Guns 'made in Germany' are popular, making it the world's fourth biggest arms exporter. DW went to a major center of the German weapons industry, Oberndorf am Neckar, where various arms manufacturers are based. One of them is Heckler & Koch.
US firms are by far at the top of the global arms trade, according to an expert report. Germany's largest defense company landed at 25th among the globe's top 100; Russia, Turkey and China are also boosting production.
The German government has approved less small arms exports during the first six months of 2018 compared to last year. But critics have cast doubt on the decrease, saying light weapons sales have grown significantly.
MPs from Angela Merkel's CDU have been accused of taking bribes from the German gunmaker Heckler & Koch to grease the export wheels. Germany's opaque party donations system remains vulnerable to bribery, activists say.
Germany's biggest small arms maker is bidding for the contract to supply the German army's standard assault rifle. But Heckler & Koch's HK433 would only replace the firm's own scandal-ridden G36.
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