BICC (Bonn International Center for Conversion) is an independent, not-for profit organisation and deals with a wide range of global topics in the field of peace and conflict research centering on Conversion Studies.
BICC calculates the number of heavy weapons systems on an annual basis. Its primary source for data on weapons holdings is the publication The Military Balance of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS).When necessary, IISS data have been complemented by information on individual countries from various sources, such as Jane’s weapons handbooks and newspaper articles.
The BICC database on weapons holdings contains data on ten types of weapons of the following four categories a) heavy weapons systems: armoured vehicles (armoured personnel carriers, light tanks, combat tanks), b) artillery of more than 100mm calibre (multiple rocket launchers, howitzers, field howitzers) c) combat aircraft (attack helicopters, fixed-wing aircraft), and d) combat vessels (submarines, surface vessels larger than corvettes). Smaller combat vessels as well as carrier vessels, tankers, etc. have not been taken into account.
The definition of “weapons holdings” only includes holdings of government troops; holdings of armed opposition groups are not included, neither are stored weapons systems.