India is 2nd largest arms buyer from US
India ranked second in arms transfer agreements with US during 2006-2009 period, while Saudi Arabia is the leading developing world arms purchaser from 2002-2009, an independent bi-partisan Congressional report has said.
In its latest report, "Conventional Arms Transfers to Developing Nations, 2002-2009", Congressional Research Service (CRS) said that Saudi Arabia was the leading developing world arms purchaser from 2002-2009, making arms transfer agreements totalling $39.9 billion during these years.
CRS is the independent bi-partisan research wing of the US Congress, which prepares periodic reports on various issues for Congressmen. The CRS said in the 2002-2005 period, India ranked first in arms transfer agreements at $15.3 billion.
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Photographs: Courtesy Lockheed Martin
Saudi Arabia ranked first in arms transfer deals
From 2006-2009, Saudi Arabia ranked first in arms transfer agreements, with a substantial increase to $29.5 billion from $15.3 billion in the earlier 2002-2005 period.
"These increases reflect the military modernisation efforts by both Saudi Arabia and India, underway since the 1990s," the CRS told lawmakers adding that the total value of all arms transfer agreements with developing nations from 2002-2009 was $262.3 billion.
Thus, Saudi Arabia alone accounted for 15.2 per cent of all developing-world arms-transfer agreements during these eight years. In the most recent period, 2006-2009, Saudi Arabia made $29.5 billion in arms transfer agreements.
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India has begun to diversify its weapons supplier base
This total constituted 17.2 per cent of all arms transfer agreements with developing nations during these four years ($171.5 billion).
India ranked second in arms transfer agreements during 2006-2009 with $17.1 billion (in current dollars), or about 10 per cent of the value of all developing world arms-transfer agreements, the report said.
CRS told Congressmen that India, while the principal Russian arms customer, has begun to diversify its weapons supplier base, purchasing the Phalcon early warning defence system aircraft in 2004 from Israel and numerous items from France in 2005, in particular 6 Scorpene diesel attack submarines.
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Russia will face strong new competition in India
In 2008, India purchased 6 C130J cargo aircraft from the US. This pattern of Indian arms purchases indicates that it is likely that Russian firms will face strong new competition from other major weapons suppliers for the India arms market, the report said.
According to CRS, Asia has traditionally been the second largest developing-world arms market.
In 2006-2009, Asia ranked second, accounting for 34 per cent of the total value of all arms transfer agreements with developing nations ($59.8 billion).
Yet, in the earlier period, 2002-2005, the Asia region ranked first, accounting for 48.7.6 per cent of all such agreements ($45.2 billion).
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Russia vs US in Asia
In the earlier period (2002-2005), Russia ranked first in the value of arms transfer agreements with Asia with 39.8 per cent ($18 billion).
US ranked second with 16.9 per cent ($7.6 billion). The major West European suppliers, as a group, made 21.7 per cent of this region's agreements in 2002-2005.
In the later period (2006-2009), Russia ranked first in Asian agreements with 29.6 per cent ($17.7 billion), primarily due to major combat aircraft and naval system sales to India and China.
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Photographs: Staff Sgt Jacob N Bailey, US Air Force
Brazil, Venezuela: In a league of their own
US ranked second with 28.1 per cent ($16.8 billion in current dollars).
The major West European suppliers, as a group, made 14.9 per cent of this region's agreements in 2006-2009, the report said.
Brazil ranked first among all developing world recipients in the value of arms transfer agreements in 2009, concluding $7.2 billion in such agreements.
Venezuela ranked second in agreements with $6.4 billion. Saudi Arabia ranked third with $4.3 billion in agreements.
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India ranked fifth in arms deliveries in 2009
CRS said Saudi Arabia was the leading recipient of arms deliveries among developing world recipients in 2009, receiving $2.7 billion in such deliveries.
China ranked second in arms deliveries in 2009 with $1.5 billion. South Korea ranked third with $1.4 billion. India was ranked fifth with $1.2 billion.
Arms deliveries to the top ten developing nation recipients, as a group, were valued at $12.9 billion, or 75.9 per cent of all arms deliveries to developing nations in 2009.
Five of these top ten recipients were in the Near East; four were in Asia; one was in Latin America.