Date: 17 December 2018

Russia Boosts its Armaments Production, US Remains Global Leader

Russia became the world’s second largest arms producer, according to an annual study by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). Russian companies seemingly surpassed the United Kingdom, though ranking behind U.S. manufacturers. World’s weapons production keeps increasing every year while two top countries seem to reflect the existing political reality, with particular regard to the arms race between the United States and Russia.


In 2017, Russian arms sales increased by 8.5 percent compared to 2016, rising to 37.7 billion dollars. This accounts for a significant growth in sales while such a tendency has continued unabated since 2011. Russia’s outstanding results stem from the consolidation of the domestic market, a fact that can be observed for over a decade, and its activity on foreign markets, mainly related to Moscow’s political offensive and its search for new allies and partners. Both political and economic agreements are usually accompanied by arms deals as weapons systems are most attractive for Moscow’s partners if to take into account the price-quality ratio. Furthermore, the country’s weapons industry benefits from modernization program for the army as it submits large arms orders. Importantly, Russia’s state-run armaments company Almaz-Antey, which produces modern air defense systems, has for the first time made it into SIPRI’s Top 10. In 2017, Almaz-Antey sold arms worth a total of 8.6 billion dollars, boosting its profits by 17 percent. There are also three other Russian companies to report an increase in their weapons sales of more than 15 percent. Among them are United Engine Corporation (25 percent), High Precision Systems (22 percent) and Tactical Missiles Corporation (19 percent).

In 2017, the world’s weapons production rose for the third consecutive year whilst sales of the world’s top 100 armaments companies amounted to 398.2 billion dollars, increasing by 2.5 percent compared to 2016. American firms still dominate over world’s weapons market as they account for 57 percent of global arms sales while Russian manufacturers – 9.5 percent. Russia has overtaken the United Kingdom to become the world’s second largest weapons producer, a position that had been occupied by the Britons since 2002. There are 42 U.S. companies listed in SIPRI Top 100, compared to only 10 Russian ones.

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