The Guardian: France is challenging Russia as the second largest arms supplier after the United States
The Guardian newspaper revealed in a report by its chief correspondent, Daniel Bovey, entitled “France challenges Russia as the second largest arms supplier after the United States”.
The report says that France has become a challenge to Russia after an analytical study revealed that French arms companies are expanding their share in the global arms market, especially with increasing demands from countries in the Middle East, Asia and Oceania, during the past five years.
Bovey adds that the study, prepared by the Stockholm International Institute for Peace Studies, shows that France will overtake Russia in this way within one decade, displacing it from the second largest arms exporting country in the world, after the United States.
Bovey explains that the study reveals an increase in French arms exports, constituting 11% of the total international arms export market, between 2018 and 2022, an increase of 40 percent over the previous four years.
Bovey points out that the credit for this increase is due to huge deals concluded by French companies with countries including Egypt, Qatar and India, which are the countries that represent the largest clients for these companies.
The Russian share of the international market declined during the same period by 31%, from 22% in 2017, to only 16% over the past five years.
Bovey points out that the decline in Russian arms exports was greater during the last three years due to the pressures that Moscow faced regarding arms sales to Egypt and China, which are two of the largest arms markets.
Bovey quotes the report that “fighters and helicopters have been among the most prominent Russian arms exports since 1992, as it sold 328 fighters and helicopters between 2018 and 2022, which constituted about 40% of the total Russian arms exports during the same period”.
Bovey concludes by saying that by the end of last year, Russia had only orders for less than 84 helicopters and fighters, and the invasion of Ukraine is expected to put more obstacles to Russia’s ability to market its weapons, because it needs to meet the needs of its armed forces first.