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Which Country is the Largest Weapons Producer?

 / Go to the mediabankartillery crew of PMC «Wagner» near Artemovsk in the DPR / Go to the mediabankInternationalIndiaAfricaThe NATO proxy war in Ukraine has become a testing ground for weapons makers from across the world. Who are the top five largest arms manufacturers and are they worth their salt?The Ukraine conflict has given a boost to defense contractors on both sides of the Atlantic. Russian enterprise KB Mashinostroyeniya – part of the High Precision Complexes Holding of Rostec State Corporation – has ramped up the production of some of its weaponry by up to 2.5 times since 2022. KB Mashinostroyeniya is famous for its cutting edge 9K720 Iskanders (NATO reporting name SS-26 Stone), a mobile short-range ballistic missile system.American producers of Javelins, HIMARS, and Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (GMLRS) are racing against time to produce more weapons as Ukraine burns through these arms faster than the US can manufacture them. European arms makers are trying to catch up as the Old Continent’s industrial base is «still in tatters» following decades of underinvestment, per the Western press. So, which are the top five countries mastering themselves in weapons production?

Which Country is the Biggest Weapons Manufacturer?

Many countries around the world produce excellent weapons, but the top five manufacturers calling the shots in the global arms market are: 1.The United States 2.Russia 3.France 4.China5.GermanyMilitaryUS, Europeans ‘Depleted’ Their Weapons Stockpile Fighting Russia in Ukraine10 July, 19:58 GMT

How Big is the US Weapons Industry?

The US tops the list of global arms manufacturers and exporters, as per the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). The nation boasted a market share of 40% in international arms exports between 2018 and 2022, up from 33% in previous five years. In general, the US supplied weapons to 103 countries, which is over half the nations on the planet.Per SIPRI, a total of 41% of US arms exports went to the Middle East in 2018–22, down from 49% in 2013–17, with Middle Eastern states being among the top 10 importers of US weapons. Saudi Arabia accounted for 19% of US arms exports, Qatar 6.7%, Kuwait 4.8%, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) 4.4%.© Mass Communication Specialist 3r(Jan. 13, 2022) An F-35C Lightning II, assigned to the “Argonauts” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA 147), prepares to recover on the flight deck of Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), Jan. 13, 2022.(Jan. 13, 2022) An F-35C Lightning II, assigned to the “Argonauts” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA 147), prepares to recover on the flight deck of Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), Jan. 13, 2022.Asia and Oceania accounted for 32% of total US weapons exports, with Japan (8.6%), Australia (8.4%), and South Korea (6.5%) being top three importers in the region. At the same time, a total of 23% of US arms exports went to Europe, mostly to Washington’s NATO partners, the UK (4.6%), the Netherlands (4.4%), and Norway (4.2%). Since 2022, the volume of US weapons supplies to Ukraine has soared sharply.The top five US defense contractors benefitting the most from the nation’s weapons exports are: Lockheed Martin Corporation; Raytheon Technologies Corporation; The Boeing Company; General Dynamics; and Northrop Grumman Corporation.Sputnik ExplainsFact Check: Is NATO Weaponry Superior to Russian Arms in Ukraine?5 July, 18:38 GMT

What Weapons Does Russia Manufacture?

Russia is ranked second with a 16% share of total global arms exports. In 2018-2022, Russia delivered major arms to 47 states.Asia and Oceania accounted for 65% of total Russian arms exports, with India and China heading the list of Russia’s major regional importers; Middle Eastern states received 17%; and Africa got 12%. Per SIPRI, between 2018 and 2022, almost two thirds of Russian arms went to India (31%), China (23%), and Egypt (9.3%). India remains Russia’s largest customer.

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Per international observers, Russian warplanes and combat helicopters have been among the nation’s main export items since 1992. In 2018–22, Russian state-of-the-art combat aircraft accounted for 40% of the country’s arms exports. Among them are fighters of the «4++» generation such as the Su-30 of various modifications; the multifunctional front-line MiG-29; Mi-17V-5/Mi-171Sh military transport helicopters; Mi-35M transport/attack helicopters; Ka-226T light multipurpose helicopters; as well as Mi-26 heavy transport helicopters.

Western observers admit that Russia is also the world’s leading supplier of capable and cost-effective lower-tech weapons such as Kalashnikov assault rifles, towed artillery pieces (the D-30), self-propelled howitzers (the 2S1 Gvozdika and 2S19 Msta), self-propelled multiple rocket launchers like the BM-27 Uragan and BM-30 Smerch, and armored personnel carriers such as the BMP-3 and BTR-70. When it comes to air defenses, Russia's S-300 and S-400 are still second to none.

The list of Russia’s six largest defense contractors in terms of highest total sales include: United Aircraft Corporation (fixed-wing airplanes); United Shipbuilding Corporation (submarines, corvettes, frigates, aircraft carriers); Tactical Missiles Corporation (air- and naval-based missiles); United Engine Corporation (military aviation, rocket engines, and marine gas-turbine engines); and Uralvagonzavod (main battle tanks).© AP Photo / Remy de la MauviniereFrench Air Force Rafale manufactured by France’s Dassault Aviation speeds above Le Bourget airport, north of Paris, during the 44th Paris Air Show, in France. (File)French Air Force Rafale manufactured by France’s Dassault Aviation speeds above Le Bourget airport, north of Paris, during the 44th Paris Air Show, in France. (File)

Does France Produce Weapons?

France is a mature weapons producer and is reportedly challenging Russia as second biggest arms exporter behind the US. According to some estimates, at the end of 2022 France had more weapons on order for export than Russia.Meanwhile, in 2018-22, France accounted for 11% of the global total arms exports, which was 44% higher than in the period between 2013 and 2017. The lion’s share of French arms went to Asia and Oceania (44%) and the Middle East (34%). All in all, France delivered weapons to 62 states between 2018 and 2022, with the three largest recipients being India, Qatar, and Egypt. Together, the three got a whopping 55% of French weapons exports. Among, them India emerged as France’s largest military customer in the chosen period. In addition, in 2022, France struck a deal with Indonesia for the delivery of 42 combat aircraft.CC0 / United States Navy / La frégate Auvergne dans le golfe Persique en septembre 2017La frégate Auvergne dans le golfe Persique en septembre 2017The ongoing surge in France’s arms exports are mainly due to sales of Dassault Rafale fighter jets made by Dassault Aviation. Rafale fighters went primarily to India, Qatar, and Egypt in 2018-22. The second company contributing to the rise in French weapons sales over the past several years was Naval Group, a major French industrial group specializing in naval defense design, development, and construction. The company supplied submarines to Brazil and India, frigates to Malaysia and the UAE, as well as mine-sweepers to Belgium and the Netherlands.France’s top defense contractors are: Airbus SE; Naval Group; Thales; Safran; and Dassault.Sputnik ExplainsWhat are SCALP Missiles and How May They Affect Ukraine’s Counteroffensive?12 July, 17:17 GMT

Does China Produce Its Own Weapons?

China ranked fourth, with 5.2% of total global arms exports in 2018–22. Most Chinese arms exports (80%) went to countries in Asia and Oceania. In general, China supplied weapons to 46 states in 2018–22, with 54% of those exports going to Pakistan. The nation has also been the primary buyer of China’s arms since 1991.Pakistan and China also jointly manufacture some Chinese-origin weapons systems, such as the Al-Khalid tank and the JF-17 Thunder fighter jet, as well as anti-tank missiles, portable surface-to-air missiles, and missile boats.China’s Trump Card? Why Beijing Holds Russia’s Sukhoi Su-35 Fighters in High Regard27 January, 13:16 GMTIn Southeast Asia, China delivers weapons mainly to six countries: Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, and Thailand.It sells weapons to Africa, too: in particular, the Central African Republic, Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Sudan. However, sales to the region constitute only around 19% of Chinese exports. Latin America is yet another destination for Chinese arms: Argentina, Bolivia, and Venezuela all receive either Chinese arms or private security services.In April 2022, China started to deliver its FK-3 medium-range, road-mobile, surface-to-air missiles to Serbia. In June 2022, Argentina expressed interest in acquiring the China-made JF-17 fighter jets.© People’s Liberation Army Air ForceA Shenyang J-16 strike aircraft performs during the 70th anniversary celebrations of the founding of China’s People’s Liberation Army Air Force on November 12, 2019.A Shenyang J-16 strike aircraft performs during the 70th anniversary celebrations of the founding of China’s People’s Liberation Army Air Force on November 12, 2019.Moreover, China has recently emerged the world’s largest exporter of drones, in particular, Wing Loong and the CH-4 models. According to Western observers, China is poised to dominate the low end of the arms market in the future.China’s top five defense corporations include: China North Industries Group Corporation (Norinco) (tanks, long-range suppression weapons, and air-defense); Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) (jet-fighters, trainers, military helicopters, and other airborne weapons); China Electronics Technology Group Corporation (CETC) (defense electronics); China South Industries Group Corporation (CSGC) (light vehicles and firearms); and China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation.Russia’s Special Operation in UkraineUkraine to Receive Dozens of Leopard Tanks in Coming Weeks — Germany3 July, 18:38 GMT

Who are the Biggest German Weapons Manufacturers?

Germany’s top five weapons manufacturers are: Rheinmetall AG; Krauss-Maffai Wegman (KMW); MBDA Deutschland GmbH; Leonardo S.p.A; and Thyssenkrupp AG.Germany accounted for up to 4.2% of the global total arms supplies in 2018–22 which was 35% lower than in 2013–17. The largest share of German arms went to states in the Middle East (36%), Asia and Oceania (32%), and Europe (20%). The country’s largest customers are the Netherlands, the United States, and the United Kingdom, as well as Qatar, Oman, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE.© Photo : Public domain/U.S. Army/Spc. Nathanael MercadoНемецкая самоходная артиллерийская установка PzH 2000Немецкая самоходная артиллерийская установка PzH 2000Germany’s major exports include infantry fighting vehicles (Puma and Lynx); self-propelled howitzers (such as the Panzerhaubitze 2000); tanks (most notably the Leopard 2); cruise missiles (in particular, Taurus long-range bunker-buster air-to-ground cruise missiles); and air-defense systems (such as the IRIS-T a medium range infrared homing air-to-air/ground to air anti-missile system), to name but a few.When it comes to warplanes, the German Air Force is largely reliant on the Eurofighter Typhoon, a European multinational multirole fighter jet manufactured by a consortium of Airbus, BAE Systems, and Leonardo, which operate under the auspices of a joint holding company, Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH.Even though the conflict in Ukraine been a boon for German defense contractors, the nation is also facing certain constraints, crippled by de-industrialization, unfolding recession, and uncertainty surrounding future energy supplies.Economy‘A Form of Suicide’: Germany’s Economic Woes Created by Its Own Sanctions Policy13 July, 19:12 GMT


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