18/01/2018 |

Ten Companies Dominate the Global Arms Trade

The world puts $1.69 trillion towards military expenditures per year, and about $375 billion of that goes towards buying arms specifically.

The top 100 arms-producing and military services companies totalled $374.8 billion in 2016, according to SIPRI data. This represents an increase of 1.9 per cent compared to 2015. The USA accounted for 57.9 per cent of this $374.8 billion in 2016, having 38 companies ranked in this Top 100. Combined West European arms sales totalled $91.6 billion. However, Chinese companies are not included in the SIPRI Top 100 list due to the lack of data to make a reasonable estimate of their arms sales. Anyway, the SIPRI Report states that ” at least 9 or 10 [Chinese] companies would almost certainly be in the Top 100 if figures for arms sales were available. Of these, … 2 (the aircraft producer AVIC and the land system producer Norinco) may be in the top 10″.

But most of the weapons worldwide are produced by only 10 companies that sold arms for a total of $195.8 billion in 2016. In other words, of the total of $375 billion, its 99.9% comes from 100 companies, and the world top ten companies are responsible for a 52% of this amount. While it is common knowledge that the United States plays a big role in the global arms trade, the numbers are still quite astounding: firms based in the U.S. make up seven of the Top ten. The ranking is leaded by Lockheed Martin, with $40.8 billion which represent an 11% of the world total amount. Other USA companies include Boeing, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, BAE Systems US and L3 Technologies. European companies include Airbus, BAE Systems UK and the Italian Leonardo.

An interesting Chart by VisualCapitalist, showing the 10 biggest companies by arms sales in 2016, is available here.