The independent resource on global security

Trends in international arms transfers, 2009

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Publisher: SIPRI
March, 2010

The SIPRI Arms Transfers Database now contains information on all international transfers of major conventional weapons from 1950 to the end of 2009. It is the only publicly available resource providing consistent data on international arms transfers for this length of time. This Fact Sheet describes the trends that are revealed by the new data.

The volume of international transfers of major conventional weapons for the period 20052009 is 22 per cent higher than for the period 20002004. Combat aircraft accounted for 27 per cent of the volume of international arms transfers. These weapon systems are potentially destabilizing, and orders and deliveries have led to arms race concerns in regions of tension in Latin America, the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia and South East Asia.

The five biggest arms suppliers for the period 20052009 were the USA, Russia, Germany, France and the UK. The five biggest recipients were China, India, South Korea, the UAE and Greece. The volume of arms transferred to the two largest importers—China and India—decreased by 20 per cent and 7 per cent, respectively, in 20052009 in comparison with 20002004.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)/EDITORS

Paul Holtom was the Director of the SIPRI Arms Transfers Programme.
Siemon T. Wezeman is a Senior Researcher with the SIPRI Arms and Military Expenditure Programme.
Mark Bromley is the Co-Director of the SIPRI Dual-Use and Arms Trade Control programme.
Pieter D. Wezeman is a Senior Researcher with the SIPRI Arms and Military Expenditure Programme.