaside bluff in Orange County, Calif.
In a presentation, the defense contractor, which produces a variety of missiles, munitions, and rockets, gave a sunny financial forecast for the Ukraine-Russia war.
“Just switching gears to Ukraine,” said Morgan Stanley analyst Kristine Liwag, during an investor town hall with the firm. “What’s the opportunity?”
Jay Malave, the chief financial officer for Lockheed Martin, noted that his company is supplying Javelin anti-tank missiles, HIMARS mobile artillery rockets, and PAC-3 air defense missiles, among other missiles and munitions for the war.
Lockheed Martin has “visibility” of orders that include “$10 billion of opportunity,” Malave said. The surging growth, including orders to replenish U.S. military stockpiles depleted by weapons transfers to Ukraine, he continued, means "demand is enduring between, frankly, now to the end of the decade.”
The Ukraine-Russia conflict has killed or severely injured over half a million people on both sides. The war, now mired in a brutal counter-offensive by Ukrainian forces attempting to retake territory in the eastern region, has no end in sight.
But the war has created unique business opportunities for arms manufacturers and dealers to not only supply Ukraine with weapons but to also refill stockpiles of NATO countries and meet the demand for rapidly growing European defense budgets.
Last week, Reuters revealed that the Biden administration "is close to approving the shipment of longer-range missiles packed with cluster bombs to Ukraine, giving Kyiv the ability to cause significant damage deeper within Russian-occupied territory." The U.S. is reportedly considering the transfer of either or both the Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS) or Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) missiles to deliver cluster munitions. Both systems are produced by Lockheed Martin.
The company is apparently preparing for the sale of its long-range missile systems. Malave, during his remarks on September 14th, noted that Lockheed Martin is ramping up production, increasing GMLRS unit production to 14,000 units per year from 10,000 units per year. ATACMS can strike up at to 190 miles, and the GMLRS missiles have a 45-mile range.
The shipments to Ukraine have rapidly exhausted Pentagon supplies, creating new contracts simply to replenish U.S. arms. In late July, the Pentagon released a document detailing restocking deals. Lockheed Martin, which is set to receive nearly $2.3 billion of contracts to restock depleted U.S. weapons stockpiles, is the biggest recipient of contracts. Other recipients of large restocking contracts include Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, BAE Systems, and Oshkosh.
The conflict has also brought considerable fortunes to smaller defense contractors.
AeroVironment, the makers of the Switchblade "kamikaze drone" and PUMA drone system, has seen its prospects rise dramatically. Drone revenue grew 45% over the last year, with several orders from the U.S. Army for its Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative.