Turkey’s arms deals increased by 22 percent in 2018: report

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Arms sales by two Turkish companies listed in the Top 100 manufacturers in the world increased by 22 percent in 2018, to $2.8 billion, according to a new report published on Monday by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

The increase in arms deals worldwide last year was 4.6 percent, leading the total amount of sales to $420 billion.

US manufacturers alone accounted for 59 per cent of the market, or a turnover of $246 billion, up 7.2 percent on the previous year.

“This is a significant increase over one year considering the already high levels of US combined arms sales,” Aude Fleurant, the director of SIPRI’s arms transfers and military expenditure program, told AFP.

The data excludes China due to a lack of reliable information from Chinese manufacturers, the institute says, adding that China has spent 1.9 percent of its gross domestic product on defense every year since 2013.

Turkey was “driven by the goal of being self-sufficient in arms supply and therefore develop arms production capabilities in all segments (land systems, air systems, naval systems, missiles, etc.),” said Fleurant.

“Turkey is also involved with an enduring armed conflict with the Kurds, which also tends to increase demand for arms,” she added.

The world’s largest arms maker remains the US firm Lockheed Martin, as it has been since 2009, this last year with turnover of $47.3 billion. Its sales alone account for 11 percent of the world market.

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