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Saudi Arabia replaces India as largest defence market for US

Staff writer |
Saudi Arabia and UAE together imported more than Western Europe combined; Russia exported $10 billion worth of defence equipment in 2014.

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IHS released its annual Global Defence Trade Report, which examines trends in the global defence market across 65 countries and is based upon 40,000 defence programme deliveries from IHS Aerospace, Defence & Security’s Markets Forecast database.

In 2014, global defence trade increased for the sixth straight year to $64.4 billion, up from $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."

Saudi Arabia topped India to become the largest defence market for US. The US supplied one-third of all exports and was the main beneficiary of growth. Saudi Arabia and UAE imported more than all of Western Europe.

China is now the third largest importer of defence equipment, up from fifth. South Korea is the rising star of Asia Pacific exports. Despite a record 2014, Russian defence exports are set to drop. Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Sweden and Nigeria are the UK’s top trading partners.

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