Just as lingerie or cars, tanks and missiles have their own shows. From Paris to Delhi, these events, known war shows, are little known to the general public but draw in great numbers of professionals from the defence industry. Travelling to Jordan, France, Qatar and India, Herbaut’s ‘Weapon Show’ looks at the industry of war market’s and war shows around the globe.
War shows, where foreign militaries and the accredited public mix to admire and purchase weapons such as missiles, tanks, drones, riot equipment and solid gold pistols, and in the aisles one not only can meet weapon experts and soldiers doing their shopping but also numerous spies. The glamorous appearance of the market stalls, one could mistake them for video games shops, seem to make the fact that these tradesmen are dealing with weaponry nearly irrelevant.
But one should not be misled by the war show’s flashy appearance – the arms and weapons industry is a global business, and not a little one. In 2012 the five main weapons exporters were USA, Russia, China, Ukraine and the European Union. In the same year, the world military expenditure has been estimated at $1756 billion US Dollars, which represents 2.5 per cent of the global gross domestic product (GDP) or $ 249 US Dollars for each person in the world.
Welcome to the death market where the main values are power, technology and money!
The weapons market never knows the economic crisis. The winners of a thriving financial sector is the United States in first place, followed by Russia and France. A big boom in parallel civil wars on the globe.
Each year several weapons fairs are organized. They sell fighter jets, tanks, missiles, assaults rifles etc. Here the rules of marketing are the same as for civilian companies. Gadgets, brochures, promotional bags touting war products are available to visitors.