Arms market never changes its leaders
Eight Russian companies have entered the list of 100 world's largest arms manufacturers. The list was made by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, SIPRI, on the base of economic results of 2011. The ranking took account of both the sales of military goods and the provision of services.
Two U.S.-based companies top the list. The first place belongs to Lockheed Martin - a company engaged in aircraft- and ship-building. The silver belongs to Boeing, which is widely known in the defense industry for its missiles. The bronze went to BAE Systems, UK, that operates in the aerospace industry. The company was previously ranked as the largest military-industrial company in the world.
Russian companies did not make it in the top ten. The first Russian company appears on the list on the 18th place. This is the United Aircraft Corporation, which moved three steps up during the year, having increased defense sales by one billion dollars - to $4.44 billion. The corporation produces Su, Tu, MiG, Yak military aircraft, as well as civil aircraft.
Another Russian company on the list is Almaz-Antey, which appears on the 22nd place. The concern is engaged in the air defense industry. United Aircraft Corporation Sukhoi was ranked the 38th. Helicopters of Russia took the 40th place. The remaining Russian companies appear on the list almost one after another. The United Engine Corporation comes 61st, the next one (64th place) is United NPK Uralvagonzavod named after Dzerzhinsky - the maker of tanks and other military vehicles. Uralvagonzavod is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest company in the world. The company takes the area of 827,000 square meters. The 68th place belongs to NPK Irkut (aviation), and the 69th - to Radio Engineering and Information Systems.
Lockheed Martin earned over $36 billion in arms sales, Boeing - over $31 billion, and BAE Systems - $29 billion. The above-mentioned Russian companies earned about $19 billion combined.
The results of SIPRI's research can hardly be referred to as objective. The calculations do not take account of the defense industry of China. The country does not expose such information to the general public. The situation with other countries is not so clear either. Russia, for example, has repeatedly faced criticism from Western economic experts for the alleged shortage of transparency in the defense field. On the one hand, it seems to contribute to the defense security of the state, but breeds corruption and power abuse on the other hand.
According to SIPRI, in four years, about 30 percent of global arms exports fell for the United States. Russian companies accounted for 24 percent. The list continues with Germany (9 percent), France (8 percent) and the UK (4 percent). As for consumers, there are no "leaders" here. India buys more than others, but the country accounts for only 10 percent. It is followed by South Korea (6 percent), Pakistan and China. SIPRI left about 5 percent for the last two countries, but it is very hard to calculate anything when it comes to China's defense industry. The remaining 74 percent of purchased weapons were divided between other countries.
Interestingly, the sales volume of arms produced by world's largest companies in 2011 decreased as compared to 2010. In 2010, the turnover made up 411.1 billion dollars and then dropped to 410 billion in 2011.
Experts of the Stockholm International Institute explain the decline in sales in 2011 with the fact that many countries reduced their defense spending. Arms supplies to Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as an arms embargo imposed in Libya also played an important role at this point.