In 2015, individual export licences worth a total of €7.86 billion were issued (2014: €3.97 billion). However, the number or value of licences does not permit any conclusions to be drawn about the direction of the government’s policy on exports of military equipment, since individual large orders regularly cause the figures to fluctuate.
For a more differentiated understanding of the policy on exports of military equipment, it is vital to consider the nature of the exported good, the ways it can be used, and the specific country of destination. For example, a large proportion (41%) of export licences in 2015 were for EU/NATO and NATO-equivalent countries. The higher value of the licences in 2015 compared with 2014 is due not least to the export of four tanker aircraft to the United Kingdom (€1.1 billion).
Economic Affairs Ministry publishes additional interim report for first half of 2016
On 26 October 2016, the Economic Affairs Ministry published the interim report on exports of military equipment in the first half of 2016. The restrictive and responsible policy on the export of military equipment was continued in the first half of 2016. In total, export licences worth €4.03 billion were issued up to 30 June 2016. Of this, €1.71 billion (approximately 42.5%) was accounted for by EU, NATO and NATO-equivalent countries.
The total figure must also be seen against a backdrop of rising defence spending worldwide and an entirely new terrorist threat scenario. According to independent research institutes, the volume of exports of military equipment rose by around 14% in the last five years compared with the preceding five-year period, and global military spending for 2015 is estimated to have amounted to USD 1676 billion (source: SIPRI - Trends in World Military Expenditure, 2015).
Provisional figures for 2016 as a whole
According to initial provisional figures, which were published by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy on 20 January 2017, export licences for military equipment fell by a billion euros in 2016 as a whole. According to these provisional figures, the value of individual licences for the export of military equipment in 2016 was €6.88 billion. In the year before, 2015, the equivalent figure was €7.86 billion.