Global arms industry: First rise in arms sales since 2010, says SIPRI

Gripen a Swedish fighter aircraft performs at the opening ceremony of Aero India 2017 at Yelahanka air base in Bangalore India Tuesday Feb. 14 2017

Global arms and military services sales rose for the first time since 2010, with India, Saudi Arabia, UAE, China and Algeria emerging as the top importers during the five year period of 2012-2016, a Firstpost analysis of the latest Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) report on global arms sales showed.

Based on sales by the world's 100 biggest arms producers, the report pointed at an increase of 1.9 percent (based on 2015 United States dollar values) from 2015 with $374.8 billion spent on arms and military services.

This is 1.9% higher than the previous year, and is the first uptick after five consecutive years of decline.

The total arm sales were equivalent to almost 0.5 percent of global Gross Domestic Product, up 38 percent since 2002, Anadolu Agency reported.

The British companies reported 2 per cent increase in sales of arms while more variations were seen in other major exporters of weapons including France, Italy and Germany.

According to the report, sales from U.S. firms rose four percent in 2016 to $217.2bn, accounting for 57.9% of the overall total. Russian companies accounted for 7.1% of the overall total.


"Continuing and rising threat perceptions drive South Korea's acquisitions of military equipment, and it is increasingly turning to its own arms industry to supply its demand for weapons", said SIPRI senior researcher and report co-author Siemon Wezeman, pointing to the mounting nuclear tensions between North Korea and the United States, a long-time ally of South Korea.

'Germany's 6.6 per cent increase in arms sales for 2016 is mainly due to the growth in sales of armoured vehicle producer Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (12.8 per cent) and land systems producer Rheinmetall (13.3 per cent),' says SIPRI Senior Researcher Pieter Wezeman.

Relatively rich western European companies reported stable arms sales while Russian Federation showed declining growth. Besides the usual dominance by companies in USA and Europe, South Korea has emerged as the dark horse that is slowly cementing its position as one of the "established players" in global arms sales.

The SIPRI has placed South Korea among the emerging producers, which also covers Indian and Brazilian companies. Japan is clubbed with Australia, Israel, Poland, Singapore and Ukraine under other established producers' category.

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.

Over half the 20 weapon sellers listed by SIPRI in its report were U.S companies.

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