Russia and the U.S. hold onto top spots for international weapons exports

China, France, and Germany complete the list of the world’s top five weapons sellers. Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian nations are major consumers of major weapons from the developed world.

Business is booming for weapons manufacturers. In the period 2012-2016, conventional arms exports increased by 8.4 percent compared to 2007-2011, claims a recent report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

The term, “weapons,” used in this report is defined as large-scale equipment and complex systems, and doesn’t include the sale of small arms, such as automatic rifles and other basic hand-held military equipment.

The U.S. and Russia still control the lion’s share of international weapons sales, with market shares of 33 and 23 percent, respectively. China, which in 2012 increased its share of weapons exports from 3.8 to 6.2 percent, is in third place. France finished fourth with 6 percent, and Germany fifth with 5.6 percent.

U.S. weapons exports to the region are led by:

– AH-64E Apache and H-60M Blackhawk attack helicopters, as well as the CH-47F Chinook troop transport helicopters;

– F-35, F-18, F-15S fighters, and modified F-16s;

– M1A1 tanks;

– TOW 2A, and other missiles.

Russia’s main defense clients are in the Asia-Pacific region. About 70 percent of Russian weapons exports go to India, China, Vietnam and Algeria.

Russia’s weapons exports are led by:

– Su-30, Mig-29 and Su-35 multi-purpose fighters;

– Yak-130 instruction-combat planes;

– Ka-52 and Mi-28 combat helicopters and Mi-17 transport helicopters;

– T-90 modified tanks;

– Anti-aircraft, artillery and coastal anti-ship systems;

– Project 636 submarines;

– Ammunition and light weapons.

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