‘India 2nd in arms transfer agreements with 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.

Washington: 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 USD 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 USD 15.3 billion.

From 2006-2009, Saudi Arabia ranked first in arms
transfer agreements, with a substantial increase to USD 29.5
billion from USD 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 USD 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 USD 29.5 billion in arms transfer agreements.

This total constituted 17.2 per cent of all arms transfer
agreements with developing nations during these four years
(USD 171.5 billion).

India ranked second in arms transfer agreements during
2006-2009 with USD 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 defense
system aircraft in 2004 from Israel and numerous items from
France in 2005, in particular 6 Scorpene diesel attack
submarines.

In 2008, India purchased 6 C130J cargo aircraft from the
US. This pattern of Indian arms purchases indicates that it is
likely that Russian 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 (USD
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 (USD 45.2 billion).

In the earlier period (2002-2005), Russia ranked first in
the value of arms transfer agreements with Asia with 39.8 per
cent (USD 18 billion).

US ranked second with 16.9 per cent (USD 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 (USD 17.7 billion),
primarily due to major combat aircraft and naval system sales
to India and China.

US ranked second with 28.1 per cent (USD 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
USD 7.2 billion in such agreements.

Venezuela ranked second in agreements with USD 6.4
billion. Saudi Arabia ranked third with USD 4.3 billion in
agreements.

CRS said Saudi Arabia was the leading recipient of arms
deliveries among developing world recipients in 2009,
receiving USD 2.7 billion in such deliveries.

China ranked second in arms deliveries in 2009 with USD
1.5 billion. South Korea ranked third with USD 1.4 billion.
India was ranked fifth with USD 1.2 billion.

Arms deliveries to the top ten developing nation
recipients, as a group, were valued at USD 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.

PTI

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