SIPRI: Global Military Arms Sales Hit $375B in 2016

Laverne Mann
December 13, 2017

The sales of the world's 100 largest arms producing and military services companies totaled $374.8 billion in 2016, a 1.9 per cent increase compared with 2015, SIPRI says this is the first year of growth for these companies after five consecutive years of decline.

"The growth in arms sales was expected and was driven by the implementation of new national major weapon programs, ongoing military operations in several countries, and persistent regional tensions that are leading to an increased demand for weapons", according to SIPRI 's latest analysis. The figure represents a 38 percent increase from 2002, when SIPRI began recording corporate arms sales. The Lockheed Martin, the world's largest arms producer, registered a sharp increase in sales by 10.7 per cent in 2016.

In Europe, SIPRI found "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", with eight British companies ranking in the top 20.

Concerns over North Korea's missile and nuclear-weapons programmes helped South Korean companies record a 20.6% sales increase to $8.4bn, the largest total among developing countries.

Global arms sale rise for the first time since 2010. Among the top 100 companies, USA producers claimed the largest share of sales by a notable margin-nearly 58 percent.

The sharp growth in arms sales reported by the American companies is attributed to U.S. military operations overseas and acquisitions of large weapon systems by other countries have driven this rise.

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"The South Korean ministry of defense now procures its weapons from domestic producers, instead of importing them from foreign suppliers", noted Fleurant, director for SIPRI's arms and military expenditure program. Russian Federation accounts for over seven per cent of total arms sale on the planet, according to the SIPRI analysis.

Faced with constant missile and nuclear threats from its belligerent northern neighbor, South Korea is boosting its arms sales and aims to become a major exporter, a study said on Monday.

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

Russian firms rose by 3.8 per cent with United States dollars 26.6 billion arms sale in 2016.

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. Interestingly, there is no specific mention of China in the SIPRI report.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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