International arms transfers


SIPRI researchers have been studying international arms transfers since 1968. Research is currently divided into three areas: Measuring international arms transfers; Transparency in international arms transfers; and Controlling international arms transfers. Research findings are presented in the SIPRI Yearbook and other SIPRI and non-SIPRI publications. SIPRI also maintains the Arms Transfers Database - which includes information on all international transfers of major conventional weapons since 1950 - as well as a database of all international and multilateral arms embargoes.

The SIPRI Arms Transfers Database
containing information on all transfers of major weapons from 1950 to the most recent full calendar year 2014, has been updated.
Further information on the recent trends are now available to view here

'Russia Is Making Tanks Stylish Again', Vice News, 29 June 2015
'La course aux armements (The arms race)', France Culture, 27 June 2015
'New Military Equipment or Saber-Rattling? Russia Must Choose', Moscow Times, 19 June 2015
'What is the Cost of Fighting Terrorism in Nigeria?' CNBC Africa, 18 June 2015
'Морпехи против Пентагона (Marines against the Pentagon)', Gazeta.Ru, 5 June 2015
'Mideast Gains Clout As U.S. Arms Buyer', Yahoo Finance, 5 June 2015
'Los halcones de la guerra de Medio Oriente (Hawks Middle East war)', Pagina12, 20 May 2015
'U.S. Hosts Arms Bazaar at White House Arab Summit', IPS (Inter Press Service), 15 May 2015
'Vietnam buys submarine-launched land attack missiles to deter China', Reuters, 30 April 2015
'The $18bn arms race helping to fuel Middle East conflict', The Guardian, 23 April 2015 

See more SIPRI in the media here

Recent Publications

Trends in international arms transfers, 2014

Siemon T. Wezeman and Pieter D. Wezeman
SIPRI Fact Sheet
March 2015
Available here

The SIPRI Top 100 arms-producing and military services companies, 2013

Aude-Emmanuelle Fleurant and Sam Perlo-Freeman
SIPRI Fact Sheet
December 2014
Available here

Die französische Rüstungsindustrie. Strategische Autonomie mit Hindernissen (The French defense industry. Strategic autonomy with obstacles)

Aude-Emmanuelle Fleurant, Yannick Quéau
DGAP analysis 15
1 September 2014
Available here

Trends in international arms transfers, 2013

Siemon T. Wezeman and Pieter D. Wezeman
SIPRI Fact Sheet
March 2014
Available here

Arms Trade Treaty assistance: identifying a role for the European Union

Mark Bromley and Paul Holtom
EU Non-proliferation Consortium Discussion Paper
February 2014
Available here

The SIPRI Top 100 arms-producing and military services companies, 2012

Sam Perlo-Freeman and Pieter D. Wezeman
SIPRI Fact Sheet
January 2014
Available here

China's Export of Small and Light Weapons

Mark Bromley, Mathieu Duchâtel and Paul Holtom
SIPRI Policy Paper no. 38
October 2013
Available here


Older publications can be accessed here.

Recent Activities
2nd July 2015, Visby, Sweden

The Almedalen Week

During the Almedalen week, a major annual event in Swedish political life, SIPRI Senior Researcher Pieter Wezeman participated in a panel on the impact of Swedish arms exports on security worldwide. The panel was organised by the Swedish Defence Export Agency (FXM) and other participants came from swedish civil society and government agencies. For more information contact Pieter Wezeman.

25-26th June 2015, Grenoble, France

19th International Conference on Economics and Security

SIPRI Senior Researcher Dr. Sam Perlo-Freeman with the SIPRI Arms and Military Expenditure Programme, attended the 19th International Conference on Economics and Security, held at the Université Pierre Mendez-France, Grenoble, France. Dr. Perlo-Freeman presented a paper on "Capacity and openness: the determinants of military expenditure data availability and quality", co-authored with former SIPRI researcher Dr. Neil Ferguson. For more information on this event contact Sam Perlo-Freeman.

19th June 2015, London, UK

British International Studies Association conference: panel on "Fragile Development 2015-2030:  Understanding how insecurity and poor governance will affect sustainable development

SIPRI Senior Researcher Dr. Sam Perlo-Freeman, with the Arms and Military Expenditure Programme, participated alongside SIPRI colleagues Gary Milante and Rachel Irwin, and Roger Williamson of the Institute of Development Studies, in a panel organized by SIPRI Yearbook publishers Oxford University Press, at the British International Studies Association conference in London on 19th June. Dr. Perlo-Freeman gave a presentation on the nexus between natural resource revenues, corruption, and military expenditure. More information on this topic can be found here or for further information, contact Sam Perlo-Freeman.

15-16th June 2015, Geneva, Switzerland

International seminar on improving transparency, oversight and accountability for any use of armed unmanned aerial vehicles outside areas of active hostilities

SIPRI Senior Researcher Siemon Wezeman with the Arms and Military Expenditure Programme participated in an international seminar on the use of armed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and gave a presentation on recent trends in transfers and the market of UAVs and armed UAVs. The seminar was organized by the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) and the UN Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR). Transfers of UAVs are included in the SIPRI Arms Transfers Database. For more information contact Siemon Wezeman.


Older activities can be accessed here.




Internships with the arms transfer project



SIPRI’s International Arms Transfers, Arms Production and Military Expenditure projects are now combined into one programme, the SIPRI Arms and Military Expenditure Programme.  

SIPRI Arms Transfers Database

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SIPRI Arms Embargoes Database

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SIPRI National Reports Database

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