US, Western Europe lead global arms sales

By LENNART SIMONSSON | Deutsche Presse-Agentur | Published: January 31, 2014

STOCKHOLM — Arms producers in the United States and Western Europe dominated global weapons sales in 2012, valued at a combined $395 billion, a Swedish-based research institute said Friday.

Of the top 100 arms makers, 42 were based in the United States, one in Canada and 30 in Western Europe. They accounted for almost 90 per cent of global arms sales, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said.

In real terms, arms spending dipped 4.2 per cent on 2011, but remained 29 per cent higher than in 2003, according to the report released on the opening of an international security conference in Munich.

In Russia, spending increased by 28 per cent in 2012, fuelled by higher domestic spending. Six Russian firms were listed among the top 100 arms makers. Almaz Antei was in 14th place, SIPRI said.

"The Russian arms industry is gradually reemerging from the ruins of the Soviet industry," SIPRI arms industry expert Sam Perlo-Freeman said.

He noted that the Russian arms industry was still struggling with "outdated equipment, inefficient organization and widespread corruption."

The 10 largest arms makers accounted for half of global sales in 2012, the last year covered by SIPRI. US Lockheed Martin kept the top spot.

Spending cuts in several European countries saw falls in sales for several firms in the region, including Germany's ship producer Thyssen Krupp and Spain's Navantia

The global 100-list comprised firms from 23 countries, including the addition of firms in Ukraine and Poland.

However, Chinese companies were not included on the list due to lack of data. The think tank said it was likely nine companies in China could have been listed among the top 100 arms sellers.

SIPRI was created in 1966 by the Swedish parliament. The institute tracks military spending and conflicts.


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