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Workers assemble Browning-Inglis Hi-Power pistols at the John Inglis munitions plant, Canada, April 1944

The arms industry is a global business that manufactures weapons and military technology and equipment. It consists of commercial industry involved in research and development, production, and the service of military material, equipment, and facilities. Arms producing companies, also referred to as defense contractors or military industry, produce arms mainly for the armed forces of states. Departments of government also operate in the arms industry, buying and selling weapons, munitions and other military items. Products include guns, ammunition, missiles, military aircraft, military vehicles, ships, electronic systems, and more. The arms industry also provides other logistical and operational support.

It is estimated that yearly, over 1.5 trillion United States dollars are spent on military expenditures worldwide (2.7% of World GDP).<ref>World Military Spending. www.globalissues.org. Retrieved on 2012-05-09.</ref> This represents a decline from 1990 when military expenditures made up 4% of world GDP. Part of this goes to the procurement of military hardware and services from the military industry. The combined arms sales of the top 100 largest arms producing companies amounted to an estimated $395 billion in 2012 according to Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).<ref>Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Sipri.org. Retrieved on 2012-05-09.</ref> In 2004 over $30 billion were spent in the international arms trade (a figure that excludes domestic sales of arms).<ref>Arms trade key statistics. BBC News (2005-09-15). Retrieved on 2012-05-09.</ref> According to SIPRI, the volume of international transfers of major weapons in 2010–14 was 16 per cent higher than in 2005–2009. The five biggest exporters in 2010–14 were the United States, Russia, China, Germany and France, and the five biggest importers were India, Saudi Arabia, China, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Pakistan.<ref name="auto">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> The arms trade has also been one of the sectors impacted by the credit crunch, with total deal value in the market halving from US$32.9 billion to USDefense contractor4.3 billion in 2008.<ref>Defence sector deal-making is finding itself in a war zone, warns report. 12 March 2009. BriskFox. Briskfox.com. Retrieved on 2012-05-09.</ref>

Many industrialized countries have a domestic arms industry to supply their own military forces. Some countries also have a substantial legal or illegal domestic trade in weapons for use by its citizens. An illegal trade in small arms is prevalent in many countries and regions affected by political instability. The Small Arms Survey estimates 875 million small arms in circulation worldwide, produced by more than 1,000 companies from nearly 100 countries.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>

Contracts to supply a given country's military are awarded by the government, making arms contracts of substantial political importance. The link between politics and the arms trade can result in the development of what U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower described as a military-industrial complex, where the armed forces, commerce, and politics become closely linked, similarly to the European defence procurement. Various corporations, some publicly held, others private, bid for these contracts, which are often worth many billions of dollars. Sometimes, such as the contract for the new Joint Strike Fighter, a competitive tendering process takes place, where the decision is made on the merits of the design submitted by the companies involved. Other times, no bidding or competition takes place.

Unimog truck at IDEF in 2007.

Arms industry sections
Intro  History  Sectors  World's largest defense budgets  International arms transfers  List of major weapon manufacturers  Institutes participating in weapon research and warfare simulation  Arms control  See also  References  External links  

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Workers assemble Browning-Inglis Hi-Power pistols at the John Inglis munitions plant, Canada, April 1944

The arms industry is a global business that manufactures weapons and military technology and equipment. It consists of commercial industry involved in research and development, production, and the service of military material, equipment, and facilities. Arms producing companies, also referred to as defense contractors or military industry, produce arms mainly for the armed forces of states. Departments of government also operate in the arms industry, buying and selling weapons, munitions and other military items. Products include guns, ammunition, missiles, military aircraft, military vehicles, ships, electronic systems, and more. The arms industry also provides other logistical and operational support.

It is estimated that yearly, over 1.5 trillion United States dollars are spent on military expenditures worldwide (2.7% of World GDP).<ref>World Military Spending. www.globalissues.org. Retrieved on 2012-05-09.</ref> This represents a decline from 1990 when military expenditures made up 4% of world GDP. Part of this goes to the procurement of military hardware and services from the military industry. The combined arms sales of the top 100 largest arms producing companies amounted to an estimated $395 billion in 2012 according to Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).<ref>Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Sipri.org. Retrieved on 2012-05-09.</ref> In 2004 over $30 billion were spent in the international arms trade (a figure that excludes domestic sales of arms).<ref>Arms trade key statistics. BBC News (2005-09-15). Retrieved on 2012-05-09.</ref> According to SIPRI, the volume of international transfers of major weapons in 2010–14 was 16 per cent higher than in 2005–2009. The five biggest exporters in 2010–14 were the United States, Russia, China, Germany and France, and the five biggest importers were India, Saudi Arabia, China, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Pakistan.<ref name="auto">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> The arms trade has also been one of the sectors impacted by the credit crunch, with total deal value in the market halving from US$32.9 billion to US$14.3 billion in 2008.<ref>Defence sector deal-making is finding itself in a war zone, warns report. 12 March 2009. BriskFox. Briskfox.com. Retrieved on 2012-05-09.</ref>

Many industrialized countries have a domestic arms industry to supply their own military forces. Some countries also have a substantial legal or illegal domestic trade in weapons for use by its citizens. An illegal trade in small arms is prevalent in many countries and regions affected by political instability. The Small Arms Survey estimates 875 million small arms in circulation worldwide, produced by more than 1,000 companies from nearly 100 countries.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>

Contracts to supply a given country's military are awarded by the government, making arms contracts of substantial political importance. The link between politics and the arms trade can result in the development of what U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower described as a military-industrial complex, where the armed forces, commerce, and politics become closely linked, similarly to the European defence procurement. Various corporations, some publicly held, others private, bid for these contracts, which are often worth many billions of dollars. Sometimes, such as the contract for the new Joint Strike Fighter, a competitive tendering process takes place, where the decision is made on the merits of the design submitted by the companies involved. Other times, no bidding or competition takes place.

Unimog truck at IDEF in 2007.

Arms industry sections
Intro  History  Sectors  World's largest defense budgets  International arms transfers  List of major weapon manufacturers  Institutes participating in weapon research and warfare simulation  Arms control  See also  References  External links  

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