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HomeGlobal Perspective & Critical ResearchUSA and France dramatically increase major arms exports; Saudi Arabia is largest...

USA and France dramatically increase major arms exports; Saudi Arabia is largest arms importer

Author: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)

Affiliation: SIPRI

Organization/Publisher: SIPRI

Date/Place: March 09, 2020/ Stockholm, Sweden

Type of Literature: Report

Number of Pages: 12


Keywords: Saudi Arabia, US, France, Arms Race, India, Pakistan



According to the latest report by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), the conflict-ridden Middle East witnessed an increase of 61% in its arms imports between 2010–14 and 2015–19, accounting for 35% of total global arms imports over the past five years. The independent report showed a 5.5% worldwide increase in major arms transfer among countries during the same period. Saudi Arabia led among the regional countries, its imports increased by 130% compared with the previous five-year period, thus comprising 12% of total global arms imports in 2015–19. United States, Russia, France, Germany and China were the largest exporters of arms. India and Pakistan ranked second and eleventh arms importers in the same period, while United Arab Emirates which is militarily involved in the Libyan conflict was the 8th largest importer. Interestingly, Russia witnessed an 18% decrease in its arms exports between the reporting periods 2010–14 and 2015–19, as India apparently cut down its imports from the Russian defense industry. However, US and France have increased their arms output, the report shows. While during 2010–14 and 2015–19, US exports of major arms grew by 23%–major US arms equipment went to 96 countries. The US arms exports represents a 36% share in total global arms exports. Similarly, France witnessed a major boost in its defense exports, registering its highest level for any five-year period since 1990. The report shows an unprecedented boost in Turkey’s domestic defense production. From being the world’s third largest arms importer in 1995–99, Turkey’s arms imports demand decreased by 48% in 2015-19 period from 2010-14. The report shows France witnessed a 72% increase in arms exports during 2015-19 from the 2010–14 period; Egypt, Qatar and India are the biggest purchasers for the French defense equipment. Azerbaijan and Armenia, two rivals over Nagorno-Karabakh, are also building their military capacities with Russia supplying arms to both countries.


By: Riyaz Ul Khaliq, CIGA Non-Resident Research Associate




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