Arms imports by Saudi Arabia increased by 275 per cent in 2011-2015 when compared to 2006-2010, a report issued by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) revealed yesterday.
“A coalition of Arab states is putting mainly US- and European-sourced advanced arms into use in Yemen,” Senior Researcher with SIPRI’s Arms and Military Expenditure Programme Pieter Wezeman said.
“Despite low oil prices, large deliveries of arms to the Middle East are scheduled to continue as part of contracts signed in the past five years.”
According to the report, Saudi Arabia is the world’s second largest weapons importer after India. In the same period, Qatar’s imports rose by 279 per cent, the UAE’s by 35 per cent and Egypt’s imports rose by 37 per cent.
“With a 33 per cent share of total arms exports, the USA was the top arms exporter in 2011-15. Its exports of major weapons increased by 27 per cent compared to 2006-10,” the report said.
“Russian exports of major weapons increased by 28 per cent between 2006-10 and 2011-15, and Russia accounted for 25 per cent of global exports in the recent five-year period.” Russian exports returned to the lower annual levels observed in 2006-10, the report said.
Director of the SIPRI’s Arms and Military Expenditure Programme Dr Aude Fleurant said: “As regional conflicts and tensions continue to mount, the USA remains the leading global arms supplier by a significant margin.”
“The USA has sold or donated major arms to at least 96 states in the past five years, and the US arms industry has large outstanding export orders, including for a total of 611 F-35 combat aircraft to nine states.”