BAE Systems’ order book has swelled to a record £66 billion as Nato scrambles to arm Ukraine, replenish its own stockpiles and retool for a world in which conventional land wars suddenly look like part of the future as well as the past. BAE is based in Lancashire but boasts an office tower a few miles north of the Pentagon, which accounts for 44 per cent of its global sales. It makes Typhoon fighters and nuclear submarines but also workaday artillery ammunition. Deals that reflect the times include a £280 million contract with the UK’s defence ministry for 155mm shells and a £1.8 billion order from the Czech Republic for armoured combat vehicles. Orders from Ukraine itself account for only a small fraction of the £66 billion but the war affects “the general global threat environment,” BAE’s CEO tells The Times. “Defence is moving up.” Eisenhower was wrong about the military-industrial complex. You don’t need collusion to sustain arms sales.
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