Saudi, India deals shot up US arms exports in 2011

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Arms
New York, Aug 29: The USA sold weapons worth $66.3 billion in 2011, accounting for 78 per cent of the global arms transaction during the year, revealed a recent survey of the Congress. Washington's major arms clients are from Asia and they include Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), India and Taiwan. The Saudis and the Emirates mainly bought arms from the US to counter 'threats' from Iran, which is also considered to be in the bad books of Washington.

Saudi Arabia was the biggest arms buyer among the developing countries and bought arms worth $6.9 billion including 84 advanced F-15 fighters. The UAE bought arms worth $4.5 billion. India ($4.5 billion) and Taiwan, which are modernising their armies, are among other big buyers of US arms. The US sold antimissile batteries worth $2 billion to Taiwan, a deal which caused tension with China.

The annual report said the US arms trade saw a huge leap from $21.4 billion in 2010 to $66.3 billion a year after, registering it the largest in a single year in the history of the country's arms export business, it said.

Washington remained the leading arms supplier with all other major suppliers, except France, saw a decline in their respective dealings. Russia, for instance, another major arms supplier, saw its sales getting nearly half of $4.8 billion in 2011. The irony is that Moscow was the clear winner in the arms exporting race between 2003 and 2006 but was overtaken thereafter by Washington.

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