Producers of Cluster Munitions

The 2017 update of the report identified 6 companies involved in the production of (key components of) cluster munitions.

There are more than a dozen companies worldwide that fall under this definition – our so-called long list – but our report only mentions the ones that we find financial links to through the databases that we use for our research. We found a total of US$31 billion invested in these 6 companies.

Total investments per producer in US$ millions

Methodology

The goal of our research is to deliver an up-to-date state-of-the-art report on the involvement of financial institutions worldwide in companies that produce and/or develop cluster munitions. Before we identify these financial institutions, it is important to have a clear understanding of what we mean by cluster munitions and how we define a cluster munitions producer.

Definitions

For the definition of cluster munitions we rely on the text in article 2(2) of the Convention on Cluster Munitions

+ 2(2) of the Convention on Cluster Munitions
 Cluster munitions means a conventional munition that is designed to disperse or release explosive submunitions each weighing less than 20 kilograms, and includes those explosive submunitions.

It does not mean the following:

  1. A munition or submunition designed to dispense flares, smoke, pyrotechnics or chaff; or a munition designed exclusively for an air defence role;
  2. A munition or submunition designed to produce electrical or electronic effects;
  3. A munition that, in order to avoid indiscriminate area effects and the risks posed by unexploded submunitions, has all of the following characteristics:

i. Each munition contains fewer than ten explosive submunitions;

ii. Each explosive submunition weighs more than four kilograms;

iii. Each explosive submunition is designed to detect and engage a single target object;

iv. Each explosive submunition is equipped with an electronic self-destruction mechanism;

v. Each explosive submunition is equipped with an electronic self-deactivating feature;

Explosive submunition means a conventional munition that in order to perform its task is dispersed or released by a cluster munitions and is designed to function by detonating an explosive charge prior to, on or after impact;

 A producer of cluster munitions is defined as follows:

Any company or group of companies that, in its own name or through a subsidiary, develops or produces cluster munitions, or key components thereof since 2008 and has not publicly stated that it will end its involvement within a year.

Key components are components which form an integral and indispensable part of the cluster munitions or explosive submunitions.

We consider a company or group of companies to be a cluster munitions producer when any part, however small, of its total turnover is derived from producing (key components for) cluster munitions or explosive submunitions, regardless of the nature of the company’s other activities.

We do so, because most cluster munitions are produced by companies that also produce other defence and/or civil products. Companies and groups can easily reallocate capital internally; profit from one production line can be invested in other production lines; money for general corporate purposes can be used for any of the company’s activities, etc. Focusing solely on financing for cluster munitions is impossible and undesirable given the companies’ financial structures. Moreover, even if a company only gets 1% of its turnover from cluster munitions, this 1% can represent a considerable amount of money and can mean the production of large amounts of cluster munitions.

There are more than a dozen companies worldwide that fall under this definition – our so-called long list – but our report only mentions the ones that we find financial links to through the databases that we use for our research.

Criteria for inclusion on the long list

For our research project we have compiled a long list of cluster munitions producers that meet at least one of the following two criteria:

  • There is sufficient evidence that the company produced (key components for) cluster munitions or explosive submunitions since 30 May 2008 (the day the convention text was adopted in Dublin) and the company has not stated publicly that it will end its involvement in the coming 12 months;
  • There is sufficient evidence that over the past year the company has become involved in planned production or development of (key components for) cluster munitions or explosive submunitions and the company has not stated publicly that it will end its involvement in the coming 12 months

From long list to short list (our “Red Flag list”)

For all cluster munitions producers on the long list we researched if financial links with one or more financial institutions could be confirmed with reliable information in the public domain. If so, we include that companies on the Red Flag list.

The Hall of Shame, Chapter 1 section 2 of the report, contains short information of the links we found. When we could find no links to financial institutions, we decided not to include the cluster munitions producer in this report. This was mostly the case with state-owned and privately-owned companies. Because these companies are not taken into account, the short list of companies in this report can by no means be considered an exhaustive list of the companies, worldwide, involved in the production of (key components for) cluster munitions or explosive submunitions at present.


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