Leonardo (Finmeccanica)

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For five years, a coalition led by Saudi Arabia has been at war in Yemen. Huge volumes of weapons have been shipped from arms companies in Europe and elsewhere, from a large number of arms companies. Find out how you can take action on the website of the European Network Against the Arms Trade, and more details about some of the companies who have supplied Saudi Arabia below.

Leonardo is an Italian arms company specialising in a wide range of defence and aerospace equipment. The company is part-owned by the Italian state which owns 30% of shares in the company, and dominates the Italian arms industry. Leonardo is the world’s 9th biggest arms company, with $8.9bn worth of arms sales in 2017, making up 68% of their income.


Theodore Baird1

A number of scholars, journalists, and activists have argued that we may be witnessing the development of a ‘security-industrial complex’ in Europe which resembles the earlier ‘military-industrial complex’ of the Cold War. The border security-industrial complex refers to the relations between military, security, and private industry within a global market for the design and implementation of border security technologies. The main actors are governments, suppliers of security technologies, and security forces demanding use of new technologies for controlling and managing state borders.

Stephanie Demblon

“Europe is at war against an imaginary enemy” - this is Frontexit’s campaign slogan regarding the respect of migrants’ human rights at the borders of the European Union. Usually addressed from a humanitarian angle (guilty of negligence to basic migrant rights) or a political one (the question of migratory flux management and distribution), the subject is rarely connected to the European arms market. And yet…

The National Gallery's long-standing sponsorship arrangement with weapons manufacturer Finmeccanica has ended, following a campaign by Campaign Against Arms Trade to 'Disarm the Gallery.' The arrangement has been terminated one year early and just weeks before the next protest event was planned.

Disarm the Gallery

Placheolder image

The National Gallery is one of Great Britain's most iconic public institutions. It is also supporting the arms trade.
Last year the National Gallery hosted an evening reception to celebrate the first day of business at DSEi, the world's largest arms fair.

Tim Wright

Each year, the nine nuclear-armed nations spend a combined total of more than US$100 billion on their nuclear forces – assembling new warheads, modernizing old ones, and building ballistic missiles, bombers and submarines to deliver them. Much of this work is carried out by private corporations, which are financed by a vast web of financial institutions around the world.

Frank Slijper

After the bloody suppression of protests in Beijing's Tiananmen Square in 1989, the European Union (and the US) ordered an arms embargo that applies until today. From a human rights perspective this is fully justified: the situation remains appalling and attempts at democratic reforms are nipped in the bud. At the same time the embargo is also clearly politically motivated, to keep China as small as possible in military terms. While the economic relationship with China has grown, military co-operation rightly remains a thorny issue. Despite cracks in the embargo it won't be off the table any time soon. Yet it is a question how long the blockade will be maintained with China strengthening its power base.

Jordi Calvo

The uprisings in the Arab world have led to extreme violence in the country which has suffered the longest-standing and most repressive dictatorship of the Arab world. Due to the lack of information from the press, we suppose that the protests took place against repression on a smaller scale, perhaps at the hands of Libyan security forces who, when faced with the success of these uprisings, did not want to face their people. Therefore it is presumed that those who are using military strategies are mercenaries. It is very difficult to know where these soldiers are coming from and whether they form part of private military organisations, which are playing an increasingly important role in current armed conflicts. It is also difficult to know what arms we are talking about when we hear the news that fighter planes and helicopters are shooting at the civilian population. However, it is not impossible to find out this information.

Indian acquisitions of military hardware are the hot topic in the global armaments bazaar. India is expected to spend around $30 billion on arms imports over the next few years. India is perhaps the world’s largest importer of armaments with annual expenditure of around $6 billion on this count, a sizeable proportion of India’s defence budget of $28 billion for 2009-10.

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