11 Jan 2018

Italy emerges as a player in the arms trade

Arms manufacturing grew in 2016 for the first time in five years. American and British industries lead in the production of weapons, but Italy also has a share of the death market.

Ingrid Colanicchia
Ingrid Colanicchia MicroMega, Italy
Source: MicroMega
Italy emerges as a player in the arms trade - NewsMavens

Why this story matters:

violence, economy

Arms manufacturing grew in 2016 for the first time in five years. American and British industries lead in the production of weapons, but Italy also has a share of the death market.

The arms trade business, after five consecutive years of decline, began to rise again in 2016, reaching $375 billion -- almost 2% more than the previous year, according to data released in December by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

The American and British industries (constituting respectively 60 percent and 10 percent of the market, respectively) stand out, but two Italian companies made the list of the 100 largest arm companies in the world: Leonardo (formerly Finmeccanica, in the 9th place) and Fincantieri (in 54th place).

And Italy may be rising through the ranks of arms producers. According to the MIL€X Observatory on Italian military expenditure, the total Italian armament expenditure planned for 2018 amounts to 5.7 billion, an increase of 7 percent over the previous year.

Details from the story:

  • Arms sales of the world’s 100 largest arms-producing and military services companies totalled $374.8 billion in 2016.
  • Almost 60 percent of the weapons sold worldwide in 2016 were made in the United States
  • The other top weapons producers were the U.K. (10 percent), France (5 percent), Italy (about 3 percent) and Israel (about 2 percent)
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