Arms Transfers: U.S. and Russia’s Biggest Trading Partners


This post is by Anshool Deshmukh from Visual Capitalist


This graphic highlights trade partners for U.S. and Russia arms transfers

Arms Transfers: U.S. and Russia’s Biggest Trading Partners

The increase in conflicts worldwide, including in Ukraine and the Middle East, has shifted global focus back onto arms transfers between countries.

For decades, countries proficient in arms manufacturing have supplied weapons to other countries in demand of them. At the helm of these trades are the U.S. and Russia, which have accounted for 57% of all international arms trades in the last 10 years.

So who are the largest importers of arms from these two countries, and what is the military value of these trades?

With the help of data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) arms transfer database, the above infographic by Ruben Berge Mathisen visualizes the top 50 biggest arms recipients by value for both the U.S. and Russia in the last decade.

The Military Valuation of Arms Transfers

The military valuation of arms is measured in terms of trend-indicator values (TIV). This valuation reflects the military capability of a particular item rather than its financial value.

Every weapon that falls under the conventional definition of major arms is allotted a TIV. The following are the most common weapons and components to be assigned a TIV.

  • Aircraft and armored vehicles
  • Artillery (>100mm in caliber)
  • Sensors and guided missiles, large air defense guns, torpedoes, and bombs
  • 100mm caliber artillery-armed ships (>100-tonne displacement)
  • Reconnaissance satellites and air refueling systems

Instead of focusing on budget, examining TIV makes it easier to measure trends in the flow of arms between particular (Read more...)