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World’s Top 5 Weapon Exporters

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World Top Weapon Exporter in 2019

The biggest change in the 2011-2015 Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) list of top arms exporters is China – which is rapidly becoming a big exporter of weapons. Though Britain’s share of the world market grew about 10 percent, the aggressive growth of China’s exports bumped the Brits down to No. 6. In descending order, here are the remaining countries in the top 20: Spain, Italy, Ukraine, Netherlands, Israel, Sweden, Canada. Switzerland, South Korea, Turkey, Norway, Belarus, South Africa and Australia.


No. 1 – United States

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US Army in Africa

The United-States maintains the largest exporter of conventional weapons in the whole world. The U.S accounts for over 33 percent of global arms transfers, up from 29 percent in 2006-2010, according to SIPRI.


UNITED STATE TOP CLIENTS 2011-2015 – Saudi Arabia (9.7 percent), United Arab Emirates (9.1 percent), Turkey (6.6 percent) 2006-2010 – South Korea (15 percent), Israel (13 percent), United Arab Emirates (11 percent).

No. 2 – Russia

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Russia remains the second largest weapons supplier in the world with around 25 percent share in 2011-2015, up from 22 percent 2006-2010.


RUSSIA TOP CLIENTS 2011-2015 – India (39 percent), China (11 percent), Vietnam (11 percent) 2006-2010 – China (40 percent), India (20 percent) Pictured: Russian tanks ride through Red Square during a Victory Day military parade marking the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II.


No. 3 – China

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Leaping from the world’s eighth-largest weapons exporter in 2006-2010 (3.6 percent share) to No. 3 in 2011-2015 (5.9 percent share), China is becoming a major player in supplying weapons for conflicts and general defense around the world. China has moved from a net arms importer to a powerhouse exporter in just a few short years, producing its own versions of Russian military hardware as well as developing weapons technology for its own use and for sale around the world.


CHINA TOP CLIENTS 2011-2015 – Pakistan (35 percent), Bangladesh (20 percent), Myanmar (16 percent) Pictured: Dozens of tank crews joined 12,000 soldiers and hundreds of mobile ballistic missile launchers, amphibious assault vehicles, drones, fighter jets, helicopters and other military equipment in a massive parade marking the 70th anniversary of victory over Japan and the end of World War II in Beijing on Sept. 3, 2015. China maintains the world’s largest standing army with 2.3 million troops

No. 4 – France

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France is ranked fourth, while it used to be considered as the third largest weapons exporter until 2006, the SIPRI study shows. The French arms exports are estimated at 8% of the total sales. United Arab Emirates (32%), Singapore (13%) and Greece (12%) are the largest of France’s clients. Among its top sales, France delivered Mirage Combat Aircrafts to the UAE in the last five years. Pictured above, the Dassault Mirage 2000.


No. 5 – Germany

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Germany’s share of global arms exports fell to 4.7 percent during 2011-2015, down from 11 percent in 2006-2010 when its exports had doubled from the previous five years. Germany’s arms exports are showing rapid growth, however, although much of the growth has come from the sale of air refueling tankers to Britain, among other large-ticket items like submarines.


GERMANY TOP CLIENTS 2011-2015 – United States (13 percent), Israel (11 percent), Greece (10 percent) 2006-2010 – Turkey (15 percent), Greece (13 percent) Pictured: U.S. Army 1st Infantry Division soldiers fire Heckler-Koch 5.56 mm G36 assault rifles at a firing range in Orahovac, Kosovo, Serbia, during the NATO-led peacekeeping mission there. Germany delivered 8,000 of these rifles to Kurdish peshmerga forces fighting in Syria. Photo by SSG Vincent A. King/U.S. Army


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