Israeli Arms Dealers See Sales Increase Despite Global Slump

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The Hermes 900 unmanned aerial vehicle manufactured by Elbit Systems Ltd.
The Hermes 900 unmanned aerial vehicle manufactured by Elbit Systems Ltd.Credit: Bloomberg

Israel’s major arms manufacturers have seen sales increase, even as other global companies experienced a decrease in sales, according to statistics from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute released Monday.

The world’s 100 largest arms sellers sold weapons totaling $370 billion last year. This is a 0.6% decrease from the previous year - and marks the fifth consecutive year sales decreased - primarily due to a drop in sales by the United States, the world’s largest arms seller.

The data does not include China or North Korea, both of which are major arms sellers.

Israel’s major arms sellers saw a 10% increase in sales. Israel is listed as the seventh largest arms seller in the world, with its companies accounting for 2.1% of global sales. First is the United States, with 56.6% of all sales, Britain (10.6%), Russia (8.1%), France (5.8%), other European nations, and Italy (2.9%).

According to the data, Israel’s Elbit Systems was the world’s 29th largest arms seller, with $2.95 billion in weapons sales. Israel Aerospace Industries was 32nd on the list, with $2.78 billion in weapons sales. Weapons and weapons systems accounted for 75% of the company’s sales, according to the data.

Another Israeli arms manufacturer, Rafael, rose from 52nd in the 2014 list to 43 in last year’s list. Sales of weapons and weapons systems account for 95% of the company’s sales, and totaled $1.98 billion.

The world’s largest arms sellers were once again the companies that sold the world’s militaries their military aircraft. Lockheed Martin, which manufactures the F35 fighter jet, among others, sold weapons and weapons systems totaling $36.44 billion, or 79% of the company’s total sales.

The American companies in the top-100 list had arms sales totaling $209.7 billion, a decrease of 2.9% from 2014.

Weapons and weapons systems sales by Thyssenkrupp, the German manufacturer at the center of the submarine affair in Israel, decreased to $1.89 billion. Weapons sales account for only 4% of the company’s total sales.

The SIPRI Arms Industry Database was created in 1989 to track arms-producing companies worldwide, the NGO explains.

Arms sales are defined as sales of military goods and services to military customers, including sales for domestic procurement and sales for export, SIPRI explains. Changes are calculated in real terms and country comparisons are only for the same companies over different years, the NGO adds.

Israel is on its list of “established producers” along with Australia, Japan, Poland, Singapore and Ukraine.

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