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Northrop Grumman CEO: 'We're proud to be supporting the efforts of the Ukrainian people'

In a recent interview for "Influencers with Andy Serwer," Northrop Grumman CEO Kathy Warden made it clear which side the company has taken in the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

"We're proud to be supporting the efforts of the Ukrainian people," Warden told Yahoo Finance’s editor-in-chief, Andy Serwer. "We are supplying arms to the Ukrainians, largely through the U.S. and European allies. And we do that through contracts that we have with those governments, not directly to the government of Ukraine."

Northrop Grumman — an aeronautics, defense, and cyberspace company — employs roughly 97,000 people and is headquartered in Virginia. The company builds weapons including warheads and hypersonic missiles in addition to space products such as the James Webb Space Telescope.

The company has recently struggled with supply chain issues, facing particular shortages on materials like microprocessors, connectors, and cables. These difficulties have hurt Northrop’s business and the company’s total sales were $8.8 billion in the second quarter, below Wall Street expectations of $9.07 billion.

Ukrainian servicemen rest after return from the village of Udy, recently liberated by Ukrainian Armed Forces, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in the town of Zolochiv, Kharkiv region, Ukraine September 12, 2022. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich
Ukrainian servicemen rest after return from the village of Udy, recently liberated by Ukrainian Armed Forces, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in the town of Zolochiv, Kharkiv region, Ukraine September 12, 2022. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

"The supply-side challenges are real for our industry," Warden said. "And as we look at the pace of growth, it could be faster if we did not have those supply-side challenges."

Despite such challenges, Northrop Grumman has supplied Ukrainian troops with equipment including Bushmaster automatic cannons and midsized ammunition, according to reporting from the Financial Times. The outlet also reports that witnesses have seen the Northrop’s RQ-4 Global Hawk aircraft flying over the Ukrainian border. Ukraine is also drawing stockpiles of weapons produced by other defense companies such as Raytheon (RTX) and Lockheed Martin (LMT), according to reporting by Reuters.

Warden said that Northrop, which until recently bought Antares rocket engines from Russia through NASA, no longer relies on Russian supplies. Last month, the company announced that it would bring Antares production to the United States through a partnership with Austin, Texas-based Firefly Aerospace.

“And so now we, Northrop Grumman, no longer have any reliance on Russian supply,” Warden remarked. “That is a place that we wanted to be in working with the U.S. government but wanted to do it in a way that all parties were involved in a smooth transition. And that's what we were able to accomplish.”

Northrop joins other companies that have stopped doing business with Russia. As of Sept. 12, more than 1,000 companies had revealed they were curtailing operations in Russia beyond the level mandated by international sanctions, according to research from Yale's Chief Executive Leadership Institute.

Dylan Croll is a reporter and researcher at Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter at @CrollonPatrol.

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