According to a report from Reuters, the Pentagon will host leaders from the top eight US weapons makers to discuss the industry’s capacity to produce arms for Ukraine if the war lasts years.
One source told Reuters that the Pentagon’s Office of Acquisition and Sustainment will host a 90-minute meeting that Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks will likely attend. Resupplying the weapons stockpiles of the US and its allies are expected to be discussed, as well as planning for a long-term conflict.
Since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, the US has pledged over $1.7 billion in new military aid for Ukraine. The weapons in highest demand are Javelin anti-tank missiles and Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, as the US is shipping them to Ukraine on a near-daily basis.
Javelins are a joint venture between Raytheon and Lockheed Martin. The Stingers are solely made by Raytheon, which is the former employer of Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin. Raytheon, Lockheed, and other US arms makers are expected to reap long-term benefits from the war in Ukraine.
Other top US arms makers that could attend the Pentagon meeting include Northrop Grumman, Boeing, L3Harris Technologies, and General Dynamics.
Besides replenishing stockpiles sent to Ukraine, the companies stand to gain from European countries increasing military spending in the wake of Russia’s invasion.
A defense official subsequently told The New York Times that the Tuesday meeting will be 'classified'...
A top U.S. defense official said on Tuesday that the Pentagon would convene a classified meeting with the leaders of the biggest American military contractors on Wednesday to discuss stepped-up assistance to Ukraine. https://t.co/yulkXMVOak— The New York Times (@nytimes) April 12, 2022
The Reuters report even notes the Defense Department wants to "speed up" delivery of these US-made systems to Ukraine: "The Pentagon's Defense Security Cooperation Administration is having weekly meetings of its European Crisis Management Team to review specific requests related to Ukraine."
"To speed up U.S. government approval for sales and transfers of arms produced by American defense contractors, the Pentagon has re-established a team to respond to the increased demand," the report adds.