Russia remains the world’s second biggest seller of arms behind the United States, significantly increasing its global share in 2010-2015.
As we’ve plowed into the 21st century, worldwide conflicts continue to rage on. As a result, so does the arms trade. Russian defense exports break a historical record in 2014: with almost $15,5 billion of military hardware was sold abroad, expecting up to not less in 2015.
According to Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) calculations, the United States alone accounts for 31% (in 2010 – 30 percent) of the world’s arms exports, and Russia accounts for 27 percent (in 2010 – 23 percent). China has boosted exports by 143 percent, squeezing out Germany from the top three exporters. However, behind those two front-runners, China, Germany, and France all come in at 5%. Clearly, there’s quite the rift.
SIPRI’s study identifies the main clients, or purchasers of arms, as mostly Asian countries. America’s main client is South Korea, followed closely by Israel, UAE and Australia. Russia’s main customers are India and China. Russian weapons were exported to 56 countries, with India, China and Algeria making for almost 60 percent of total sales.
Russia's military is in the middle of a decade-long 20 trillion ruble ($295 billion) rearmament drive, which is seeing massive amounts of state funding — around 2 trillion rubles in 2015 — funneled into the pockets of defense industry enterprises, while Russian manufacturing in other sectors stalls.
For clarity’s sake, here is the list of the world’s top 10 arms exporters, along with their respective shares of global exports between 2010 and 2014, from SIPRI:
1 United States: 31%
2 Russia: 27%
3 China: 5%
4 Germany: 5%
5 France: 5%
6 U.K.: 4%
7 Spain: 3%
8 Italy: 3%
9 Ukraine: 3%
10 Israel: 2%