The arms industry is a global industry and business which manufactures and sells weapons and military technology and equipment. Arms producing companies, also referred to as Defence companies or military industry, produce arms mainly for the armed forces of states. Products include guns, ammunition, missiles, military aircraft, military vehicles, ships, electronic Systems, and more. The arms industry also conducts significant research and development.
It is estimated that yearly, over 1 trillion dollars are spent on military expenditures worldwide (2% of World GDP). Part of this goes to the procurement of military hardware and services from the military industry. The combined arms sales of the top 100 largest arms producing companies amounted to an estimated $315 billion in 2006. In 2004 over $30 billion were spent in the international arms trade (a figure that excludes domestic sales of arms). Many industrialized countries have a domestic arms industry to supply their own military forces. Some countries also have a substantial legal or illegal domestic trade in weapons for use by its citizens. The illegal trade in small arms is prevalent in many countries and regions affected by political instability.
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