COPENHAGEN – A Swedish peace research institute published on Monday its 2017 annual report on global arms sales and military services stating the world’s largest arms producers and military contractor sales totaled $398.2 billion.
According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s (SIPRI) Top 100 International Arms Industry 2017 Report, arms sales grew 2.5 percent, year on year, and pointed out Russia had overtaken the United Kingdom as the world’s 2nd largest arms-supplier.
United States companies continued to dominate the top 100 global share with 42 companies listed, which according to Aude Fleurant, Director of SIPRI’s Arms and Military Expenditure Programme, is due to “US companies directly benefiting from the US Department of Defense’s ongoing demand for weapons.”
With five US companies listed in the 2017 top 10, Fleurant added: “the gap between Lockheed Martin and Boeing, the world’s two largest arms producers, increased from $11 billion in 2016 to $18 billion in 2017,” as the former remained the world’s top arms producer in 2017, totaling $44.9 billion in sales.
These US figures represent a 44 percent increase since 2002 (the first year of comparable data) although said figures exclude China (whose data is considered too unreliable), and marks the top 100 ‘s third consecutive year of growth.
In brief, US arms industry sales grew by 2 percent in 2017, to $226.6 billion, and accounted for 57 percent of global arms sales.
On the other hand, combined arms sales of Russian companies accounted for 9.5 percent of the top 100 total, making Russia the second largest top 100 arms producer in 2017, a position held by UK since 2002. Overall, arms sales of the 10 Russian companies listed in the top 100 rose 8.5 percent in 2017, up to $37.7 billion.
Siemon Wezeman, Senior Researcher with SIPRI’s Arms and Military Expenditure Programme, added this increase was also “in line with Russia’s increased spending on arms procurement to modernize its armed forces.”
In Western Europe, combined arms sales of its 24 companies listed in the top 100 rose 3.8 percent in 2017, to $94.9 billion, accounting for 23.8 percent.