The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute – a think
tank that studies weapons and warfare – this week published its list of the
world’s top 100 arms producing and military services companies in 2010. How did
the Asia Pacific’s defence aerospace heavyweights do?
The highest ranked Asian firm was Mitsubishi Heavy
Industries, coming in at 25 compared with 24 in 2009. Asia’s next highest firm
was India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. at 34, two spots up from 38 in 2009.
South Korea’s Samsung was ranked 60, down from 59 in 2009.
Mitsubishi Electric fell to 64 from 46, while South Korea’s Samsung Techwin
appears to have entered the list at 66 for the first time.
Kawasaki Heavy Industries fell to 68 from 59 ( I guess it
shared this spot with Samsung in 2009), India’s Bharat Electronics fell to 71
from 67, and LIG Nex1 rose to 79 from 81.
While SIPRI makes a good case for not including Chinese
companies owing to a lack of concrete information, I was surprised that Korea
Aerospace Industries did not make the list. I am not sure whether this was due
to simple oversight, or whether KAI was excluded for some other reason.
Aside from defence products such as the T-50 Golden Eagle
and variants, the company also does a great deal of sub-assembly work for major
commercial players such as Airbus and Boeing.
In Flightglobal’s Top 100 list 2011, KAI was the world’s 56th
biggest aerospace firm, up from 63 previously. It told Flightglobal that
defence programmes had helped push its revenues above $1 billion in 2010, up
from $954 million in 2009.