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UK overtakes US in becoming world’s largest arms exporter

23 July 2008

The Defence and Security Organisation (DSO) has shown that the UK has overtaken the US as the world’s largest exporter of arms. This is mainly due to an order for Typhoon aircraft from Saudi Arabia, subsequently followed by orders for offshore patrol vessels from Oman and Trinidad, all contributing towards Britain winning £10bn of defence orders. A massive 33% of the world export market.

UK overtakes US in becoming world’s largest arms exporter
UK overtakes US in becoming world’s largest arms exporter

Furthermore, the DSO shows exports of $53bn from the UK, making it the second largest exporter of arms over the previous five years, after the US, which exported $63bn.

These values are based on arms orders. However, orders are not always completed. A more precise measure would be arms deliveries, as used by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.
The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute shows that the UK is the sixth largest supplier of defence equipment in 2007, beaten by the US, Germany, France, Russia and the Netherlands. Over the previous five years the UK was the fifth largest.

Both organisations highlight the success of the UK defence industry and the obvious subsequent economic benefits.

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