Weapons sales in 2016 exceeded the total GDP of all but 26 of the world’s nations

In 2016 the world’s 100 largest arms manufacturers sold $374.8bn of weapons and military services, according to the latest report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

The 2016 figure represents a 1.9 percent increase compared with 2015, and is the first year of growth in Top 100 arms sales after five consecutive years of decline.

According to the report, sales from US firms rose four percent in 2016 to $217.2bn, accounting for 57.9% of the overall total.

Lockheed Martin, the world’s largest arms producer, increased its arms sales by 10.7% to $40.8bn, driven largely by deliveries of its F-35 fighter jet.

Concerns over North Korea’s missile and nuclear-weapons programmes helped South Korean companies record a 20.6% sales increase to $8.4bn, the largest total among developing countries.

The latest figures show that weapons sales in 2016 by the world’s largest arms manufacturers exceeded the GDP of all but 26 of the world’s nations according to World Bank statistics for 2016.

The news comes as it was revealed last week by the New York Times that the Trump administration is responding to the threat of a North Korean attack by spending $12.4bn on existing defence systems and new strategies to defeat Pyongyang’s long-range missiles.

The White House has made an emergency budget request for $4 billion to deal with North Korea, in addition to an annual budget of $8 billion already granted to the U.S. Missile Defence Agency.

A further $440 million was moved from other programmes to anti-missile work in October, as the North Korean threat became more serious.

The U.S. envisions stepping up cyberattacks to interfere with the North’s control systems before missiles are launched, as well as drones and fighter jets to shoot them down moments after liftoff. The missile defence network on the West Coast would be expanded for use if everything else fails.


 

Most Read in World