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Trends in International Arms Transfers, 2020

Trends in international arms transfers, 2020
Publisher: SIPRI
SIPRI, Stockholm:
March, 2021

The volume of international transfers of major arms in 2016–20 was 0.5 per cent lower than in 2011–15 and 12 per cent higher than in 2006–10. The five largest arms exporters in 2016–20 were the United States, Russia, France, Germany and China. The five largest arms importers were Saudi Arabia, India, Egypt, Australia and China. Between 2011–15 and 2016–20 there were increases in arms transfers to the Middle East and to Europe, while there were decreases in the transfers to Africa, the Americas, and Asia and Oceania.

From 15 March 2021 SIPRI’s open-access Arms Transfers Database includes updated data on transfers of major arms for 1950–2020, which replaces all previous data on arms transfers published by SIPRI. Based on the new data, this Fact Sheet presents global trends in arms exports and arms imports, and highlights selected issues related to transfers of major arms.


Pieter D. Wezeman is a Senior Researcher in the SIPRI Arms Transfers Programme.
Alexandra Kuimova Alexandra Kuimova is a Researcher with UNIDIR’s Conventional Arms and Ammunition Programme. She was previously a Researcher with the SIPRI Arms Transfers Programme.
Siemon T. Wezeman is a Senior Researcher in the SIPRI Arms Transfers Programme.