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Explosive Growth in Norwegian Weapons Export

The value of Norwegian weapons export increased in 2008 by all of 44.5%. For the first time the figures for foreign trade show that the export amounts to more than 3 billion kroners (354.000 euros). That is 954 million kroners more than in 2007. The weapons export to the USA alone has increased by no less than 85.6% and is now 1.7 billion kroners (199.000 euros).

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The value of Norwegian weapons export increased in 2008 by all of 44.5%. For the first time the figures for foreign trade show that the export amounts to more than 3 billion kroners (354.000 euros). That is 954 million kroners more than in 2007. The weapons export to the USA alone has increased by no less than 85.6% and is now 1.7 billion kroners (199.000 euros).

kongsberg_protector_220.jpg
The Kongsberg Group is one of Norway’s largest weapons producers. The weapons control system “Protector” has been sold to several countries all over the world and is supposed to protect the soldiers, who can utilise the weapon from a sheltered position inside the vehicle

Photo: Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace AS

By Pia A. Gaarder
Norwatch

(First published in Norwegian 15 January 2009) 


In January, Statistics Norway presented the figures for Norwegian foreign trade for 2008. Norwatch has calculated the figures for Norwegian weapons export in the past year, and they show that Norwegian weapon production has had an explosive growth in 2008.

In 2007 Statistics Norway’s figures showed that the weapons export reached 2,143 million kroners (245.000 euros). In 2008 the figure jumped up to 3,096 million (354.000 euros). Norwatch has studied the development of weapons export for a long time, and never have more Norwegian-produced weapons been exported.

A large share of Norwegian export goes directly to the USA, and it is the export to this NATO country that is responsible for the enormous growth. In fact, Norwegian weapons producers sold for no less than 1,739 million (199.000 euros) to the USA in 2008. The weapons export to the USA has thus increased by all of 85.6%, from 937.2 million in 2007 to 1,739 million in 2008. That is 56% of the total and represents no less than 98.2% of the export growth.

The decidedly largest export category is the one named “Parts and accessories for weapons for military use, such as cannons, artillery, howitzers, mortars, launching pads for rockets and grenades, flame-throwers, and so forth". Last year Norway exported for 1,930.7 million kroners (220.000.000 euros) of these weapon types. Of this, most went to the USA – that is, weapons for 1,503.7 million kroners (172.000.000 euros). That constitutes an increase in the sale to the USA of 701 million kroners compared (80.200.000 dollars) with 2007, or 87.4%.

In other words, the greater part of the export increase from Norway consists of weapons that are operational on the battlefield.

The next largest export category consists of “Bombs, grenades, torpedoes, mines, rockets” and similar war materiel, plus components for these”. These were exported for a total of 950.8 million (108.8 million euros), of which the USA bought weapons worth 209 million (23.9 million euros).

“Cartridges and parts” were exported for 189 million kroners (21.6 million euros), of which a small share went to the USA: 18 million kroners.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs publishes each year a report to the Parliament on weapons export which contains slightly different figures than Statistics Norway. The Ministry also includes defence materiel in general and services and repairs.

TABLE: NORWEGIAN WEAPONS EXPORT and NORWEGIAN WEAPONS EXPORT TO THE USA

All figures are given in millions of Norwegian kroner. Norwatch has obtained the figures from Statistics Norway’s “Statistics Bank”. In parentheses, the percentage that the individual weapons category constitutes of the total export to the USA. Norway also exports some other weapon types to the USA, including civilian sporting rifles, but the figures are too small to be included in this survey.

 
Total export of weapons and ammunition, all countries
Total export to the USA of weapons and ammunition Export to the USA of parts for cannons, artillery, howitzers, mortars, launching pads for rockets and grenades, export to the flame-throwers, etc. Export to the USA of bombs, grenades, torpedoes, mines, rockets Export to the USA of cartridges and parts
1999
618,2
118,5
*
112,3 (95%)
5,3 (4%)
 2000  441,8  96,0  * 94,0 (98%)
 1,5 (2%)
 2001  646,0  81,2  *  61,9 (76%)
 8,2 (10%)
 2002  1.400,0  304,2  171,2 (56%)  102,9 (34%)
23,0 (8%)
 2003  1.900,0  251,2  155,8 (62%)  80,7 (32%)
 10,4 (4%)
 2004  996,0  427,5  253,5 (59%)
 111,4 (26%)
 56,3 (13%)
 2005  1.600,0  553,0  353,6 (64%)
 102,9 (19%)
90,5 (16%)
 2006  1.780,0  794,3  601,8 (76%)
 101,2 (13%)
73,9 (9%)
 2007  2.142,0 937,2
802,6 (85,6%) 130,3 (13,9%) 1,7 (0,2%)
 2008 3.096,7
1,739,1
1.503,7 (86,5%)
209,0 (12%)
18 (1%)


*) The lack of data is due to the fact that Statistics Norway changed the categorisation of weapon types in 2002 and started to distinguish between parts of bombs/grenades and the bombs/grenades themselves.

The Statistics Norway figures for the total export have a small discrepancy if one adds together all the months or if one utilises the Statistics Norway years. For 2008 the difference comes to NKR 6,2 million – 3,096.7 million (all months added) and 3,080.5 million (the whole year).
- Annonse -