How To

There are several ways how to explore the database.

How can I filter the content?

Firstly, you can filter the database here. There is a drop-down filter to look for certain companies, recipient states, supplier states or locations of conflict. Alternatively, there is a free search field where you can write a country name or a company name, whereby the company name can be written in different ways including old names of the company and alternatively used names (i.e. Constructions Aeronáuticas SA for Airbus Defence and Space). Additionally, you can copy and paste the International Securities Identification Number (ISIN) of company shares, corporate bonds and depositary receipts to identify a certain company.

How can I search for companies?

When filtering for a company via the drop-down, the table only shows the arms deliveries of the respective company, e.g. when choosing Airbus in the drop-down, the table displays exclusively deliveries where Airbus is involved. Contrary to the company drop-down filter, the free search field not necessarily shows only the arms deliveries of one company, e.g. when writing Airbus in the free search field, the table displays all deliveries where companies are involved that bear Airbus in their name, their old names or their alternatively used names. Therefore, when writing Airbus, the table shows also deliveries where Airbus Helicopters Inc or Hensoldt (a spin-off which before was the Airbus Defence and Space electronics business unit) are involved.

What information is shown?

Generally, the table displays the form of involvement of certain companies in respective arms deliveries. Thus, every row of the table shows a different form of involvement and not necessarily a different arms delivery. For example, when filtering for one recipient state, the table shows all companies involved in arms exports to the chosen recipient state. One row of the table might show the consortium MBDA as being directly involved in a certain arms delivery. The next row might show Airbus as being indirectly involved in a certain arms delivery as one of the three companies that together form the consortium MBDA. Thus, both rows refer to the same arms export but show two different forms of involvement. Another case are arms deliveries where different companies are involved in different ways, e.g. one company manufactured the weapons and another company transported them to the recipient state. Thus, two rows refer to the same arms export, whereby one shows the manufacturer of the weapons and the other row shows the exporter.

How can I use the maps?

Secondly, you can explore the database via two world maps. The recipient map shows all recipient states (countries that imported weapons and were involved in at least one war between 2016 and 2021) in teal blue. When clicking on one recipient state, there are two options: filter for country XY and detailed country information. The latter provides information about the respective country such as a conflict description and BICC assessments for human rights and illicit arms trade risk. When choosing filter for country XY, the map will display the chosen recipient state in teal blue and the locations of conflict (war regions where the respective recipient state is involved in armed conflicts) in grey. Below the map, there is a table showing all arms deliveries to the chosen recipient state. When filtering for a location of conflict instead of a recipient state, the table shows all arms deliveries to recipient states that are involved militarily in the war in the respective location of conflict.

Besides the recipient map, you can use the supplier map as well. The supplier map shows all supplier states (countries that exported weapons to war regions between 2016 and 2021) in yellow. When clicking on one supplier state, the map displays the chosen supplier state in yellow and the recipient states (warring countries that imported weapons from the respective supplier state) in teal blue. Below the map, there is a table showing all arms deliveries from the chosen supplier state to the displayed recipient states. In the table, you can click on delivery details to get additional information on the respective arms delivery, the involved company and the violent conflict which was fueled by this delivery.

How can I use the data in Excel?

Finally, you can also download a preview of the ExitArms list in Excel. This preview of 12 ExitArms companies shall show what information is included in the ExitArms Investor List on each company. We provide the full ExitArms Investor List on request. It is tailored to the needs of financial institutions and shows all relevant information about the around 600 ExitArms companies, including ISINs of company shares, bonds, and depositary receipts. Please take a look at the preview list first to consider whether the full ExitArms Investor List is helpful for your analysis purposes.


Which companies are covered?

The aim of the database is to provide a global overview of companies that are involved in arms exports to war zones and warring states. It currently covers almost 600 companies, including parent companies, subsidiaries and joint ventures. It is not a general look at defence companies, but specifically at companies that are involved in various ways in arms deliveries to war zones.

How are the countries selected?

The starting point for the database is the selection of conflict actors/conflict states based on the Heidelberg Conflict Barometer. It has been published by the renowned Heidelberg Institute for Conflict Research since 1992. Compared to its peers in empirical conflict research, this institute integrates qualitative criteria more strongly in its research in order to categorize states as crisis or war zones. This makes it possible to identify conflict dynamics at an early stage.

Only conflicts that reached conflict intensity 4 (limited war) or 5 (war) at least once in the period from 2016 to 2021 were included in the current version of Intensity levels one and two include non-violent conflicts. Level three describes conflicts in which violence is used without the use of military weapons. The conflict intensity definition by the Heidelberg Conflict Barometer is based on an assessment of the conflict consequences in terms of victims, refugees, militarization, degree of organization of violence, and destruction of infrastructure. Additionally: does not include conflicts for which the United Nations Security Council has issued a mandate under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter that includes the use of force.

Which recipients are covered?

The conflict states are listed as recipient states in if they are seeking a conflict object and are recognized as a relevant actor by the other conflict actors/conflict states (based on the Heidelberg Methodology). Additionally, recipient states are only listed if they are directly involved with their own military forces in at least one of the conflicts covered. In its current status the database covers Armenia, Azerbaijan, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Libya, Mali, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, and Yemen.

Please note: Arms deliveries to Bahrain, Burundi, Colombia, Mexico, Morocco, Senegal and the Philippines are still being researched.

For all recipient states on, a profile page is provided, including detailed conflict descriptions based on the Heidelberg Conflict Barometer, as well as a current assessment of the human rights situation and the risk assessment regarding the illegal transfer of weapons based on data from the Bonn International Centre for Conflict Studies (BICC). A detailed description of the methodology of BICC can be found here.

Which suppliers are included?

The country from whose territory weapons were delivered to a recipient state, is called supplier state. In the current status of the database, these are: Australia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Czechia, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, European Union, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, India, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Israel, Italy, Jordan, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, Qatar, Republic of Korea (South Korea), Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine [!], United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam.

Which sources are used?

Facing Finance has collected information from a wide range of different sources. The most important source is the SIPRI Arms Transfers Database of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. This database shows international transfers of major conventional arms and therefore does not include small arms and ammunition. However, the SIPRI Database does not contain any information on the companies involved. In addition to SIPRI, other sources of information have been used as well to collect data on arms deliveries between 2016 and 2021. Facing Finance gathered information on the companies responsible by means of independent research, at arms fairs and via media reporting. The aim of this research was to prove the direct responsibility of a company for the export of a military equipment and not only that this company is the producer of this military equipment. For all arms exports analysed, research was carried out to document which companies were actually responsible for that particular arms export. If a company's involvement in an arms export is merely probable but we cannot prove it, it is not included in

In order to identify and assign responsibility to individual companies for specific arms exports, we consulted academic publications, specialist journals (e.g. Jane's Defence Weekly, International Security and Defence Journal, Jane's International Defence Review, Shephard, African Security), subject-specific websites (e.g. Defense World, Army Technology, Naval Technology, Defense News, Army Recognition, Naval News), commercial databases, independent web searches, primary sources from defence companies (e.g. corporate websites, arms show materials, brochures), government websites (e.g. DSCA, Ministries of Defence) and on-site research at arms shows (DSEI in London, DEFEA in Athens).

How to identify a company?

For the identification of companies, we provide their official names, old company names, alternatively used company names, headquarters, company websites, and ISINs of their financial instruments, including shares, bonds and depositary receipts. Thereby, we make sure that all companies can be identified correctly and there is no company confusion.

How are the companies involved in arms exports?

The responsibility of the companies covered includes the production, modernization, refurbishment, design, repair, sale and supply of arms, as well as the supply of dual-use products and the licensing of arms production on site in war zones. Consequently, includes not only military companies, but also companies that are involved in other ways, for example by transporting the arms to a warring state. For each arms export, we indicate in which way the respective company is involved in this specific arms delivery. The forms of company involvement are divided into the following categories: manufactured, awarded licence, modified, repaired, modernized, designed and exported. Exported can either mean the sale or the transport of military equipment to conflict and war zones.

Which time frame is covered?

When was published, the years 2015 to 2020 were selected as the time period. Since its first update, covers the period 2016-2021. Thus, new arms deliveries of the year 2021 have been added, while the deliveries of the year 2015 have been removed to stay up-to-date. Generally, we consider arms exports that were actually carried out as well as arms exports that were agreed on in 2016-2021, but which were not yet delivered. Arms deliveries before 2016 are left out in order to list only companies that have exported to war zones in the recent past and not those that have changed their business model. However, arms exports whose contracts were already concluded before 2016 are also considered if the last arms delivery of this contract took place in the period 2016-2021. According to the same principle, license approvals agreed before 2016 are also covered if these licensed productions continued in 2016-2021. Also included are contracts for arms deliveries signed in 2016-2021, even if these arms were not delivered until the following months or will be delivered in the future.

The fact that only arms deliveries up to the end of 2021 are considered is simply due to the fact that the research is very time-consuming. However, the database is updated at least annually and the arms exports of 2022 will be added in the near future.

Who owns the companies?

We identified almost 600 companies that were involved directly, via subsidiaries or via joint ventures. Of these, more than 100 companies are publicly listed and more than 200 companies are subsidiaries which we have assigned to the respective parent companies. The remaining companies are joint ventures, consortia, state-owned companies or are privately owned. The research of company linkages and assignments of companies to parent groups took place mainly on the respective company websites and databases such as Bloomberg or Refinitiv Eikon.

How are subsidiaries and joint ventures treated?

The assignment of a company to a parent group is always made if the parent company holds at least 50% of the shares in this company. Thus, companies that own shares in a company that exports weapons to war zones are not included if they only have a blocking minority (>20%) but not a majority shareholding. Only joint ventures and consortia are exempt from this rule. All joint ventures and consortia have been allocated to those companies that have a stake in these joint ventures and consortia, whereby there is no threshold value as a minimum shareholding.

As a general rule, we only hold parent companies responsible for the conduct of their subsidiaries and, conversely, never hold subsidiaries responsible for the operations of their parent companies. Following the same principle, joint ventures and consortia are not held responsible for the arms exports of the companies involved in these joint ventures and consortia.

Consequently, all of the approximately 600 companies in are either directly involved in the arms exports researched, the parent company of a responsible company or part of a responsible joint venture or consortium. For each arms export, we list whether the respective company is involved directly, through a subsidiary or through a joint venture/consortium. The companies in are involved to varying degrees in arms exports to conflict and war zones, some more and some less. Thus, for each company the ExitArms list indicates in which form it is involved, whether it is directly or indirectly involved as well as in how many and in which cases it is involved.

Which special cases remain?

The methodology described leads to a few special cases:

Since we only list directly involved companies and their parent companies or, in the case of joint ventures, their shareholders, other subsidiaries of the same parent company are not included. For example, the French company Dassault Aviation is directly involved in arms exports to war zones and is consequently included in Also held responsible is Dassault Group, the parent company of Dassault Aviation. Other subsidiaries of Dassault Group, such as Dassault Systems, are not included.

Subsidiaries are always assigned to their current parent group, even if the group structure has changed in the 2016-2021 period. Former parent companies are left out, even if they were the parent of the responsible company at the time of an arms delivery to a warring state.

If a subsidiary has a parent company, which in turn is itself part of another parent company, then the subsidiary is not only assigned to its direct parent company, but also to its ultimate parent at the end of the group structure. The applied criteria is that each company holds at least 50% of the respective subsidiary. only looks at companies responsible for exporting arms to conflict and war zones and not at companies involved in importing. If a company exports arms to a company in a war zone, then only the exporting company is covered and not the importing company. Thus, we always assign responsibility to the foreign companies involved and not to local companies. Local companies that produce weapons jointly with foreign defense companies on site in warring states are called local co-producers. These local co-producers are not part of the approximately 600 ExitArms companies since they are not exporters. They shall primarily supplement the information about the foreign companies.

We consider as joint ventures or consortia all companies that have very few shareholders. In some exceptional cases, these shareholders are not companies but states or private individuals. Since we are only looking at corporate responsibility, only shareholders that are themselves companies are considered, and not states or private individuals. This is the case with Patria Plc and Naval Group, which we have assigned to a company as a shareholder and not to the other shareholders, which are states or private individuals.

What are case studies and verified use?

The case studies and the overview of weapon systems for which we could not only prove the delivery, but also the actual use in one of the wars, are based on our own research. For this purpose, well-known scientific publications, trade journals (e.g., Jane's Defence Weekly, Global Defence News, ESUT - European Security & Technology), subject-specific websites (e.g., Army Technology, Naval Technology, Defense News, Bellingcat, ENAAT, ECCHR), commercial databases, free searches on the web, primary sources of defense corporations (e.g., corporate websites, brochures), government websites (e.g., Library of Congress, Ministries of Defense) and own research were evaluated.

No Database is Perfect

We do our best to achieve a broad coverage of war-fueling companies in all regions of the world and to find and document the relevant information for each of these companies. However, gaps still exist, due to the fact that information is sometimes hard to find or simply not available. We are therefore always happy to receive any additions or corrections to further develop this database!