The United States is all set for a record year exporting military hardware and that too in a world still trying to emerge from global recession. The US Department of Defence says it expects 2011 arms exports to surpass $46 billion, which would be the highest sales on record.
With the domestic defence market in decline, as Washington moves to cut down on massive budget deficits, US defence contractors are looking to open up new markets abroad.
Lockheed Martin and Boeing are likely to be the main beneficiaries as the demand for C-17's, C-130Js, aerial drones, and F-35 fighter jets are on the rise. Industry experts say arms exports from the US are expected to exceed $40 billion annually, on an average, in the next several years.
Though the Asian defence markets cannot match their US and European counterparts in size, big Asian players like China and India are increasing defence spending.
China has decided to increase its defence spending for 2011 to $91.5 billion, a growth of 12.7% from 2010.
India, too, has upped the ante raising defence spending for 2011 to $36.3 billion, up 11.6% year-over-year. Delhi is planning to spend $80 billion on defence in the next five years, mainly to modernise its equipment.