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"The Arms Control Association’s work is an important resource to legislators and policymakers when contemplating a new policy direction or decision."

– General John Shalikashvili
former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
U.S. 1996 Data for the UN Conventional Arms Register
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Adopted in 1991 by the UN General Assembly, the UN Register of Conventional Arms is a confidence-building measure consisting of voluntary annual data submissions from UN members on their exports and imports of seven categories of weapons: battle tanks, armored combat vehicles (ACVs), large-caliber artillery systems, combat aircraft, attack helicopters, warships, and missiles and missile launchers. The U.S. submission for 1996, submitted on April 28, comprises actual weapons deliveries resulting from government-to-government sales. (Other countries include commercial transfers in their declarations.) The register also contains information on domestic military holdings and procurement and on national weapons transfer policies.

Overall, the United States reported exporting 2,352 weapons in the seven categories in 1996, down from 5,088 in 1995, though nearly even with the 1994 total. Many of the top recipients have records of human rights abuses, according to the State Department. In 1996, the State Department reported that Bahrain, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Brazil, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Pakistan, Peru and Turkey all had significant human rights abuse records.

A large reduction in missiles and missile launcher exports from 3,246 in 1995 to 737 in 1996 accounts for most of the drop in the number of exports declared in 1996. Nearly 40 percent of U.S. weapons went to the Middle East; Asia accounted for 19 percent. Overall, 28 states imported weapons from the United States. Saudi Arabia, with 475 weapons, was the top importer. Japan and Kuwait followed with 297 and 174 weapons, respectively.

The United States also reported receiving one battle tank from Bosnia-Herzegovina, 10 missiles and missile launchers from Israel and 53 missiles and missile launchers from Romania. As in previous years, the United States did not submit information on the makes and models of the weapons it transferred. The table below comprises only weapons exports.

For more information contact Wade Boese.

Region/Country Battle Tanks ACVs Large Artillery Combat Aircraft Attack Helicopters Warships Missiles & Launchers TOTAL
Africa 150
Egypt 60 072 0 0 0 2 16 150
Asia 646
Japan 0 0 9 0 0 0 288 297
Malaysia 0 0 0 0 0 0 21 21
Pakistan 0 0 24 0 0 0 0 24
South Korea 0 0 90 0 0 0 53 143
Taiwan 107 0 0 9 8 0 0 124
Thailand 0 23 0 13 0 1 0 37
Europe 460
Bosnia-Herzegovina 45 80 0 0 0 0 0 125
Finland 0 0 0 7 0 0 0 7
Greece 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 2
Italy 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 3
Norway 0 63 0 0 0 0 70 133
Spain 0 0 0 6 0 0 0 6
Switzerland 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 2
Turkey 0 25 0 12 0 0 35 72
United Kingdom 0 0 0 0 0 0 110 110
Latin America 21
Argentina 0 0 0 4 0 0 0 4
Brazil 0 0 0 0 6 0 0 6
Peru 0 0 0 11 0 0 0 11
Middle East 929
Bahrain 0 100 0 0 0 1 0 101
Israel 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Jordan 60 0 0 0 0 0 0 60
Kuwait 174 0 0 0 0 0 0 174
Lebanon 0 108 0 0 0 0 0 108
Saudi Arabia 124 340 0 11 0 0 0 475
UAE 0 0 0 0 10 0 0 10
Other Regions 146
Australia 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 70 72
Canada 0 0 0 0 0 0 74 74
TOTAL 570 812 124 81 24 4 737 2,352
Sources: Arms Control and Disarmament Agency; Arms Control Association

U.S. Military Holdings and Procurement Through National Production
Category Military Holdings Procurement
Battle Tanks 9,976 0
Armored Combat Vehicles 22,731 0
Large-Caliber Artillery Systems 9,711 460
Combat Aircraft 4,014 23
Attack Helicopters 2,717 20
Warships 351 11
Missiles and Missile Launchers 123,731 1,816