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SIPRI Report 2021: U.S. Tops Weapon Exports, Saudi Arabia Weapon Imports (Again)

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SIPRI Report 2021: U.S. Tops Weapon Exports, Saudi Arabia Weapon Imports (Again)

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On March 15th, The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) released its weapon sales report. This time it was focused on the past 5 years, and not just the past year.

Before getting into any detail, it concluded that the US remained the largest weapons exporter on the planet, while Saudi Arabia remained the largest weapons importer.

The five largest arms exporters in 2016–20 were the United States, Russia, France, Germany and China.

The five largest arms importers were Saudi Arabia, India, Egypt, Australia and China.

Between 2011–15 and 2016–20 there were increases in arms transfers to the Middle East (25%) and to Europe (12%), while there were decreases in the transfers to Africa (–13%), the Americas (–43%), and Asia and Oceania (–8.3%).

The graph below shows the ranking of the exporters, and their largest customers.

SIPRI Report 2021: U.S. Tops Weapon Exports, Saudi Arabia Weapon Imports (Again)

Click to see full-size image

Notably, the US has a larger global share of weapon sales than the next 3 countries – Russia, France, Germany – combined. It has slightly less exports than Russia, Germany, France and China combined.

SIPRI has identified 65 states as exporters of major arms in 2016–20. The five largest suppliers of arms during that period—the USA, Russia, France, Germany and China—accounted for 76 per cent of all arms exports. France had the highest increase in arms exports among the top five. US and German arms exports also grew, while Russian and Chinese arms exports decreased. The top 25 arms exporters accounted for 99% of global exports of major arms in 2016–20. States in North America and Europe together accounted for 86% of all arms exports.

The USA delivered major arms to 96 states in 2016–20, a far higher number of recipients than any other supplier. In 2016–20 total arms exports by the USA were 85% higher than those of Russia—the second largest exporter—compared with 24% higher in 2011–15.

Almost half (47%) of US arms exports went to the Middle East in 2016–20, an increase of 28% on the previous five-year period.

In 2016–20 Russia delivered major arms to 45 states and accounted for 20% of total global arms exports. India remained the main recipient of Russian arms in 2016–20, accounting for 23% of the total, followed by China (18%) and Algeria (15%).

Saudi Arabia was the world’s largest arms importer in 2016–20 and received 11% of global arms imports. The USA accounted for 79 % of Saudi Arabian arms imports in 2016–20, followed by the UK with 9.3%. In 2016–20 Saudi Arabia strengthened its long-range strike capabilities with 91 combat aircraft from the USA and 15 from the UK. It also imported 14 air defense systems from the USA. By the end of 2020 several large deliveries of major arms were outstanding, including for 61 combat aircraft, 4 frigates and 7 anti-ballistic missile systems from the USA, and 5 frigates from Spain. Saudi Arabia is therefore expected to remain among the world’s largest arms importers in the coming five years.

The stage is set, the Middle East will likely receive the majority of the world’s weapons exports in the next 5 years, and many of the hotspots are likely to get even hotter.


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Proud Hindu

The main thing is we have reduced purchasing Russian junk weapons and are now purchasing more western and Israeli weaons


You have bought thousand +, tanks (will buy T-14 as well ) and have bought 500+ aircraft from Russia with license productions of Kamov light transport chopper and SU-30MKI jets.
It is POLITICaL decision to have mixed suppliers of the weapons (not only Russian but Western also)
The is the only true reason why you didn’t buy even more Russian jets… which you have bought almost 400 fighter jets (SU-30MKI, MiG-29SMT) in last decade.
You can’t afford to pay 20-30 000$ flight hour for expensive US jets that’s why you buy French
You will even renounce your crappy Arjun tank. And buy even more T-90 MS (that are better, more adequate for your bridges, than “arjun” and cheaper).
You will most probably buy 5th generation SU-57 of the shelf (if you have money) because you need one as response to Chinese J-20

Just Me

Just to rip off the dumbass moronic Saudi retards who as Trump said, “can not fight their way out of a paper bag”. SIPRI is quite factual and also stated in the same report the quagmire in Yemen is costing the Saudi pimps over $5 billion month and the US and UK mercenary pilots alone cost $1 million a month to bomb and starve the women and children of Yemen. Disgraceful a$$holes.

Ashok Varma

Even for the 1% Saudi population that can barely read a newspaper, this appalling waste of money at time their oil revenues are being depleted by the lost war in Yemen, the figures alone should flag a very bleak future. In real terms accounting for “consulting and support services” , Saudi Arabia is thought to have the third biggest defence budget in the world, behind only the U.S. and China. India despite being the second most populous country, has a smaller budget than the Saudis. As the SIPRI data points out, India is importing less weapons than many small developing nations. Only US is hooked on militarization, terrorism and wars, spending more than the whole world combined and destroying the future of its worryingly impoverished population as the poor response to Covid 19 is amply demonstrating .


US sells more weapons to maintain their MIC viable, since domestic procurements are in a acquisition quagmire due to poor quality and lack of weaponry compatible for today’s needs.

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