Image of the Milipol Paris arms and security trade fair, 2019. Credit: Robin Ballantyne
Image of the Milipol Paris arms and security trade fair, 2019. Credit: Robin Ballantyne
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Arms Fairs

The Omega Research Foundation has a long history of collating, analysing, and making public information on arms and security trade fairs from around the world. We use this data to monitor the activity of arms companies, identify the launch of new and potentially abusive products, and to expose gaps in existing laws and regulations designed to control the manufacture, promotion, and trade of military, security, and policing (MSP) weapons and equipment. 

We know that the data we collect is useful for researchers, journalists, human rights activists, and anyone else who is interested in exploring and challenging the global arms trade. For this reason we are  working in collaboration with Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) to make the data we have on arms and security fairs and the companies that attend them publicly available.

The raw arms fair data collected by Omega and CAAT can be accessed from our repository hosted on Github

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an arms and security fair?

Arms and security trade fairs are events where arms companies exhibit their weapons and equipment to those interested in buying. Attendees include government and military delegations from around the world, other arms companies, and ‘middlemen’ that arrange large deals. Fairs provide an opportunity for companies to showcase and demonstrate their wares, meet potential clients, and broker deals with governments. Dozens of arms fairs are held annually around the world. Some are relatively small, attracting only a few dozen exhibitors from the host country and surrounding states. Others, such as Milipol Paris (France) and DSEI (United Kingdom) are much larger and are frequently attended by 1000s of exhibitors and 10,000s of visitors from around the world.

In the arms fair data repository we have included any event which features an ‘exhibition’ or is attended by ‘exhibitors’, and which meets either of the following criteria:

  • Events that specifically invite or categorise exhibitors in the sectors of ‘defence’, ‘security’, ‘military’, ‘policing’, or ‘hunting’.
  • Events attended by, or organised in collaboration with, state organisations that facilitate the export of controlled goods, such as the Export Control Joint Unit in the United Kingdom, for example.
What companies are listed?

We aim to include complete exhibitor lists for the events described above. Not all companies in these listings are arms companies, some provide purely military products and services while others provide products and services intended primarily for the civilian market but which may have military applications. There are also some notable companies in military-adjacent but benevolent fields such as search and rescue or mine clearance.

In most cases, data is presented as collected without an attempt to correct spelling errors or update company names that have been changed by rebranding or acquisition. Logical errors, for example where a company’s country has been listed as its name, and vice versa, have been corrected when encountered. Every effort has been made on our part to ensure that exhibitor lists represent the most up-to-date available data.

Who is responsible for this dataset?

This project is a collaboration between Omega Research Foundation and Campaign Against Arms Trade. Any enquiries may be directed to Corrections may be submitted by email or as GitHub issues here.