Two Turkish arms makers make it into top 100 list: SIPRI

Two Turkish arms makers make it into top 100 list: SIPRI

STOCKHOLM - Agence France Presse
Two Turkish arms makers make it into top 100 list: SIPRI

Cihan Photo

Two Turkish arms manufacturers have ranked in the top 100 for total 2014 arms sales, according to a report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) on Dec. 14. Russian arms sales also soared, though overall arms sales declined over the course of the year.

Turkey’s ASELSAN and the Turkish Aerospace Industry (TAI) were in the top 100, with ASELSAN increasing its sales by 5.6 percent in 2014 compared to 2013 but dropping from 66th to 73rd. TAI increased its sales by 15.1 percent and entered the top 100 at 89. 

“Turkey is seeking more self-sufficiency for its arms supplies and this, coupled with an aggressive export drive, has contributed to the rapid growth in revenue for ASELSAN and TAI,” said Pieter Wezeman, a senior researcher at SIPRI’s Arms and Military Expenditure Program.

Since 2013 Turkey has been evaluated inside the “emerging producers” category, which tracks the evolution of companies based in countries that have stated goals of military industrialization, such as Brazil, India and South Korea. 

The combined sales of companies in these countries amounted to 3.7 percent of the SIPRI top 100, while their revenue rose 5.1 percent between 2013 and 2014. 

Meanwhile, arms manufacturers in North America and Western Europe dominated international arms sales in 2014, with 80 percent of the total market share, though their market share dropped while that of Russian and Asian companies rose.

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 U.S.-based Lockheed Martin, which saw sales grow by 3.9 percent to $37.5 billion for 2014.

But overall sales for Western European and U.S. companies decreased by 3.2 percentage points between 2013 and 2014.

The 36 companies representing the rest of the world on SIPRI’s list saw their sales soar by 25 percent, boosted by an almost 50 percent rise in Russian arms sales.

“Russian companies are riding the wave of increasing national military spending and exports,” said Siemon Wezeman, another researcher at SIPRI. 

The combined annual revenue growth of the 11 Russian companies on SIPRI’s list from 2013-14 was 48.4 percent, according to the report. 

The top Russian company on the list was Almaz-Antey, taking 11th place with a turnover of $8.84 billion. Almaz-Antey manufactures the BUK missile, which is thought to have been used to shoot down the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 on July 17, 2014 in Ukraine.

Much of Russia’s weapons production is delivered to its own armed forces, but it also has large clients in other parts of the world, including India and China - both big players in the arms race.

Moscow has also provided arms to Syria since the Soviet era, though Damascus is now receiving very little, Wezeman said.