More weapons sold in 2021 despite supply problems
Sales of the world’s 100 largest arms companies increased by 1.9 percent in 2021 compared to 2020, despite problems in the supply chain due to the pandemic, indicates a report released by a Stockholm institute.
The total number of sales rose to 592 billion dollars (562 billion euros) in the seventh consecutive year of increases, despite the growth rate being below the average of the four years before the pandemic, underlines the International Institute of Studies for the Peace of Stockholm (SIPRI).
In the conclusions, he mentions that many areas of the arms industry have experienced interruptions in the supply chain, including delays in maritime transport and lack of essential components.
“Barring the persistent supply chain issues, we could expect even greater sales growth. Both large and smaller companies ensured that their sales were affected. Some, such as Airbus and General Dynamics, also reported a lack of personnel”, says SIPRI.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine made the situation worse, given that Russia is an important supplier of raw materials for industry, which could hamper the efforts of the United States and Europe to consolidate their forces and replenish their arsenals in the wake of the massive shipments of military aid to Kiev.
“Increasing production takes time. If the problems in the supply chain continue, some arms producers could take several years to respond to the new demand motivated by the war in Ukraine”, warns SIPRI.
Despite some reports pointing to an increase in Russian weapons production, companies in that country have faced problems in accessing semiconductors and have been affected by sanctions imposed by the United States and allies.
The United States maintains world hegemony with 40 companies included in the list and joint sales amounting to 299 billion dollars (284 billion euros), minus 0.8% due to inflation.
As has been the case since 2018, the top five companies on the list are North American: Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Boeing, Northrop Grumman and General Dynamics, in descending order.
Europe secures 27 companies in the top 100 ranking, with joint sales of $123 billion (€117 billion).
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