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Wed 17 Mar 2010 07:35 AM

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UAE is world's fourth largest importer of arms

UAE received 33% of total arms shipped to Mideast from 2005 to 2009, research shows.

UAE is world's fourth largest importer of arms
ARMS TRADE: Of the total arms shipped to the Middle East during 2005-2009, 33 percent were transferred to the UAE. (Getty Images)

The UAE was the world’s fourth largest importer of arms during the last five years, according to research released on Tuesday.

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), an independent international institute dedicated to research into the worldwide arms industry, has published its latest Arms Transfers Database, which found that the Middle East accounted for 17 percent of international transfers of major conventional weapons for the period 2005 to 2009.

Of the total arms shipped to the Middle East during the period, 33 percent were transferred to the UAE and 13 percent to Egypt.

In the global league table of recipients of arms, the UAE took fourth in the rankings, receiving six percent of all arms transferred globally during the five year period. The top three recipients were China (nine percent), India (seven percent) and South Korea (six percent).

The US accounted for 60 percent of the arms shipped to the UAE, followed by France (25 percent) and Germany (one percent). During 2005 and 2009, the UAE took delivery of 34 Mirage-2000 combat aircraft from France and 72 F-16s from the USA, according to the SIPRI research.

The data also showed that the UAE “looks set to remain a major arms importer in the coming years” as it currently has orders for four Patriot-3 surface-to-air missile systems, six C-17 transport aircraft, 40 UH-60M helicopters and twenty HIMARS multiple rocket launchers from the USA; four Baynunah corvettes and three A-330 MRTT tanker/transport aircraft from France; and up to 50 96K9 Pantsyr-S1 air defence systems from Russia.

In terms of suppliers, the US was the biggest and accounted for 30 percent of conventional weapons shipped between 2005 and 2009, followed by Russia (23 percent), Germany (11percent), France (eight percent) and the UK (four percent).

Kaptain 9 years ago

UAE being a peaceful and non-offensive country.. What are arms to do when the utility is near Zero..?

Walter 9 years ago

Does the UAE need such arms? It is a peaceful country in as far as I'm concerned. Somebody should tell me something else.

alex 9 years ago

For defence: the UAE has the four largest oil reserves in the world, it is arguably the US' closest Arab ally, it takes a reasonably relaxed attitude to Islamic and western intergration, it has a direct sea border with Iran - do you need any further reasons?! I suspect that, notwithstanding being in the Middle East, the UAE is probably more transparent about its arms purchases than many countries and therefore its purchases appear large because it's actually disclosed them and many countries haven't; as its arms are only for defence it has nothing to hide. As a resident, I'm very pleased that the UAE spends a lot on defence.

Kaptain 9 years ago

Iran and UAE have positive bilateral relationship and Iran wouldn't launch a preemptive attack on the Arab world as it is itself a part of it. Also they share the same culture and values. Its a bogus concept of projecting Iran as one of the evils of the region. Other 'evils' too weren't and aren't threatening, let alone the reports which couldn't be ratified and proved before that to consolidate the claims.

Telco guy 9 years ago

Weapons add credibility to your defense capabilities. Even if they go unused they are helpful as they may convince someone else from not attacking. About Iran attacking or not, that goes beyond my area of expertise, but following that reasoning Iraq should not have invaded Kuwait (I think Iraqis see themselves much more arabs than Iranians) or Germany would not have invaded Poland in 1939 as both are "European".... Truth is that most wars historically happen between neighbors (as obviously it is easier to fight someone closer to you)