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Global arms sales rise for first time in five years

13 December, 2017, 03:56 | Author: Abraham Jackson
  • US military operations overseas lead resurgence of global arms sales

Arms sales by the world's top 100 defence contractors, meanwhile, rose past year for the first time since 2010, to US$374.8 billion (S$507 billion), according to the study by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri). Although the researchers do not consider sales by Chinese companies due to lack of data, they note in the report that China's military spending "has increased nearly threefold between 2002 and 2016", and estimate that nine or 10 Chinese companies likely would be included in the top 100 list-with four to six in the top 20-if the data were publicly available.

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

"Lockheed Martin, the world's largest arms producer, increased its arms sales by 10.7 percent in 2016, reaching $40.8 billion and significantly widening the gap between it and Boeing - the second-largest arms producer", it added.

American producers alone accounted for 57.9% of the total sales figure ahead of the British (9.6%), Russian (7.1%) and the French (5%).

USA companies dominate global arms sale with 58 per cent share. Senior researcher Pieter D. Wezeman told AFP the "increasingly nuclear weapons capability in North Korea" has led to "major investments" in the South.

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. It found that South Korea dominated the "emerging producers" category. 'At the same time, South Korea is aiming to realize its goal of becoming a major arms exporter'.

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SIPRI said that U.S. military operations overseas as well as acquisitions of large weapon systems by other countries drove the rise.

Among those designated as "emerging producers"-companies based in Brazil, India, South Korea, and Turkey-South Korea saw the most notable rise, with sales increasing by more than 20 percent".

Japan reported negative increase of -6.4 per cent. Decline in Japan's arms sale volume is chiefly attributed to sharp falls in sales of Mitsubishi Heavy, Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Mitsubishi Electric Corporation.

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.

Global arms industry trades in green.

This is the first of three major data set pre-launches in the lead-up to the publication of the 2018 edition of the SIPRI Yearbook.

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