Procurement: Quality Still Beats Price


March 25, 2016: While China and Israel continue increasing their weapons exports these two nations together only account for about seven percent of weapons exports. Meanwhile the United States and Russia, long the two biggest weapons exporters have increased their combined share of arms exports from about 50 percent to nearly 60 percent. The growth of American, Russian, Chinese and Israeli exports comes largely at the expense of European exporters. Thus China (now six percent) has replaced Germany (now five percent) as the number three exporter.

While Russia accounts for a quarter of all arms exports half those exports go to India and China and both nations are a shrinking market for Russian weapons. The Indians have been buying more Western weapons and found the high prices worth of it because of the superior performance, reliability and tech support. China has similar problems with most (about 70 percent) of its sales going to three South Asian nations (Pakistan, Bangladesh and Burma) that have fragile economies and are constantly tempted to follow the Indian example and buy the more capable (and expensive) Western stuff.

In contrast the biggest customers for American arms are the Arab oil states, who account for about a quarter of American exports but are much more credit-worthy (and satisfied) customers. Beyond that American sales are to a much larger number of countries.


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