Procurement: The Big Four Exporters

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October 2, 2007: The market for arms exports continues to be dominated by the United States ($17 billion last year), Russia ($8.7 billion), Israel ($4.5 billion) and Britain ($3.1 billion). These four nations account for about two-thirds of weapons exports. Russia and Israel are the two new powers in the arms exports area. Russian exports have more than doubled in the last four years, and Israel did nearly as well. The total global arms market is about $45 billion, and growing. It declined when the Cold War ended, but has since been making a comeback. For decades, the United States has held on to at least a third of those sales, and continues to do so. Russia used to be a much bigger player, but the end of the Cold War led to a major disillusionment with Russian weapons. Partly, that was due to the timing of the 1991 Gulf War, coming at the same time as the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The 1991 battles were just another reminder that those who bought Russian, tended to lose big time. Since then, Russia has rehabilitated the quality, and reputation, of its weapons. But not so much that they are running a close second to the United States in the worlds arms markets.

 


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