Military sales by the arms industry’s 25 largest companies totaled US$ 361 billion in 2019, 8.5 per cent more than in 2018, according to a new study released Tuesday by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
The top five positions are occupied by US defence giants. Together with seven other US companies, they represent 61 per cent of global sales.
After the USA, China accounted for the second largest share of 2019 arms sales by the top 25 arms companies, at 16 percent. The six West European companies together accounted for 18 percent.
The two Russian companies in the ranking accounted for 3.9 percent.
For the first time, a Middle East company has become a top arms supplier in the world.
Edge, based in the United Arab Emirates, occupies the 22nd position, and accounts for 1.3 percent of total arms sales of the top 25 firms.
For senior SIPRI researcher Pieter Wezeman, the high demand for weapons from local governments and the will of the countries in Middle East to become independent from foreign manufacturers are favouring the growth of Middle Eastern companies.