Arms companies at DSEI

DSEI 2013 hosted arms companies from more than 50 countries (DSEI website), selling small arms, missiles, planes, tanks, military electronics and warships, as well as surveillance and riot control equipment.

Around 1500 exhibitors were registered (the list is available on the DSEI website), including most of the world's largest arms companies, including nine of the top ten.

Information on DSEI arms companies with sites in the UK is available on CAAT's company map. You can find their locations, other arms fairs they're known to have attended, and countries they've marketed arms to.

A few of the companies attending are briefly profiled below:

BAE Systems

BAE Systems is the world's third largest arms producer. Its portfolio includes fighter aircraft, warships, tanks, armoured vehicles, artillery, missiles and small arms ammunition. The company has military customers in over 100 countries and around 95% of its sales are military.

A notorious recent deal was the sale of 200 Tactica armoured vehicles to Saudi Arabia. These vehicles were used by Saudi troops helping to suppress pro-democracy protests in Bahrain in March 2011 (Jane's Defence Weekly, 23.3.2011).

BAE's strategy

BAE targets wherever it thinks it can make profit. The repressive Saudi Arabian regime and the UK Ministry of Defence are long-term customers.

In the mid-2000s, BAE's drive to profit from the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq led it to purchase two major US armoured vehicle producers.

However, with the peak of US intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan having passed, BAE has been on the look out for the next big opportunity. "Cyber and intelligence" looks to be it, and BAE has purchased a raft of cyber security companies across its "home markets".

BAE has five "home markets" and arms production in several others. The largest of the home markets is the US, followed by the UK and then Saudi Arabia. The others are Australia and India.

See BAE Systems on CAAT's company map.

Heckler & Koch

Heckler & Koch is one of the world's largest small arms proliferators. It produces pistols, rifles, machine guns, sub-machine guns and grenade launchers, and its weapons are in use in 90 countries. Over seven million G3 rifles alone have been produced.

The company has an office in Nottingham in the UK, with responsibility for "international customer sales" outside NATO.

Global sales

Much of the manufacturing of Heckler & Koch weapons is carried out under licensed production agreements, either for the armed forces of the producing country or for export. Such agreements have been made with a number of EU countries, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Turkey, Burma and Iran.

Heckler & Koch weapons were used by the Janjaweed in Sudan, and by corporate mercenaries Blackwater, in Iraq.

See Heckler & Koch on CAAT's company map.

Lockheed Martin

Lockheed Martin is the world's largest arms producer and is particularly dominant in terms of fighter aircraft. It is also the prime contractor for long-range Trident nuclear missiles deployed on US Ohio and UK Vanguard submarines.

Global sales

Lockheed produces the ubiquitous F-16 Fighting Falcon, with customers including: Bahrain, Egypt, Israel, Jordan and UAE in the Middle East; Indonesia, Pakistan, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand in Asia; and Greece and Turkey in NATO. Lockheed Martin is now manufacturing the F-16's successor, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, along with Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems.

Israel possesses the largest fleet of F-16s outside the the US. These aircraft, as as well as Lockheed's Hellfire missiles, are at the forefront of Israeli assaults on the Occupied Territories and its neighbours.

See Lockheed Martin on CAAT's company map.


Rafael is a major state-owned Israeli arms company which develops missiles, electronic warfare systems, radar and communications systems, often working in collaboration with other international companies. Its weapons include the Derby and Python air-to-air missiles, the Popeye air-to-surface missile. the Spike anti-tank missile and the Barak shipborne surface-to-air missile. has stated that "The Rafael operation in Haifa is reportedly the location of a nuclear weapons design laboratory (Division 20), a missile design development laboratory (Division 48) and a weapons assembly plant."

See Rafael on CAAT's company map.


Raytheon is most famous for missiles, including the Stinger family of surface-to-air missiles and the Tomahawk cruise missile.

Global sales

Raytheon exports billions of dollars worth of military equipment each year with a client list that includes Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Pakistan, Singapore, Taiwan and South Korea.

The Raytheon website boasts both the widespread sale and use of its missiles: "the AGM-65 Maverick is a precision-attack missile for more than 33 countries' air, naval and marine forces... More than 69,000 missiles have been produced to date, and more than 6,000 have been used in combat, with a 93 percent kill rate."

See Raytheon on CAAT's company map.

Rostec, owner of Rosoboronexport

As Russia's state agency for arms exports, Rosoboronexport oversees the vast majority of Russia's arms exports and imports. It is responsible for promoting Russian arms and authorising sales. Rosoboronexport is 100% owned by Rostec (previously called the Russian Technologies State Corporation).

Supplying Syria

Rosoboronexport has been Syria's main weapons supplier over recent years. According to Human Rights Watch, it has accounted for 78% of Syria's imports of major conventional weapons. The range of weapons reported to have been sold to Syria includes missile systems, MiG fighter aircraft, armoured vehicles, an upgrade of battle tanks, and ammunition.

See Rostec/Rosoboronexport on CAAT's company map.

Page updated 13 September 2013
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