Western arms makers see sales fall, Russia rises: SIPRI

STOCKHOLM: Arms manufacturers in North America and Western Europe dominated international arms sales in 2014, but their market share dropped while Russian and Asian companies saw theirs rise, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) reported Monday.

Total turnover for the 100 biggest arms and military services companies declined for the fourth year in a row, falling by 1.5 percent from 2013 to stand at $401 billion (364 billion euros).

The top company was US-based Lockheed Martin, which saw sales grow by 3.9 percent to $37.5 billion for 2014.

Companies based in Western Europe and the United States continue to dominate the top 100, with 80 percent of the total market share. But sales for Western European and US companies decreased by 3.2 percentage points between 2013 and 2014.

In Western Europe “a large part of the defence spending, which is missing, is from procurement.

It’s easier to cut procurement than to cut salaries — so the quickest thing to do is just buy less,” said Siemon Wezeman, a senior researcher at SIPRI’s Arms and Military Expenditure Programme.

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