Saudi military spending jumps 50% to $9.3bn

Jun 18, 2016 12:00 AM

A surge in weapons purchases by Saudi Arabia helped push global arms sales up more than 10 percent last year, according to a new report.

The global defence market climbed to $65 billion in 2015, up by $6.6 billion from 2014, IHS said in its Global Defence Trade Report.

According to Bloomberg, while purchases by Saudi Arabia, which is leading a coalition of nations fighting in Yemen, jumped about 50 percent to $9.3 billion, growth was seen across much of the Middle East and Southeast Asia.

It said Saudi Arabia’s purchases in the past year include Eurofighter Typhoon jets, F-15 warplanes and Apache helicopters, as well as weapons, drones and surveillance equipment.

IHS predicted faltering oil prices won’t recover beyond current levels for another three years, so oil exporters will "have to cut back on procurements".

Bloomberg said the US remained the top weapons exporter in 2015, supplying almost $23 billion in goods and equipment, of which $8.8 billion went to the Middle East.

In April, research from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) showed that Saudi Arabia’s defence expenditure rose by 5.7 percent to $87.2 billion in 2015, overtaking Russia to make it the world’s third-largest military spender.

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