Encyclopedia of Business and Professional Ethics

Living Edition
| Editors: Deborah C Poff, Alex C. Michalos

Arms Industry

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-23514-1_205-1



The arms industry is a global business whose participants manufacture, sell, and service weapons, military technology, and complementary equipment. It is heavily involved in research and development, engineering, producing and servicing military material, equipment, and facilities. Arms-producing companies, also called defense contractors or collectively the defense industry, produce arms primarily for the armed forces of states. Distribution of arms is, however, a vast enterprise in its own right, in part arranged by agencies of governments and to a lesser extent by private merchants. To the extent that controls are maintained over distribution, this control is qualitative rather than quantitative. In other words, the total amount of product provided is open ended, whereas recipients, mostly forces defending or opposing developing countries, are selectively precluded from obtaining the most sophisticated equipment.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Indiana University-Purdue University at IndianapolisIndianapolisUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Edmund F. Byrne
    • 1
  1. 1.Indiana University-Purdue UniversityIndianapolisUSA