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Many countries are modernizing their weapon systems

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▶ According to recent calculations by the Stockholm Peace Research Institute Sipri, the sale of arms and military services of the world’s 100 largest defense companies totaled $ 398.2 billion last year (€ 350 billion). That was 2.5 percent more than the year before.

„Many countries are modernizing their weapon systems,“ says Sipri expert Aude Fleurant, explaining the trend. The tensions in certain countries and regions have also increased the demand for more modern systems.

US companies are still at the forefront of global arms production.

They have increased their sales by two percent and now account for 57 percent of all arms sales worldwide. „US companies are directly benefiting from the US Department of Defense’s continued demand for weapons,“ said Sipri expert Fleurant.

Russian companies increased their production by 8.5 percent – with a share of now 9.5 percent in the world’s arms producers, the country pushed Britain from second place in the ranking.

Accordingly, some of the ten listed Russian corporations even posted increases of 22 and 25 percent.
„In general, arms sales of Russian companies have increased significantly since 2011, reflecting Russia’s increased spending on weapons procurement for its armed forces,“ the report said. Fleurant said, „There is growing tensions between the US and Russia, and this can lead to increased arms purchase expenditures.“ The confrontational dialogue between countries was a cause for concern.

Arms sales of Turkish companies rose by 24 percent in 2017.
„This significant increase reflects Turkey’s ambition to expand its arms industry to meet growing demand for weapons and become more independent of foreign suppliers,“ says Sipri researcher Pieter Wezeman.
The 24 arms companies in Western Europe increased their sales by 3.8 percent to 94.9 billion US dollars (83.7 billion euros). They thus dominate just under a quarter of the market.
Britain remains the largest European arms supplier with a 9 percent share.
The four German defense companies increased their production by 10 percent – thus Germany has a share of 2.1 percent of the worldwide arms sales.
„Many European countries are spending heavily because they are involved in operations such as the Sahel region,“ Fleurant said.

After the killing of the government-critical Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Germany had last responded with a complete arms export stop in the country. According to the Ministry of Economic Affairs, no weapons or other armaments are to be delivered from Germany to Saudi Arabia, whose export has already been approved.