World Arms Sales Rise, Dominated by US, Western Europe

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Arms sales by the world's top 100 defence contractors, meanwhile, rose a year ago 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). According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), the sales of arms registered increase in 2016 for the first time since 2010.

SIPRI's report found that Russian weapons sales increased by 3.8 percent, totaling $26.6 billion in 2016. Lockheed Martin's sales grew by 10.7 percent previous year, which report co-author Aude Fleurant, who directs of SIPRI's Arms and Military Expenditures Program, attributed to "the acquisition of helicopter producer Sikorsky in late 2015 and higher delivery volumes of the F-35 combat aircraft".

The arms sales of U.S. companies grew by 4.0 per cent in 2016, with a combined total of United States dollars 217.2 billion.

Germany registered an increase of 6.6 per cent in sale of weapons primarily on the account of sales of armoured vehicle producer Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and land systems producer Rheinmetall.

USA companies dominate global arms sale with 58 per cent share.

"The increasing nuclear weapons capability in North Korea has led to major investments in South Korea", Sipri senior researcher Pieter Wezeman told Agence France-Presse.

According to the report, geopolitical tensions in the South China Sea, West Asia, and the Indian sub-continent has fuelled a rise in arms imports in West Asia and the Asia-Oceania, with the two regions contributing to 72 percent of all arms imports during 2012-2016 as compared to 2007-2011.

Relatively rich western European companies reported stable arms sales while Russian Federation showed declining growth.

Germany and the United Kingdom respectively posted a 6.6 percent and 2 percent growth in arms sales past year. "At the same time", Wezeman added, "South Korea is aiming to realize its goal of becoming a major arms exporter".

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.

The growing threat from North Korea and demand for advanced fighter jets helped spur the first increase in global arms sales in six years, a leading research institute said Monday.

"Arms sales" are defined by SIPRI as sales of military goods and services to military customers, including sales for domestic procurement and sales for export. In the first half of 2018, SIPRI will release its worldwide arms transfers data (details of all worldwide sales, transfers and gifts of major weapons in 2017) as well as its world military expenditure data (comprehensive information on global, regional and national trends in military spending).

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