According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, rocket sales have become the second largest arms export in the US. And a handful of US companies dominate production.
As with aircraft, missile sales are based on international alliances and treaties. And those sales can become hot button issues, like a recent proposal to sell Boeing’s Harpoon missiles to Taiwan or a failed offer to sell the Raytheon-made Patriot missile system to Turkey.
As defense technology advances, cheaper alternatives such as smaller guided missiles and loitering ammunition could change the dynamics of the battlefield.
“We have entered a kind of new rocket age,” said Tom Karako, Senior Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Check out the video above to find out how the US missile business works, how much money it makes for American defense companies, and what happens to the future of the industry.