This map layer presents the number of heavy weapons systems for 2017 of all available countries, classified in five categories.

Example of how to read the map:

In 2017, South Korea had more than 11,926 heavy weapons systems.

The graphic presented shows the 10 countries with the highest amount of heavy weapons systems in 2017.


  • BICC - Bonn International Center for Conversion

    BICC 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.

  • IISS - International Institute for Strategic Studies

    In its annual Military Balance, the IISS publishes data on military personnel. The international institute provides research-based policy advice and deals with military and strategic questions. In the annual Military Balance, it provides information on the number of soldiers, weapons, population and GDP of up to 171 countries. A detailed list can be found of a respective country’s weapons and soldiers (including recruits and paramilitaries). The IISS also assesses the military capacities and arms economies.


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