Global arms trade: US increased dominance, Ukraine's precipitous fall

Author : News Agency

Source : 112 Ukraine

Ukraine's has recently been among the top five major world arms suppliers; it is not even in the top ten today
13:31, 13 March 2019

112 Agency

Slowly but surely. Ukraine continues to lose its positions as an exporter of weapons. A country that has recently been among the top five major world arms suppliers is not even in the top ten today.

Who has bypassed it and how is the situation on the international arms market in general? Let's try to understand by analyzing the data from the Stockholm Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) in this area.

Ukraine dropped to 12th position

According to the SIPRI report "Trends in the World Arms Trade, 2018" released a few days ago, over the past five years, the export share of Ukrainian weapons on the world market has fallen by 47%.

Related: Canada may use Ukraine's middle-class Antonov aircraft, - official

According to the researchers, from 2009 to 2014 it was 2.7%, but in the period from 2014 to 2018, it almost halved to 1.3%.

Thus, our country dropped from the eighth to the 12th position in the rating of the world's largest suppliers of weapons. And sometime earlier, it was among the top five exporters...


The 25 largest exporters of major arms and their main clients, 2014–18 (SIPRI)

Why did it happen? Due to Russian aggression.

The fact is that for many years Russia has been considered the main importer of Ukrainian weapons, but after the annexation of Crimea in 2014, these trade relations were gradually terminated at the initiative of Kyiv.

"As of 2018, the Russian Federation does not longer import its main weapons and does not have outstanding orders from the foreign suppliers," the researchers stress.

The main buyer of Ukrainian weapons today is China.

Related: Ukraine needs free trade with China, - Ministry of Economic Development and Trade

In addition, according to researchers, Kyiv also supplies large quantities of weapons to Thailand.

It should be noted that, despite the armed conflict, Ukraine was not included in the rating of the largest weapon buyers according to SIPRI.

According to researchers, in 2014-2018, arms imports to Ukraine were limited.

Ukroboronprom also worsens the indicators

Against the background of the current “weapons fiasco,” we should recall another SIPRI report - “Top 100 military-industrial companies, 2017.”


It appeared in the middle of December 2018 and became evidence of Ukraine’s fall as a manufacturer of weapons.

Related: Embezzlement in Ukraine’s Army: Security Service do not affiliate perpetrators

During the year, Ukroboronprom state concern, the association of multi-product enterprises in various sectors of the defense industry, has lost two positions in the ranking of the world's largest gunsmiths, ranking 81st.

According to the survey, in 2017, its arms sales fell by 11% to $ 1 billion compared with 2016.

The USA dominates

In general, SIPRI researchers argue that the volume of international deliveries of main types of weapons has increased over the past five years: by 7.8% compared with 2009–2013 and by 23% compared with 2004–2008.

According to the institute, the United States, Russia, France, Germany, and China are among the top five exporters of weapons. They provided 75% of the total world arms sales.


It is important to note that in 2014-2018, the United States has significantly bypassed its main rival (Russia).

Related: State enterprise Antonov commented on its possible cooperation with Russia

According to the study, the export of American weapons increased by 29% due to the demand in the Middle East, while the volume of Russian arms exports decreased by 17% due to the reduction of arms imports by India and Venezuela.

Thus, over the past five years, the share of the United States in the total volume of world arms supplies has increased from 30% to 36%, while Russia has decreased from 27% to 21%.


In total, the researchers summarize, in 2014-2018, 67 countries declared themselves as weapons exporters.

The Middle East

There are much more parties willing to arm themselves. In 2014 - 2018, SIPRI researchers counted 155 such parties, and these are, first of all, the MidEast countries. They account for 35% of total imports of weapons.



Related: U.S. develops hypersonic weapon to deter Russia

In general, Saudi Arabia, India, Egypt, Australia, and Algeria are among the top five importers of weapons.



Rating of the largest importers of weapons in 2014 - 2018

SIPRI and its reports

The SIPRI Arms Transfers Database is the only public resource that provides consistent information, often estimates, on all international transfers of major arms (including sales, gifts, and production under license) to states, international organizations and non-state groups since 1950. It is accessible on the Arms Transfers Database web page of the SIPRI website.


SIPRI statistical data on arms transfers relates to actual deliveries of major arms. SIPRI measures the volume of international transfers of major arms using a common unit—the trend-indicator value (TIV).

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