Arms sales rise for first time in five years

Todd Singleton
December 13, 2017

With U.S. weapons makers leading the way, and after five consecutive years of decline, sales among the world's 100 largest arms producers rose in 2016, garnering almost $375 billion in profits, according to a new analysis of industry data by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

Based on sales by the world's 100 biggest arms producers, the report pointed at an increase of 1.9 percent (based on 2015 U.S. dollar values) from 2015 with $374.8 billion spent on arms and military services.

Companies in western Europe who lead the pack in arms sales after USA companies remained stable in their growth, however sales for companies in France and Italy declined, and UK, Germany recorded overall increases.

Overall, global sales of arms and military services have increased 38 percent since SIPRI began analyzing the data in 2002. Lockheed Martin's sales grew by 10.7 percent past year, which report co-author Aude Fleurant, who directs of SIPRI's Arms and Military Expenditures Program, attributed to "the acquisition of helicopter producer Sikorsky in late 2015 and higher delivery volumes of the F-35 combat aircraft". There were overall decreases in the arms sales of Trans-European, French and Italian companies, while companies in the United Kingdom and Germany recorded overall increases.

Global arms sale is growing first time since 2010, as implementation of new national major weapon programmes, ongoing military operations in several countries and persistent regional tensions drive demand for weapons, a new study by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) has found. SIPRI is an independent think tank that is dedicated to research on conflict, armaments, arms control and disarmament.

The UK's decision to withdraw from the European Union did not seem to have an impact on the arms sales of British companies, which rose by 2.0 per cent in 2016.

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Among the 10 Russian companies listed in the SIPRI Top 100, the trends in arms sales are mixed: five companies recorded sales growth, while the other five showed decreases.

South Korean arms producers saw a 20.6 percent rise in sales while Russian manufacturers experienced a sales growth of 3.8 percent in 2016.

The SIPRI has placed South Korea among the emerging producers, which also covers Indian and Brazilian companies.

Companies from South Korea boosted their arms sales by 20.6 percent to $8.4 billion previous year due to concerns over North Korea's missile and nuclear programs.

The decline in arms sales by Japanese firms has resulted in a 1.2 percent drop in combined weapons sales of "other established producers" based in Japan, Australia, Singapore, Israel, Poland and Ukraine. China has a sizeable market in Asia and Africa.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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