Tuesday, 22 February 2011

News Report: Study Says "Top 100 Arms Makers Raised Sales By 8% In 2009"

 Arms sales at the 100 biggest arms makers grew 8 percent in 2009, adjusted for currency fluctuations, to $401 billion, defying the global downturn, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute said on Monday.

This was the highest sales figure since the think-tank, which conducts independent research on international security, armaments and disarmament, started its annual studies in 2002.

"Despite the continuing global economic recession in 2009, the total arms sales of the SIPRI Top 100 of the world's largest arms-producing companies increased by $14.8 billion from 2008," SIPRI said in a statement.
Of the firms monitored, 78 were based in the United States and western Europe, generating 92 percent of the sales.

U.S. firm Lockheed Martin (LMT.N), the previous year's second-biggest, displaced BAE Systems (BAES.L)from the top spot, SIPRI said, leaving the British group at number two.

U.S. Boeing (BA.N) kept its third place, followed by domestic peers Northrop Grumman(NOC.N) and General Dynamics (GD.N).

Susan Jackson, arms industry expert at the institute, said the rate of growth in sales has accelerated steadily since 2005 when it was 2 pct.

"We didn't think the arms industry would feel an immediate impact from the financial crisis," she said, pointing to long delivery times and long-running contracts with governments.

"The overall top producers aren't going to necessarily see an impact in the next year or two," she said.

Arms sales by the Top 100 firms grew 59 percent in the 2002-2009 period, SIPRI said. It said in June last year that overall worldwide military spending surged to a record $1.5 trillion in 2009.

Credit: Reuters

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