Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Killer Facts: The scale of the global arms trade


22 August 2016, 00:01 UTC

Transfers of heavy conventional weapons

The top 10 exporters of conventional arms (excluding small arms/ light weapons – SALW) 2010-15
USA                     US$55.006 billion
Russia                  US$42.404 billion
China                   US$9.943 billion
Germany              US$ 9.467 billion
France                 US$ 8.932 billion
UK                       US$ 7.627 billion
Spain                   US$ 5.310 billion
Italy                      US$ 4.360 billion
Ukraine                US$ 4.156 billion
Israel                 US$ 3.280 billion

The top 10 importers of conventional arms (excluding SALWs) 2010-15
India                   US$23.124 billion
Saudi Arabia           US$11.002 billion
China                  US$7.726 billion
UAE                    US$7.156 billion
Pakistan              US$6.899 billion
Australia              US$6.711 billion
Turkey                 US$5.410 billion
US                       US$5.220 billion
South Korea             US$5.011 billion
Singapore             US$4.344 billion
[Source: SIPRI]

Between 1992 and 2015, the United States reported transfers of heavy conventional weapons to the UN Register of Conventional Arms totalling:
  • 5,570 Battle tanks
  • 12,208 Armoured combat vehicles
  • 4,097 Large-calibre artillery system
  • 1,686 Combat aircrafts
  • 672 Attack helicopters
  • 51 Warships
  • 24,841 Missiles and missile launchers

The Russian Federation reported the following totals for the same period:
  • 1,294 Battle tanks
  • 4,052 Armoured combat vehicles
  • 1,637 Large-calibre artillery system
  • 664 Combat aircrafts
  • 604 Attack helicopters
  • 36 Warships
  • 26,809 Missiles and missile launchers

Military expenditure

  • Total global military expenditure increased from US$1.14 trillion in 2001 to $US1.76 trillion in 2015, a rise of 50%.
  • Military expenditure in the Middle East has grown from $US130 billion to $US181 billion from 2008-2014
  • Military expenditure in the Asia/Oceania increased from $US311 billion to $US450 billion from 2008-2015
  • In 2015, Saudi Arabia spent the equivalent of 13.7% of its GDP on arms; in the same year South Sudan spent 13.8% of GDP on arms.

Top companies

  • Total arms sales from the top 100 arms-producing and military services companies in the world (excluding China) rose by 104% from 2002-2013 and in 2013 stood at US$401 billion.
  • The top 10 arms companies on this list made profits of over US$26 billion in 2014.
[Source: SIPRI – figures in constant 2011 prices/exchange rates excluding small arms/light weapons]

Armed violence

  • Just under 500 people a day die from firearm homicide worldwide[Source: UNODC Global study on homicide 2013] - most in non-conflict settings. In addition, an estimated 2,000 more are injured.[Source: Small Arms Survey]
  • At least 2 million people around the world are living with firearm injuries in non-conflict settings; millions more suffer the profound psychological effects that firearms violence brings to individuals, families and the wider community. [Source: Small Arms Survey]
  • An estimated three-quarters of all small arms in the world are privately owned – approximately 650 million out of 875 million as of 2007, though the numbers are likely to have grown since then.[Source: Small Arms Survey]
  • 41% of all homicides are committed with firearms, rising to 66% in the Americas. [Source:UNODC Global report on homicide]

Small arms

  • The United Nations Register of Conventional Arms registered the export of 1,808,904 firearms in 2013 - a considerable underestimate since only 25 Member States reported data on firearms. A more accurate estimate of the annual international trade in firearms is at least 4.6 million firearms. [Source: Small Arms Survey]
  • The number of firearms in civilian hands in the USA is approximately one per head of population.
  • From 2010-13 states reporting to the UNODC registered seizures of over 700,000 illicit firearms and 100 million rounds of ammunition.[Source: UNODC]
  • Eight million new small arms and up to 15 billion rounds of ammunition are estimated to be manufactured worldwide each year;
  • The authorised international trade in small arms and ammunition is estimated to be more than US$7.1 billion annually. [Source: Gunpolicy.org]

Historical Small Arms Estimates from Small Arms Survey:

  • 35–100 million AK-pattern weapons were produced since the 1950s until 2015
  • 8–12 million AR-15 rifles and derivatives were produced from the 1960s onwards (Bevan, 2013).
  • Approximately 17 million Lee Enfield-series rifles and at least 7 million G3-pattern rifles have been produced to date (Bevan, 2014).

Cluster munitions - from 2015 Cluster Munitions Monitor

  • At least 23 governments have used cluster munitions in conflicts around the world since the end of World War II. As of mid-2015, there were 25 countries still contaminated by cluster munition remnants.
  • On the adoption of the Convention on Cluster Munitions in 2008, a total of 91 states stockpiled millions of cluster munitions containing more than 1 billion submunitions. Since then, 27 States Parties have destroyed 1.3 million cluster munitions and 160 million submunitions - 90% of submunitions declared as stockpiled by States Parties.


China’s military forces neighbours into Asia-Pacific arms race

The Wall Street Journal
12:00AM February 23, 2016
The rapid rise in China’s military spending and a greater assert­iveness in its territorial claims is fuelling an arms race in the Asia-Pacific even though many countries involved have been hit by an economic slowdown, research reports suggest.
Of the 10 biggest importers of defence equipment in the past five years, six countries were in the Asia-Pacific, the Stockholm International Peace Research Insti­tute says in an annual report on arms transfers.
India was the largest buyer of foreign equipment, with China in third position after Saudi Arabia.
Although a country’s spending power is often tied to its economic strength, buyers in the Asia-­Pacific have not slashed military budgets despite their economies coming under strain from falling commodity prices and lower growth in China.
“The slight moderation in eco­nomic activity had little effect on regional military spending in 2015,” the International Institute for Strategic Studies says in a new report.
Last year, China, Japan, South Korea and Indonesia announced plans for higher military spending, the IISS report says.
Lower economic output has driven up Asian military spending as a percentage of GDP to 1.48 per cent, the London-based research organisation says, its highest level since at least 2010.
China leads the way, accounting for 41 per cent of the region’s military spending, well ahead of India at 13.5 per cent and Japan with 11.5 per cent.
Western arms manufacturers last week flocked to the Singapore air show to promote their wares to the region’s government buyers.
Swedish defence equipment- maker Saab AB used the event to unveil two maritime surveillance aircraft based on a Bombardier business jet and a turboprop plane, amid growing demand for monitoring of sea lanes in the ­region.
The Asia-Pacific was an area “where we see significant ­interest at the moment”, said Joakim ­Mevius, who heads Saab’s airborne spyplane business. A first buyer could be on contract in the next two years, he said.
IHS Jane’s forecasts annual military spending in the Asia-­Pacific will reach $US533 billion by 2020 from $US435bn last year.
A big driver of regional concern has been China’s moves to build islands in the South China Sea to boost territorial claims. It has also deployed anti-aircraft missiles on a disputed island in the South China Sea. The missiles were detected on Woody Island, part of the Paracels, claimed also by Vietnam and Taiwan.
“For several of the countries, like Vietnam and The Philippines, that obviously shows that China means it when it says ‘this is ours’,” said Siemon Wezeman, a senior researcher at SIPRI.
There is no sign China’s military spending splurge is about to end. The country’s defence budget was expected to reach $US225bn in 2020 from $US191bn in 2015, having risen 43 per cent in real terms since 2010, said IHS Jane’s analyst Craig Caffrey.
Original post: The Wall Street Journal

Related post:

Beijing Crosses Washington’s ‘Red Line’ in South China Sea

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