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World’s 100 largest defense companies : in second Russian exporters for the first time


The Peace Research Institute Sipri published latest figures on the 100 largest arms companies. The US dominates the market and business is booming. In second place are Russian exporters for the first time. Turkey is catching up massively.

It is well-known and yet always amazing how much a fact is obscured by cheap Sunday speeches from morally dizzying heights. Above all, war is one thing: a profitable business. The figures and data, which the Swedish peace research institute Sipri published on the basis of its annual statistics back to the 100 largest arms companies, make this very clear again.

The arms sales and military services of the world’s 100 largest defense companies totaled $ 398.2 billion in 2017. The defense industry is a model student of the growth fetishists, because the enormous sales figures are not only an increase of 2.5 percent over the previous year and the third consecutive year of growth. Compared with the year 2002, the Stockholm Institute says this represents an increase of 44 percent. However, the figures only partially reflect developments in the arms market, as there are no adequate data for China.

The business of war is dominated by the heartland of the paradigm of eternal growth, the USA. These alone contribute 42 companies to the top 100 list. Four more companies are now in the exclusive round than they were in 2016. In 2017, US sales totaled $ 226.6 billion, an increase of 2 percent over the previous year. In the top 10 are equal to five companies from the United States. First place with a turnover of 44.9 billion US dollars, the class leader Lockheed Martin.

The gap between Lockheed Martin and Boeing, the world’s two largest arms companies, has grown from $ 11 billion to $ 18 billion in 2017, „said Aude Fleurant, director of the Sipris Armaments and Military Spending Program.

Demand determines supply and for the former, as a benevolent middleman, the US Department of Defense keeps taking care of it:

US companies are directly benefiting from the US Department of Defense’s continuing demand for weapons, „the study said.

But new players want to make the horn of armor USA the cornucopia controversial. For example, with a share of 9.5 percent in the top 100 in 2017, the Russian Federation’s weapons factories for the first time became the second largest arms exporter. This pushed Britain through Russia to third place, despite the British government’s co-ordination with Saudi Arabia in the Yemen War. Sales of Russian defense companies among the top 100 sellers increased in 2017 by 8.5 percent to 37.7 billion US dollars.

The first Russian company to be in the Top 10 is the Almaz-Antey Group, which increased its sales to $ 8.6 billion in 2017. According to Sipri, the other Russian companies in the top 100 are United Engine Corporation (25 percent), High Precision Systems (22 percent) and Tactical Missiles Corporation (19 percent).

In Western Europe, the UK continues to dominate with US $ 35.7 billion in armaments sales and seven companies among the top 100 in the market.

Turkey is also cutting off an increasingly larger slice of the cake. For example, sales of Turkish defense companies increased by as much as 24 percent in 2017, „explains Pieter Wezemann, Senior Scientist in Sipri’s Defense and Military Spending Program.