Three Indian entities among world's top 100 arms manufacturers

Two Indian companies - Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and Bharat Electronics (BEL) - and one entity - the Ordnance Factories Board (OFB) - figure in the top 100 list of arms manufacturers released by disarmament watchdog SIPRI (Swedish International Peace Research Institute) for 2010.

HAL (aircraft and missiles) is placed 34 with total sales of $2.7 billion. Of this, arms sales accounted for 90 percent at $2.4 billion. HAL, in fact, climbed four places from 38 in 2009, when it posted total sales of $2.1 billion.

The OFB (artillery, small arms and ammunition) was ranked 46, up from 55 in 2009. Its total sales were at $2.4 billion, with arms sales bringing in $1.9 billion or 80 percent of its revenues.

BEL (electronics) fell to 71 from 67, with total sales of $1.2 billion, of which arms accounted for $970 million or 80 percent of its revenues.

Interestingly, HAL is one notch above the highest-ranked Israeli company - Elbit Systems (electronics) - which is at 35, down from the 29th it was in 2009. Its total sales in 2010 were $2.6 billion, with arms accounting for $2.4 billion.

India might be sourcing 70 percent of its military hardware from Russia but the highest-ranked Russian company in the list is missile manufacturer Almaz-Antei at 20. Its total sales were $4.4 billion, with arms accounting for $3.9 billion.

The only other Russian company in the top 25 is United Aircraft Corporation at 21, with total sales of $4.2 billion and arms sales of $3.4 billion.

RIA Novosti adds: US military hardware major Lockheed Martin was the biggest arms vendor in 2010 with sales of $35.7 billion, 78 percent of its total sales of $45.8 billion.

Only three companies in the top ten of the SIPRI Yearbook 2012 are not from the US - Britain's BAE Systems (second with sales of $32.9 billion), Europe's EADS (seventh with sales of $16.4 billion) and Italy's Finmeccanica (eighth with sales of $14.4 billion).

"The total arms sales (including sales of military services) of the SIPRI Top 100 maintained their upward trend in 2010, although at 1 percent in real terms, the increase was much slower than in 2009," a SIPRI press release said.

"The data for 2010 demonstrates, once again, the major players' ability to continue selling arms and military services despite the financial crises currently affecting other industries," SIPRI arms industry expert Susan Jackson said.

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