The 10 countries that import and export the most weapons

Friday 14 August 2015 17:00
Science and Tech
(Photo: JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images

In 2014 global defence spending increased for a sixth straight year, according to a study by business analyst firm IHS.

Defence trade rose by 13.4 per cent to $64.4 billion, or £42.8 billion, at the time of research.

So which countries were most involved in the trade of weapons?

Saudi Arabia overtook India in 2014 to become the world’s biggest buyer of weapons. The country increased its importing of weapons by 54 per cent during the year.

Meanwhile the US was the main beneficiary of the growth in the weapons market, supplying one third of all exports.

Ben Moores, senior defence analyst at IHS aerospace, defence and security, said:

This record figure has been driven by unparalleled demand from the emerging economies for military aircraft and an escalation of regional tensions in the Middle East and Asia Pacific.

The Middle East is the biggest regional market and there are $110 billion in opportunities in coming decade.


The UK ranked fourth for defence exports, with $4.2 billion worth.

The entire arms market was included in the research, except for munitions and small arms - anything under 57mm caliber was not included in the study.

Aircraft accounted for the biggest spending, with $23.2 billion of total exports.

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