The United States has taken a firm lead as the major arms exporter globally, according to new data on international arms transfers published today by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). Overall, the volume of international transfers of major conventional weapons grew by 16 per cent between 2005–2009 and 2010–14.
The volume of US exports of major weapons rose by 23 per cent between 2005–2009 and 2010–14.
Russian exports of major weapons increased by 37 per cent between 2005–2009 and 2010–14. During the same period, Chinese exports of major arms increased by 143 per cent, making it the third largest supplier in 2010–14, however still significantly behind the USA and Russia.
Arms exports up but less than during cold war
Imports by Gulf Cooperation Council states on the rise
Arms imports to Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states increased by 71 per cent from 2005–2009 to 2010–14, accounting for 54 per cent of imports to the Middle East in the latter period. Saudi Arabia rose to become the second largest importer of major weapons worldwide in 2010–14, increasing the volume of its arms imports four times compared to 2005–2009.
Asian arms imports continue to increase
Of the top 10 largest importers of major weapons during the 5-year period 2010–14, 5 are in Asia: India (15 per cent of global arms imports), China (5 per cent), Pakistan (4 per cent), South Korea (3 per cent) and Singapore (3 per cent).
These five countries accounted for 30 per cent of the total volume of arms imports worldwide. India accounted for 34 per cent of the volume of arms imports to Asia, more than three times as much as China. China’s arms imports actually decreased by 42 per cent between 2005–2009 and 2010–14.
Combat aircraft procurement in South East Asia and Oceania
Many states in South East Asia signifi cantly modernized and expanded their fleets of combat aircraft in 2010–2014. Several also ordered tanker aircraft that significantly expand the reach of combat aircraft. Singapore received 32 F-15E combat aircraft from the United States in 2010–14 and in 2014 ordered 6 A330 tanker aircraft from Spain. Singapore is also a minor partner in the USA’s F-35A combat aircraft programme and is expected to place an order in the near future. Russia delivered
24 Su-30 aircraft to Viet Nam and 8 more are on order. Indonesia received 3 Su-27 and 6 Su-30 aircraft from Russia and the fi rst 5 of 24 F-16C aircraft from the USA. It also received 16 T-50 light combat aircraft from South Korea. Indonesia has
placed an order for 50 KFX combat aircraft from South Korea and has plans to procure a large number of new combat and tanker aircraft.
SOURcE – Pieter D. Wezeman (Netherlands/Sweden) and Siemon T. Wezeman (Netherlands) with the SIPRI Arms and Military Expenditure Programme, NY Times