Not all people are suffering equally these days. For the employees of the big armaments companies, Christmas and Easter coincide in this European wartime, which is accompanied by rearmament programs in China and the United States.

The business with military equipment is booming, in the armaments forges of America, but also in the Federal Republic, extra shifts are driven. The managers and shareholders of these companies live in the best of all worlds, also because this is by no means a restart of the Cold War, but the end of the European post-war period.

It’s not just a threat anymore. It is shot sharply. The unchristian motto applies: create peace with even more weapons. Global military spending — including not just weapons systems, but also maintenance costs and personnel — exceeded $2 trillion for the first time last year. If the defense industry were a separate country, it would rank 9th, just behind Italy and ahead of Canada.

For 2022, Sipri expects a significant increase in global sales, because Ukraine is getting a lot of military equipment, stocks are shrinking and an armament spiral has started on all continents. “By October 2022, the US had delivered 8,500 Javelin anti-tank missiles to Ukraine, equivalent to four years of production,” Sipri writes in the report. That’s only an example.

Of the world’s top 100 defense companies, 40 are in America. Because the American state spends by far the most on its army: it was around 801 billion US dollars in 2021 – this is a share of 38 percent of all military spending worldwide.

The US corporations are particularly strong in airplanes and helicopters, which the federal government in the USA also buys. Ground forces such as tanks and howitzers are traditionally more likely to be produced in Europe. Who are the largest US companies?

Number 1: The world’s top-selling arms company is Lockheed Martin from the USA. Lockheed Martin shares have already risen by almost 40 percent in the USA this year. Among other things, Lockheed manufactures the F-16 fighter jet, an export hit.

2nd place: The company Raytheon. Raytheon stock is up more than 15 percent so far this year. The well-known Patriot anti-aircraft missile comes out of her house. There are even plans to build them in Germany in the future.

Third place: Boeing – although not a classic military company, around 40 percent of sales come from the defense sector. The stock is down around 10 percent for the year. Arms deals that go back to former President Trump have gone awry here.

4th place: Northrop Grumman. The company just unveiled a new stealth bomber in early December. The B-21 Raider is a bomber capable of carrying both conventional and nuclear payloads and designed to be invisible to enemy radar.

The price per aircraft is said to be just under 700 million US dollars. The stock market appreciates the prospects, the shares are up more than 40 percent this year.

There is also a turning point in Japan. Out of necessity: As neighbors China and North Korea mount an arms race, Japan has pledged to double military spending by 2027.

China is a driver of global arms deals. China’s party and state leader Xi Jinping wants to have modernized his military by 2027. Domestic armaments in particular benefit from this, including forges such as AVIC (Aviation Industry Corporation of China). The company is firmly in state hands, as is the People’s Republic’s leading armaments company, North Industries Corporation (NORINCO).

But an arms race has also got under way in Europe, which has long dreamed of a peace dividend after the end of the Cold War. Unlike in the US, defense spending in Europe has been well below the NATO target of 2 percent for years – with one exception: France.

The shares of European armaments companies have increased significantly in some cases, because defense stocks have not been socially acceptable in this country for many years, have no future prospects and are therefore not investable.

A closer look at the largest European defense titles is worthwhile.

In first place: the British company BAE Systems. Sales increased only slightly last year. Among other things, BAE Systems produces the ABC Fuchs armored reconnaissance vehicle together with RheinMetall. BAE shares have gained more than 45 percent since the beginning of the year. With the beginning of the war in Ukraine, things went up by leaps and bounds.

2nd place: Leonardo. The Italian group is looking to the future and wants to invest more in electronics, including through a partnership with the German company Hensoldt. Electronics is becoming increasingly important in modern warfare, keywords being unmanned drones and cyber warfare. Shares are up more than 20 percent since the beginning of the year.

3rd place: Thales. The French group does both civil and military solutions and is primarily represented in the field of military technology. The shares are up more than 60 percent

The German armaments companies are relatively small today, but now they are also growing – and vigorously.

1st place: Rheinmetall. The group manufactures tanks and the like and has just recently massively expanded its capacities by acquiring a Spanish ammunition manufacturer. Ammo is a scarce commodity these days. Shares are up more than 125 percent.

2nd place: ThyssenKrupp. The Essenes pretty much fly under the radar when it comes to armor. But the Marine Systems division is no different. Above all, submarines, naval ships and new surface and underwater technology are on offer. Despite this focus, the shares are down more than 40 percent. However, that is up to the group.

3rd place: Hensoldt. The company was spun off from Airbus’ defense division in 2017 and specializes primarily in the areas of radars, optoelectronic systems, electronic warfare and avionics. The Hensoldt share has increased by more than 70 percent since the beginning of the year.

A rethinking has taken place worldwide, which at best serves our security. Military strategists always say that if you want to prevent war, you have to prepare for it.

Conversely, this does not mean that everyone who is preparing for war actually wants to prevent it. Some heads of state and government prepare for war – in order to wage it.