Arms sales soar for Russian, Asian manufacturers

STOCKHOLM • Arms manufacturers in North America and Western Europe dominated international arms sales last year but their market share has dropped, while Russian and Asian companies have seen theirs rise, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri) reported yesterday.

Total turnover for the 100 biggest arms and military services companies declined for the fourth year in a row, falling by 1.5 per cent from 2013, to stand at US$401 billion (S$565 billion).

The top company was US-based Lockheed Martin, which saw sales grow by 3.9 per cent to US$37.5 billion last year. Companies based in Western Europe and the US continue to dominate the top 100, with 80 per cent of the total market share.

But sales for Western European and US companies decreased by 3.2 percentage points between 2013 and last year, mainly on account of lower defence spending.

Meanwhile, the 36 companies representing the rest of the world on Sipri's list saw their sales soar by 25 per cent, boosted by an almost 50 per cent rise in Russian arms sales.

The combined annual revenue growth of the 11 Russian companies on Sipri's list from 2013 to last year was 48.4 per cent, according to the report. The top Russian company on the list was Almaz-Antey, taking 11th place with a turnover of US$8.84 billion.

Emerging producers, meanwhile, continued to strengthen their presence. Two Turkish arms-producing companies ranked in the top 100: Aselsan, which increased its sales by 5.6 per cent last year, has moved down the ranking from 66th to 73rd; and Turkish Aerospace Industry, which has entered the top 100 at 89th, enjoyed a growth in arms sales of 15.1 per cent.

South Korean companies also raised their profile last year, increasing their total sales by 10.5 per cent compared with 2013. The most recent South Korean entrant to the top 100 is Hyundai Rotem, a military vehicle manufacturer, whose sales jumped from US$430 million in 2013 to US$770 million last year.

A total of 15 Asian companies, excluding Chinese manufacturers, entered the Sipri top 100 list. The Swedish institute does not include China in its list due to a lack of reliable data.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 15, 2015, with the headline 'Arms sales soar for Russian, Asian manufacturers'. Subscribe