US still reigns as top global arms dealer

Diana Estefana Rubio

US still reigns as top global arms dealer

In 2022, Lockheed Martin was the world's largest arms-producing and military services company, with arms sales amounting to nearly $60bn. Except for three European companies and one Russian, all the world's largest arms dealers were based in the United States or China.

In 2022, global military budgets hit $2.2tn — an increase for the eighth consecutive year. Part of those budgets were used for the procurement of arms.

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), the US is the biggest weapons exporter, accounting for 40% of the total volume of international arms transfers between 2018-2022. Nearly one-fifth of these exports headed to Saudi Arabia, and other significant amounts went to Japan (8.6%) and Australia (8.4%).

France makes inroads in India

Thanks to big sales to India, France’s export volumes have grown considerably (+44%) from the previous five-year period. This has resulted in France leapfrogging the US as India’s second-largest weapons supplier after Russia.

On the other hand, Russia’s exports by volume decreased (-31%) even before sanctions kicked in after the invasion of Ukraine. Its biggest trade partners — India and China — have prioritised developing their own weapons industries.

font change