These two defense stocks moved in opposite directions on Wednesday

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Two of the U.S. defense stocks, AeroVironment Inc (NASDAQ: AVAV) and Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE: LMT), moved significantly on Wednesday, but in the opposite direction.

Why AeroVironment shares are up 10%

AVAV closed about 10% up today on an NBC News report that President Biden was considering helping Ukraine with killer drones made by AeroVironment.

These UAVs called Switchblades could help Kyiv target Putin’s artillery positions and tanks from miles away. So far, the only foreign country authorised to buy these killer drones is the United Kingdom.

No further details are available at present since the White House has not yet reached a decision. AeroVironment shares are now up more than 40% versus before the start of the Ukraine war.

Why Lockheed stock is down 7.0%

LMT closed down about 7.0% on Wednesday after a Bloomberg report said the Pentagon will request fewer F-35 stealth jets in the next fiscal budget.

Lockheed will now request 61 of the fighter jets versus 94 it had originally planned. The trimmed demand for fiscal 2023 represents a significant decline from 85 F-35s the Pentagon asked for this year.

The news comes a few days after Germany announced plans of purchasing 35 F-35s from Lockheed Martin. The stock is up nearly 10% since the start of the war in Ukraine.

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