World weapon sales up nearly 5%

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Arms sales rose 4.6% worldwide in 2018, in a US-dominated market, according to a report from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute released Monday.

With $ 420 billion, the turnover of the world’s 100 largest arms producers, which is mentioned in the study, is booming thanks to the vitality of the sector in the United States.

At the top of the pack, the American arms industry, which accounts for 59% of the market, represents a turnover of 246 billion dollars, up 7.2% year on year.

“Over one year, this is a significant increase given the already very high level of US arms sales,” insists the director of the weapons program at Sipri, Aude Fleurant, with AFP.

US companies benefit from the Trump Administration’s strategy to modernize its defense to strengthen its position against Russia and China.

Russia, however, remains in second place in the ranking of the largest arms producers, with 8.6% of the market share, just ahead of the United Kingdom (8.4%) and France (5.5%). %).

In Europe, there are also two intercontinental companies, Airbus and MBDA, which are benefiting from increased demand due to “ongoing armed conflicts and significant tensions in several regions,” says Fleurant.

The study does not take into account the case of China, for which the available data are insufficient, notes the Sipri, which estimates however that the country could count between three and seven companies in the Top 100.

China has spent 1.9% of its GDP on defense each year since 2013.

Almaz-Anteï, the first Russian company in the Top 100, climbed to ninth place with a turnover of 9.6 billion dollars (+ 18% compared to 2017), an increase of 15 places since 2009.

“This increase can be explained not only by the strength of domestic demand, but also by continued growth in arms sales to other countries, particularly exports of the S-400 air defense system,” notes the report.

In Turkey, the arms industry is doing well, with two companies in the top 100 and a turnover up 22% year-on-year to $ 2.8 billion.

The country, involved in a long-term armed conflict with the Kurds, is “motivated by the objective of being independent in armaments and thus develops production capabilities in all sectors: land, air, naval, missiles, etc., “notes the researcher.

Since 2009, the world’s largest weapons manufacturer has been Lockheed Martin of the United States ($ 47.3 billion in revenue), whose sales account for 11% of arms sales worldwide.

 

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