U.S. foreign arms sales grew significantly in the fiscal year 2022, according to data released by the Department of State, which attributed the increase mainly to U.S. military support for Ukraine during the latter's conflict with Russia.
The total value of State Department-authorized government-to-government foreign military sales was $51.9 billion in fiscal 2022, the 12-month period ending September 30, 2022, up 49.1 percent from the previous fiscal year's $34.8 billion, the data showed.
The so-called direct commercial sales, or sales of weapons and military equipment to foreign governments by U.S. defense contractors, also ticked up in fiscal 2022, increasing 48.6 percent to $153.7 billion, compared to $103.4 billion in fiscal 2021.
At the end of fiscal 2022, 14,445 entities were registered with the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls to conduct defense trade activities, which is a slight increase from fiscal 2021, the department said in a press release dated Wednesday.
The State Department attributed the spike to continuous U.S. provision of military assistance to Ukraine amid the ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia, while claiming that "arms transfers and defense trade are important tools of U.S. foreign policy."
According to the Defense Department's latest update released Wednesday, the United States has more than $27.1 billion in security assistance for Ukraine since the Russia-Ukraine conflict broke out on February 24, 2022.
The 2022 arms sales numbers are potential deals the State Department has notified Congress of, not the final sales, meaning some of the transactions may be refused by Congress, thus forcing the administration to engage in further negotiations.
As far as the destinations of those sales are concerned, they cover U.S. allies and partners in Europe, as demands for U.S. weapons soared especially in NATO countries, and in the Asia Pacific and the Middle East regions.