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Friday, February 16, 2024

US dominating global arms trade

The revenues of the 42 American firms in the top 100 accounted for 51% of total weapons sales

Sales of weapons and military services by the world’s top 100 arms makers totaled $597 billion last year, according to a report released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) on Monday. US firms continued to dominate the market despite seeing their overall revenues fall, according to the watchdog.

The combined figure for the top 100 arms companies marked a year-on-year decline of 3.5%, but was still 14% higher than the total recorded in 2015.

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US firms saw a combined decline of 7.9% to $302 billion, but still accounted for 51% of total arms revenue in 2022, with 42 American companies represented among the world’s top 100. The revenues of the 26 European weapons makers in the rankings saw a slight increase of 0.9% to $121 billion.

According to SIPRI, the global decrease was mainly due to diminished revenues among major weapons producers in the US, where the sector struggled with “supply chain issues and labor shortages” related to the coronavirus pandemic.

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SIPRI highlighted that global weapons production has lagged behind demand, which sharply increased last year due to the Ukraine conflict and global geopolitical tensions.

Moreover, numerous countries placed orders for weapons and military services at the end of 2022, the revenue from which is only expected to be reflected in company accounts in two to three years’ time.

Arms makers in Asia and the Middle East saw their revenues increase significantly last year, according to SIPRI, which said this demonstrated “their ability to respond to increased demand within a shorter time frame.” 

State-run Rostec and the United Shipbuilding Corporation were the only two Russian companies in SIPRI’s top 100. Their total income amounted to $20.8 billion, marking a 12% decline year-on-year.