India and China world's biggest arms shoppers
New data released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) shows that the US remains the biggest arms supplier, accounting for 30 per cent of weapons exports. The main recipients of American weapons were South Korea, the United Arab Emirates and Israel.
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Image: IAF surface-to-air missiles displayed as IL-76 aircraft prepares to land at Hindon air force station
Photographs: Vijay Mathur/Reuters
Arms transfers rose 22 pc in 2005-2009
While China's arms imports accounted for nine per cent of the global defence sales, the same figure for India was seven per cent, SIPRI said.
Eighty-nine per cent of China's arms imports originated from Russia, it said while identifying France and Ukraine (three per cent each) as the other major sources of conventional weapons.
Image: Littoral Combat Ship USS Independence sails in the Gulf of Mexico
Photographs: Dennis Griggs/General Dynamics/Handout/Reuters
Russia is still India's biggest supplier
The SIPRI noted that the volume of arms transferred to the top five major recipients for the period 2005 2009 has increased by four per cent over 2000 2004, but the volume of arms transferred to the two largest importers for both periods, China and India, has decreased by around 20 per cent and seven per cent, respectively.
Transfers of major conventional weapons systems to China have dropped significantly in the last three years. With the exception of a handful of helicopters from France and Russia, no major conventional weapons were delivered to China in 2009, SIPRI said.
Image: Chinese People's Liberation Army air force helicopters
Photographs: Alex Hofford/Pool/Reuters
Volume of weapons sold will keep rising
The volume of deliveries to India and Pakistan has increased significantly in recent years and will continue to rise during the next five years.
India continues to receive Su-30MKI combat aircraft and T-90S tanks from Russia and in 2009 received its first A-50 airborne early warning aircraft, considered an important force-multiplier, from Israel.
Pakistan received 2 Jiangwei (or F-22P) frigates, its first new major surface warship for many years, and the first of up to 300 JF-17 combat aircraft from China.
It also received its first airborne early-warning aircraft, the Saab- 2000AEW aircraft from Sweden.
Image: IAF's SU-30KMKI fly in formation
A destabilising outcome
The SIPRI said combat aircraft accounted for 27 per cent of the volume of international arms transfers during 2005 2009.
Orders and deliveries of these potentially destabilising weapon systems have led to arms race concerns in the following regions of tension: the Middle East, North Africa, South America, South Asia and South East Asia.
SIPRI, established in 1966, is an independent international institute dedicated to research into conflict, armaments, arms control and disarmament.
Image: A T-90 Main Battle Tank takes part in a war game