Earlier this month, the US decided to block the sale of precision-guided weapons to Saudi Arabia. The kits – which transform “dumb” bombs into “smart” bombs – are worth around $350 million.
Shares of RTN were not happy:
“We’ve decided not to move forward with some foreign military sales cases for air-dropped munitions, PGMs (precision-guided munitions),” an Obama administration official said, a few days later. “That’s obviously a direct reflection of the concerns that we have about Saudi strikes that have resulted in civilian casualties.”
Of course officials weren’t “concerned” enough to halt the refueling of planes used by the Saudi-led coalition to strike Iran-backed Houthis (and all sorts of civilians) across the kingdom’s southern border.
In any event, arms exports are big business and as Stratfor notes in a recent report, it’s a “buyer’s market” for weapons in today’s increasingly dangerous world. Here’s a bit of color and an illuminating chart:
The development of domestic arms industries by importers like India, combined with the liberalization of the arms export market since the end of the Cold War, will accelerate a shift toward a buyers’ market. Nevertheless, emerging arms sectors will be unable to fully meet the needs of national militaries for the foreseeable future. This means lucrative opportunities will abound for traditional exporters, particularly those that are willing to include generous technology transfer terms in their agreements.
This seemed appropriate: