Procurement: September 1, 2005


The international arms trade is growing again. It hit $37 billion in 2004, was well over $40 billion for 2005 and could hit $50 billion this year. This is a comeback from the last peak, $42 billion in 2000. A decline then set in, that hit $29 billion in 2003. The three biggest buyers are China, India, and Saudi Arabia. The U.S. gets about a third of those sales, but Russia, with about half the sales volume of the United States, is catching up. Britain, Israel and France are the other big sellers. Poor nations, who have far better things to spend their money on, account for about half the arms sales. Most major nations build their own weapons, especially basic stuff like small arms, mortars and some armored vehicles. More complex stuff, like combat aircraft, is only built by a few nations, and accounts for much of the exports. Many nations cut their arms purchases when the Cold War ended in 1991. For the rest of the 1990s, there were lots of cheap, Cold War surplus weapons available. But now, most of the cheap stuff is gone, and new, more expensive, gear is all that is available.


Article Archive

Procurement: Current 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close