Turkish arms imports fell by 48% between 2015 and 2019 compared to the previous five-year period, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s annual report showed.
The report said the drop was due to the cancellation of a large deal with the U.S. for combat aircraft and developments in the Turkish arms industry’s capability.
According to the data provided by the institute, the five largest exporters in 2015-2019 were the U.S., Russia, France, Germany and China. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia, India, Egypt, Australia and China were the largest importers.
Between 2010-2014 and 2015-2019, there were increases in arms transfers to the Middle East and Europe, while there were decreases in the transfers to Africa, the Americas, Asia and Oceania.
The SIPRI data showed that the flow of arms to the Middle East has increased, with Saudi Arabia being the world’s largest importer. Meanwhile, the U.S. and France were leaders in arms exports. U.S exports of major arms grew by 23% in 2015-2019, raising its share of the total global arms exports to 36%.
In the same period, the total arms export of the U.S was 76% higher than those of the second-largest arms exporter in the world, Russia. The U.S. exported arms to 96 countries around the world.
According to the report, the volume of international transfers of major arms in 2015-2019 was 5.5% higher than in 2010-2014 and 20% higher than in 2005-2009.
Senior Researcher with the SIPRI Arms and Military Expenditure Programme Pieter Wezeman said half of U.S arms exports in the past five years went to the Middle East, and half of those went to Saudi Arabia. He added that demand for the U.S.’ advanced military aircraft increased, particularly in Europe, Australia, Japan and Taiwan.
Russian arms exports decreased by 18% between 2010-2014 and 2015-2019, the report said.
“Russia has lost traction in India – the main long-term recipient of Russian major arms – which has led to a sharp reduction in arms exports,” said Alexandra Kuimova, a SIPRI researcher. “This decrease was not offset by the increase in Russian arms exports to Egypt and Iraq in 2015-19.”