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© /defence industry/ Electronics Production | March 10, 2015

Saudi Arabia replaces India as largest defence market for US

In 2014, global defence trade increased for the sixth straight year to USD 64.4 billion, up from USD 56.8 billion.
“Defence trade rose by a landmark 13.4 percent over the past year,” said Ben Moores, senior defence analyst at IHS Aerospace, Defence & Security. “This record figure has been driven by unparalleled demand from the emerging economies for military aircraft and an escalation of regional tensions in the Middle East and Asia Pacific.”

In IHS' annual global defence trade report, the researchers establish that one out of every seven dollars spent on defence imports will be spent by Saudi Arabia in 2015.

In 2014, Saudi Arabia replaced India as the largest importer of defence equipment worldwide and took the top spot as the number one trading partner for the US.

“Growth in Saudi Arabia has been dramatic and, based on previous orders, these numbers are not going to slow down,” Moores said.

Already the largest importer of weapons, Saudi Arabian imports increased by 54 percent between 2013 and 2014 and, based on planned deliveries, imports will increase by 52 percent to USD 9.8 billion in 2015. One out of every seven dollars spent on defence imports in 2015 will be spent by Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia and UAE together imported USD 8.6 billion in defence systems in 2014, more than the imports of Western Europe combined. The biggest beneficiary of the strong Middle Eastern market remains the US, with USD 8.4 billion worth of Middle Eastern exports in 2014, compared to USD 6 billion in 2013.

China and South Korea stand out in Asia Pacific. In 2014, China jumped from the world’s fifth to the third largest defence importer.

Russia had record year, but a perfect storm awaits. After years of sales growth, Russian industry exports now face challenging times. A drop off in exports is forecast for 2015 as major programs draw to a close, a trend that could be accelerated by sanctions.


Data from © IHS

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