Russia overtakes Britain in weapons export race

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According to the SIPRI report Russian arms sales in 2017 amounted to US$37.7 billion compared with Britain’s US$35.7 billion – Great Britain has been second-place since 2002. The report – which includes both domestic and international sales – concluded that the change was mainly a result of Russia’s continuing upgrade and modernization of its armed forces.

“This is in line with Russia’s increased spending on arms procurement to modernize its armed forces,” SIPRI senior researcher Siemon Wezeman said.

2017 was also the first year when a Russian company – state-owned Almaz-Antey – broke into the ranks of SIPRI’s top ten weapons manufacturers with US$8.6 billion, with a 17 percent increase in sales compared with the previous year. Almaz-Antey’s main products are air defense systems, mounted firearms, artillery shells and surface-to-surface missiles but it also produces various airspace surveillance and artillery guidance radars and a wide range of products for civilian use from navigation and air traffic systems to plastic packaging.

The United States remains unchallenged as the world’s largest weapons manufacturer with US$226.6 billion – more than half of the world total – with Lockheed Martin the largest weapons manufacturing company whose sales of US$44.9 billion are well above total Russian weapons sales.

SIPRI noted, however, that its report did not include data from China which was not available.



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