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US defence market the largest arms exporter in the world

Industry Sector



24 September 2012


Matt Bodimeade

Type of News


Expenditure within the US defence market is expected to decrease from 4.1% of GDP in 2012 to 3.1% of GDP by 2017, despite the engagement of the country's troops in missions in Afghanistan and many other countries worldwide.

Overall, the country's defence expenditure is forecast to decrease from US$645.7 billion in 2012 to US$611.0 billion in 2017, leading to a reduction in procurement funding. Such a reduction has had a negative impact on a number of defence projects, and has resulted in delays and cancellations.

With the US defence budget for 2012 valued at US$645.7 billion, the nation has the largest defence market in the world.

The industry is the largest net exporter, and one of the largest contributors to the nation's gross exports at $89.6 billion, with a larger portion made up of commercial aircraft bound for foreign carriers.

As a consequence of its highly developed domestic defence industry, the country emerged as the largest arms exporter in the world. Furthermore, countries such as South Korea, Australia, and the UAE are dependent on the US for procuring advanced technology weapon systems such as fighter jets, missile defence systems, and armoured vehicles.

Threats from North Korea and Iran, modernisation initiatives, an arms race with China and Russia, ongoing military operations, and the protection of allies are expected to drive the defence spending of the US.

Due to its high levels of military spending, a large number of opportunities are available to companies keen to supply the nation with defence equipment.

However, the US defence budget, which declined at a CAGR of -0.77% through 2007-2011, is expected to record a CAGR of -0.12% to 2017, largely due to the financial constraints caused by the global financial crisis.

For more information on the US defence market, see the latest research: US Defence Market Report

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