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Ranked: Share of Global Arms Exports in 2022

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A chart showing the biggest weapons exporters by share of global arms exports in 2022.

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Ranked: Share of Global Arms Exports 2018–2022

In 2022, global military budgets hit $2.2 trillion, an eighth consecutive year of increase.

Part of those budgets were used for the procurement of arms, but which countries are major weapons suppliers, and how do they influence the global arms trade?

We chart out the top 10 countries with the biggest share of global arms exports using data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

Which Country Exports the Most Weapons?

The U.S. is the biggest weapons exporter, accounting for 40% of the total volume of international arms transfers between 2018–2022. Nearly one-fifth of these exports headed to Saudi Arabia, and other significant amounts went to Japan (8.6%) and Australia (8.4%).

Below we rank the biggest weapons exporters by share of total volume traded in 2018–2022, as well as their growth or decline from trends recorded in 2013–2017.

RankCountry% share of global arms exports
(2018-2022)
% change between
2013-17 & 2018-22
1🇺🇸 U.S.40%+14%
2🇷🇺 Russia16%-31%
3🇫🇷 France11%+44%
4🇨🇳 China5%-23%
5🇩🇪 Germany4%-35%
6🇮🇹 Italy4%+45%
7🇬🇧 UK3%-35%
8🇪🇸 Spain3%-4%
9🇰🇷 South Korea2%+74%
10🇮🇱 Israel2%-15%
N/A🌐 Rest of World9%N/A

Russia (16%) and France (11%) rank close together, followed by China (5%) and Germany (4%) to round out the top five major arms exporters.

However France’s export volumes grown considerably (+44%) from the previous five-year period, thanks to big sales to India, which included 62 combat aircraft and four submarines, one-third of all French weapons trade. This has resulted in France leapfrogging the U.S. as India’s second-largest weapons supplier after Russia.

On the other hand, Russia’s exports by volume has decreased (-31%) even before sanctions kicked in after the invasion of Ukraine. Its biggest trade partners, India and China, have prioritized developing their own weapons industries.

South Korea’s Surging Weapons Exports

Another country whose arms sales are skyrocketing is South Korea, which ranks 9th in the overall share of global arms exports, but has seen a 74% increase in its export volumes. Key recipients include the Philippines, India, and Thailand.

South Korean president Yoon Suk Yeol has pledged to grow his country into the world’s fourth largest arms exporter by 2027.

Interestingly, South Korea is one of three countries which is both a top-10 arms exporter and importer (along with China and the U.S.) as it has many takers for domestically produced military equipment, while simultaneously being reliant on American-produced long-range missiles and advanced combat aircraft.

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