A decision by the U.S. and Germany to send battle tanks to Ukraine has reignited discussions on more advanced weapons platforms, such as fighter aircraft.
Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) COO Frank St. John has revealed that there is “a lot of conversation about third party transfer of F-16s,” under which countries would re-export their U.S.-made jets. The company is even going to ramp up F-16 production “to get to the place where we will be able to backfill pretty capably any countries that choose to do third party transfers to help with the current conflict.”
While the Biden administration has so far rejected Ukrainian requests and approvals for modern fighter jets, it also opposed the delivery of modern battle tanks, before reversing its policy on Wednesday.
“They didn’t want to give us heavy artillery, then they did. They didn’t want to give us HIMARS systems, then they did. They didn’t want to give us tanks, now they’re giving us tanks. Apart from nuclear weapons, there is nothing left that we will not get,” said Yuriy Sak, an advisor to Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov.
Lockheed Martin’s (LMT) 2022 sales reflected supply chain and program-specific pressures in its Q4 results, and 2023 will be equally challenging, writes Dhierin Bechai, SA author of The Aerospace Forum.