Published: Tue, February 21, 2017
Finance | By Laverne Griffith

Global weapons sales highest since end of Cold War

Global weapons sales highest since end of Cold War

It has delivered major weapons to at least 100 countries over the five-year period, significantly more than any other exporting country. Their share in a total volume of global arms exports accounted for 33 %.

Saudi Arabia, which leads a military intervention in Yemen, became the second biggest buyer of arms, followed by the United Arab Emirates, China, and Algeria, the study said.

"While China is increasingly able to substitute arms imports with indigenous products, India remains dependent on weapons technology from many willing suppliers, including Russian Federation, the US, European states, Israel and South Korea", Wezeman said. Its share in world arms exports accounts for 23 %.

The US remained the world's biggest arms exporter, accounting for 33 percent of all weapons sold in the five years through 2016, the study found. Russian Federation is the second largest supplier, while China took third place.

"India was the world's largest importer of major arms in 2012-16, accounting for 13 per cent of the global total", the leading think-tank said.

The region of Asia and Oceania accounted for 43 percent of all imports in the period.

The UK remained the biggest importer of major weapons in Europe in the 2012-2016 period, despite its inflows decreasing by 22 percent compared with the previous five year period.

The volume of worldwide transfers of major weapons has grown continuously since 2004 and increased by 8.4 per cent between 2007-11 and 2012-16, according to SIPRI.

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The arms market has been bustling these past five years, with weapons trade at its highest since the Cold War era.

SIPRI data reflects the volume of deliveries of arms, not the financial value of the deals.

The majority of other states in the Middle East also increased arms imports, although at a lower rate than the Gulf nations.

The United States and France are the main weapons providers for the Middle East, while Russian Federation and China are the main exporters to Asia.

"Over the past five years, most states in the Middle East have turned primarily to the U.S. and Europe in their accelerated pursuit of advanced military capabilities". In 2012-2016 Azerbaijani arms supplies turned 20-fold bigger than Armenian.

Tensions have grown since 2014 as China has turned sandbars into islands, equipping them with airfields, ports and weapons systems and warned USA warships and aircraft to stay away from them.

This leaves India overwhelmingly reliant on foreign imports, mainly from Russian Federation, the United States and Israel.

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