Was versteht man unter Konventionellen Waffen?
Conventional weapons are the core of all modern armies. Tanks and armoured vehicles, artillery (large calibre guns that fire over long distances), small arms and light weapons, robots (for example unmanned aircraft, so-called drones) and mines and cluster munitions belong to different categories of conventional weapons.
Conventional weapons are manufactured by nearly all industrial countries but also by many less developed countries in the world. While the production volume of small arms and light weapons (SALW) is by far the largest of all other weapons, the production and sales price of larger weapons, such as tanks, artillery and the logistics systems is much higher. They are also difficult to produce. To cover production and development costs, all weapons-producing states have a keen interest in making a profit when selling their goods on the world market.
Weapons are traded all over the world. The largest arms exporters worldwide are the United States, Russia, Germany, France, China, Israel and Great Britain. Less developed countries come into play when it comes to SALW in particular. North Korea, Iran, Colombia and Burma, for instance, export a significant amount of weapons through public, open or secret channels.
In addition to the official (and sometimes published) trade in weapons among states, there are so-called semi-legal, grey, and illegal, black, markets. The amount of money made there is unknown. Only rarely do pieces of information such as the delivery of tanks to South Sudan or transactions via brokers, such as the infamous Viktor Bout from Russia, leak to the press and come to light.