One of the world’s largest weapons manufacturers recorded sales growth of 1.9 percent last year compared to the previous year, and the value of trade reached 374 billion US dollars, according to the Swedish International Peace Research Institute from Stockholm. “Sales growth is expected and strengthened by the implementation of new major weapons programs, then military operations that are underway in several states and long-standing regional tensions, leading to an increase in orders for the production of weapons and war techniques,” the report said. South Korea’s arms manufacturers who are increasingly supplying their army show the highest rate of increase from all countries.
Increased arms production is actually a reflection of the possible conflict with North Korea, and the sale of war equipment and weapons in that country has increased by as much as 20 percent compared to 2016 and reached 8,400,000,000 USD.
The American companies stayed at the very top of this industry with a 4 percent increase in sales, or more than 217 billion US dollars, which is as much as 58 percent of world trade. The US defense firm, Lockheed Martin, the world’s largest producer, had a sales increase of 11 percent in 2016 thanks to an increase in the delivery of F-35 fighters and their Sikorsky-based helicopter company.
Aude Flojart, of the Swedish Institute, says he is confident that US revenue growth will likely continue. President Trump wants to increase the Pentagon budget and renew the US nuclear arsenal. And the sales of Russian companies rose by 3.8 percent to $ 26.6 billion, a bit slower than the previous year.
Moscow has spurred spending to revise its military capabilities, but procurement has recently slowed down due to the financial situation in the country.
“Russia is seriously affected by a drop in oil and gas prices on the world market,” Flojrant says. He pointed to regional disputes, such as the situation with the islands in the South China Sea, which is also the main reason for increased arms sales. The area is crucial for ship traffic, as it is a corridor for thousands of ships, and is rich in oil and gas reserves.
As a result, all the countries in the region, which are China, Taiwan, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei, have interests in this aquatorium. It has been reported that since 2014, tensions have risen in China, when the sandy spruce has turned into islands and built an airport, harbor and armed with modern anti-aircraft systems to warn US warships and planes to leave the area
“Other countries, like Vietnam, have ordered submarines and patrol planes because the move by Chinese authorities is considered aspiring to that territory.”