New Delhi: Arms sales in the world has gone up by 4.6 percent in the last two years with American companies dominating the Top 5 positions of world’s main weapon and military supplies, says a report by prestigious Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
Eighty of the 100 top arms producers in 2018 were based in the USA, Europe and Russia. Of the remaining 20, six were based in Japan, 3 in Israel, India and South Korea, respectively, 2 in Turkey and 1 each in Australia, Canada and Singapore.
Three Indian companies — Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and Indian Ordinance Factory (IOF) — were listed among the Top 100 and accounted for 1.4 per cent of total Top 100 arms sales in the world. The combined arms sales of these three Indian arms companies listed in the Top 100 were $5.9 billion in 2018—a decrease of 6.9 per cent on 2017. The decline is mainly a result of Indian Ordnance Factory’s significant 27 per cent drop in arms sales mainly due to reduction in orders from the Indian Army.
The report added that the arms sales by HAL (ranked 38th) and BEL (ranked 62nd) increased in 2018 — by 3.5% and 5.9%, respectively. However, the-se increases were offset by a 27% fall in the arms sales of IOF. HAL sale in 2018 was $2740m ($2647m in 2016), BEL was $1460m ($1379m in 2017) and that of IOF was $1650 ($2258m in 2017).
Interestingly, India’s purchase of Rafale fighter aircrafts saw a swing in fortune for Dassault Aviation Group which registered a sharp rise of 30% which rose to $2.9 billion in 2018 even as other French companies saw a decrease in weapon sales. Egypt and Qatar were other buyers of the Rafale planes.
At $23.2 billion in 2018, the combined arms sales of Top 100 companies based in France were the second highest in Europe. The six French companies accounted for 5.5 per cent of total Top 100 arms sales, SIPRI said.
“There were decreases in the arms sales of three companies. The arms sales of Thales — a systems integrator and the only French company in the top 10 (ranked 10th) — fell by 1.4% in 2018, to $9.5 billion. The arms sales of Naval Group (ranked 21st) and CEA (ranked 47th) also fell in 2018 — by 4.2 and 0.6%, respectively.
These decreases are in contrast to the sharp increase, of 30% , in the arms sales of Dassault Aviation Groupe (ranked 34th), which rose to $2.9 billion in 2018. The increase can be largely attributed to the growth in exports of Rafale combat aircraft to Egypt, India and Qatar,” the report said....