The Effects of the Russia-Ukraine War on Arms Sales: A Case Study of the United States and Turkey

Document Type : Original Article


1 University of Tehran

2 M.A. in Regional Studies, Faculty of Law and Political Science, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran


The sale of arms stands as one of the oldest trades in human history, enabling civilizations with superior weaponry and warfare capabilities to conquer others, even in the face of lower population. The historical context of the two World Wars demonstrated that belligerent powers could not solely rely on their domestic arms industry to shift the tides of war; rather, the performance of battlefield weapons played a significant role in determining their value. A notable example is the realization by Britain that suppressing Nazi Germany's U-Boat power required assistance from the United States (U.S.). The Royal Air Force imported B-24 bombers from the U.S. to locate and destroy the mighty U-Boats. In the present day, the U.S. dominates the arms trade, accounting for over 40% of global arms sales, while Turkey emerges as a rising star in the international market, particularly in Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). This research aims to examine the impact of the Russia-Ukraine War on arms trade between the U.S. and Turkey, utilizing the arms sales theory to evaluate its assumptions. The central question this research seeks to answer is how the arms sales of the U.S. and Turkey have been affected by the Russia-Ukraine War. The argument put forth is that the performance and quality of Turkish and American weapons have led to an increase in arms exports to other countries. By critically analyzing the implications of the Russia-Ukraine conflict on the arms trade, this research aims to shed light on the dynamics between the U.S., Turkey, and other nations, elucidating how armed conflicts impact the global arms market and the subsequent trade patterns that emerge