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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 April 2019

Russia overtakes UK as the world’s second largest arms manufacturer

The US continues to dominate the global market, producing almost three fifths of all arms

Russia’s increased spending to modernise its armed forces has driven its rise. AFP
Russia’s increased spending to modernise its armed forces has driven its rise. AFP

Russia has overtaken the United Kingdom as the second largest producer of arms in the world, a study by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute has shown.

The study ranks the total value of arms sales by the world’s 100 largest arms companies, tracking changes in the industry during the past two decades.

Russian made armaments now make up 9.5 per cent of global arms production, totalling US$37.7 billion (Dh138.48bn), with 10 Russian companies making the top 100 arms manufacturers globally, the study reports, an increase that can be traced back to 2011.

Despite the growth of Russia’s market share, the United States continues to dominate the global armaments industry, with a total value of $226.6bn. Forty-two of the top 100 arms manufacturers, including five of the top 10, were US companies.

Siemon Wezeman, senior researcher with SIPRI’s arms and military expenditure programme, said: “This is in line with Russia’s increased spending on arms procurement to modernise its armed forces.”

The study pulls together data on the top 100 arms manufacturers in the world, with the exception of China, where reliable data is unavailable. It noted an overall increase in production of 44 per cent since 2002, the first year for which data is available.

Another riser was Turkey, which saw its arms production rise by 24 per cent, as it attempts to cement its place as a regional superpower.

“This significant increase reflects Turkey’s ambitions to develop its arms industry to fulfil its growing demand for weapons and become less dependent on foreign suppliers,” said Pieter Wezeman, also a senior researcher in the arms and military expenditure programme.

US-based Lockheed Martin remained the world’s largest arms manufacturer, with sales totalling $44.9bn. In total, US arms sales accounted for 57 per cent of arms sales by the top 100 arms manufacturers.

The report added that the US market share was largely sustained by the US military’s demand for armaments. “US companies directly benefit from the US Department of Defence’s ongoing demand for weapons,’ said Aude Fleurant, director of SIPRI’s arms and military expenditure programme.

However, the UK remain western Europe’s biggest arms producer, with BAE Systems ranked fourth in the top 100 – the only European manufacturer in the top 10.

Updated: December 11, 2018 08:55 AM

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