$1.1 billion Spent on International Trade in Light Weapons
The Small Arms Survey 2011 reveals that regulation and accountability measures have not kept up with the growth of the private security industry. Despite evidence that some private security companies have engaged in the illegal acquisition of firearms, have lost weapons through theft, or have misused their arsenals, there is no systematic reporting of such misconduct.
The new Survey draws on data from dozens of countries to estimate an annual value of $1.1 billion for the international trade in light weapons. Transfers of Man-Portable Air-Defense Systems—MANPADS—represent the bulk of this total. Carried and fired by a single fighter, MANPADS, travel at supersonic speeds from a shoulder-fired launcher toward the heat signature of an aircraft engine, where they detonate. The development of new MANPADS by China and the Russian Federation is indicative of continued interest in MANPADS.
Matt Schroeder, director of the Arms Sales Monitoring Project at the Federation of American Scientists, is available for interviews.