Masters of Business and War

  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    German arms manufacturers lose one in three contracts to rivals from France, Britain or the United States, which receive more political support from their governments, say sources in the German defense industry.

  • Facts


    • German arms exports rose during the first half of 2016 to a record figure of €4 billion, according to a government report, and more growth is predicted in coming years.
    • The German weapons industry as a whole has grown annually since 2010 by almost 8 percent, easily outpacing the rest of German industry.
    • German defense contractors set standards worldwide, from KMW’s Leopard 2 tank to the Heckler & Koch G36 assault rifle.
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Kampfpanzer Leopard
A Leopard 2 A6 tank, produced by KMW. Source: DPA

Even the Spanish morning sun couldn’t brighten the mood recently at an Airbus hangar just south of Madrid.

Dirk Hoke, the new chief of Airbus Defence and Space, a division of the Airbus group, had invited his 500 most important employees to the meeting, and many feared the European aeronautics firm was in for more cutbacks.

Instead, Mr. Hoke conveyed a radiant future. The mechanical engineer and former Siemens executive announced a five-year plan with more business in unmanned aircraft, increased digital services and cyber-defense. The division would explore more than 20 new products and expected double-digit growth, he said, particularly in the United States, the world’s largest arms market.

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