International arms transfers

SIPRI conducts research on arms transfers to or from particular regions, sub-regions, states or non-state actors aimed at both increasing the fundamental understanding of the impact of arms transfers and to support policymaking and policy implementation.

An important aim of SIPRI’s research is to contribute to greater transparency as a means of ensuring responsible international arms transfers, thereby helping to prevent violent conflict, alleviate tensions, warn about potentially destabilizing arms accumulations and counter the misallocation of limited resources. We investigate international arms transfers in relation to international security and national foreign and defence policies; inter-state relations; states’ compliance with international commitments such as arms embargoes or the Arms Trade Treaty and national legislation on international arms transfers; and we assess arms procurement against declared defence and security policies.

The SIPRI Arms Transfers Database is a core element of this work. Freely accessible online, it aims to provide valid, reliable and consistent data about the volume and types of major weapons transferred internationally since 1950 and provides tools to identify trends and patterns in international arms transfers at the global, regional and national levels, and relationships between arms importers and exporters.

Arms transfers graphics

The trend in international transfers of major weapons, 1978-2017The trend in international transfers of major weapons, 1978-2017

The 10 largest arms exporters 2013-17The 10 largest arms exporters 2013-17

Global share of major arms exports by the 10 largest exporters, 2013-17Global share of major arms exports by the 10 largest exporters, 2013-17

Changes in volume of major arms exports since 2008-12 by the 10 largest exporters in 2013-17Changes in volume of major arms exports since 2008-12 by the 10 largest exporters in 2013-17

The 10 largest arms importers 2013-17The 10 largest arms importers 2013-17

Global share of major arms imports by the 10 largest importers, 2013-17Global share of major arms imports by the 10 largest importers, 2013-17

The 10 largest importers of US arms in 2013-17 and their share of US arms exportsThe 10 largest importers of US arms in 2013-17 and their share of US arms exports

The importers of US arms 2013-17The importers of US arms 2013-17

The importers of major arms, by region, 2013-17 and 2008-12, per cent of global shareThe importers of major arms, by region, 2013-17 and 2008-12, per cent of global share

Arms imports by states in the Middle EastArms imports by states in the Middle East

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