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    Three F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, (rear to front) AF-2, AF-3 and AF-4, flies over Edwards Air Force Base in this December 10, 2011 handout photo provided by Lockheed Martin

    NATO Defense Spending Expected to Rise by $100Bln - Lockheed Martin CEO

    © REUTERS / Darin Russell/Courtesy of Lockheed Martin
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    Lockheed Martin President and CEO Marilyn Hewson claims that NATO’s total spending on weapons systems is expected to soar by at least $100 billion in the next few years.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — NATO’s total spending on weapons systems is expected to soar by at least $100 billion in the next few years, Lockheed Martin President and CEO Marilyn Hewson said in remarks published by the company on Tuesday.

    "If NATO members fulfill their already-stated pledges to spend two percent of their GDP [gross domestic product] on defense, it could result in a $100 billion increase in spending across the Alliance," Hewson stated.

    Lockheed Martin executives were optimistic about the opportunities ahead, the company chief explained.

    "[W]e are seeing a new willingness… from governments around the world to increase their investments in defense. President Trump’s first budget proposes an important increase in defense spending… Leaders in Congress have also expressed their support for an increase," she said.

    NATO member states are considering the shifts in US priorities and many see a greater need to shoulder more of their own defense burdens, Hewson observed.

    "As Damon Wilson of the Atlantic Council has noted, there is also a 'President Trump Effect’," she pointed out.

    The fiscal year 2017 military budget that just passed the US House of Representatives includes funds for many Lockheed Martin programs including the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters, C-130s military air transports and missile defense programs, Hewson added.

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