European arms imports double in 2022

Arms imports into Europe almost doubled in 2022, driven by massive shipments to Ukraine, which has become the world’s third-largest destination, researchers said Monday.
With a 93 percent jump compared to the year before, imports have also increased due to accelerating military spending by European states including Poland and Norway, said the report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), AFP reported.
And the rate of imports is expected to accelerate further, it said.
“The invasion has really caused a significant surge in demand for arms in Europe, which will have further effect and most likely will lead to increased arms imports by European states,” Pieter Wezeman, a senior researcher at SIPRI, told AFP.
Excluding Ukraine, European imports have nevertheless already risen 35 percent in 2022, according to SIPRI data.
Ukraine was until last year a negligible importer of arms.
But in 2022 it very quickly became the third-largest arms destination in the world, behind Qatar and India, as Western nations delivered arms following Russia’s military operation in Ukraine.
Ukraine alone accounted for 31 percent of arms transfers to Europe and eight percent of world deliveries overall, according to SIPRI’s data.
Ukraine’s imports, including donations, grew more than 60-fold last year, the institute found.
The deliveries to Ukraine were mainly weapons lifted from stockpiles.

Among them were some 230 artillery pieces from the US; 280 Polish armoured vehicles; and more than 7,000 British anti-tank missiles, as well as more newly produced pieces such as anti-aircraft systems, SIPRI said.
European states have either “already ordered or are planning to” weapons ranging from “submarines to combat aircraft, from drones to anti-tank missiles, from rifles to radars”, Wezeman said.
The EU, which is currently fine-tuning a plan to supply Ukraine with millions of shells, is also working to increase production locally in Europe.


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