Weapons sales are on the rise -- here are the top 10 countries exporting arms around the world

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute recently published its 2017 “Trends In International Arms Transfers” report, which details the 25 largest weapons exporters between 2013 and 2017.

The report, which also lists the 40 largest importers, found that international major weapons transfers increased by 10% in the last four years, compared to 2008 and 2012.

International weapons transfers have steadily increased since 2000 after having largely declined around the end of the Cold War, SIPRI reported.

The report also found that weapons sales to the Middle East, Asia, and Oceania have increased in the last 10 years, whereas weapons sales to the Americas, Africa, and Europe have decreased.

Here are the 10 largest exporters:


10. Netherlands

The Netherland’s largest clients were: Jordan (15% of all sales), Indonesia (15% of all sales), and the US (11% of all sales).

The Netherlands accounted for 2.1% of all exports and its exports increased by 14% compared to 2008-2012.


9. Italy

Italy’s largest clients were: UAE (12% of all sales), Turkey (10% of all sales), and Algeria (9.9% of all sales).

Italy accounted for 2.5% of all exports and its exports increased by 13% compared to 2008-2012.


8. Israel

Israel’s largest clients were: India (49% of all sales), Azerbaijan (13% of all sales), and Vietnam (6.3% of all sales).

Israel accounted for 2.9% of all exports and its exports increased by 55% compared to 2008-2012.


7. Spain

Spain’s largest clients were: Australia (34% of all sales), Turkey (14% of all sales), and Saudi Arabia (8.3% of all sales).

Spain accounted for 2.9% of all exports and its exports increased by 12% compared to 2008-2012.


6. United Kingdom

The UK’s largest clients were: Saudi Arabia (49% of all sales), Oman (14% of all sales), and Indonesia (9.9% of all sales).

The UK accounted for 4.8% of all exports and its exports increased by 37% compared to 2008-2012.


5. China

China sold weapons to 48 countries between 2013 and 2017.

Its largest clients were: Pakistan (35% of all sales), Bangladesh (19% of all sales), and Algeria (10% of all sales).

China accounted for 5.7% of all exports and its exports increased by 38% compared to 2008-2012.


4. Germany

GettySoldiers of the Bundeswehr present their weapons during the annual military exercises at the Bergen military training grounds on October 2, 2013.

Germany’s largest clients were: South Korea (14% of all sales), Greece (11% of all sales), and Israel (8.7% of all sales).

Germany accounted for 5.8% of all exports and its exports decreased by 14% compared to 2008-2012.


3. France

France sold weapons to 81 countries between 2013 and 2017.

Its largest clients were: Egypt (25% of all sales), China (8.6% of all sales), and India (8.5% of all sales).

France accounted for 6.7% of all exports and its exports increased by 27% compared to 2008-2012.


2. Russia

Russia sold weapons to 47 countries, plus Russian-backed separatists in Ukraine, between 2013 and 2017.

Its largest clients were: India (35% of all sales), China (12% of all sales), and Vietnam (10% of all sales).

Russia accounted for 22% of all exports and its exports decreased by 7.1% compared to 2008-2012.


1. United States

The US sold weapons to at least 98 countries between 2013 and 2017.

Its largest clients were: Saudia Arabia (18% of all sales), UAE (7.4% of all sales), and Australia (6.7% of all sales).

The US accounted for 34% of all exports and its exports increased by 25% compared to 2008-2012.

The US continues to export weapons to Saudi Arabia, despite its controversial war in Yemen.

You can read the full SIPRI report here.

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