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15.3.10 US and Russia jointly accounted for more than half of global arms sales between 2005 and 2009, according to a report Monday by a Sweden-based research institute.

The volume of world arms sales increased by 22 percent in the five-year period when compared to 2000-2004, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said.

The US accounted for 30 percent of global arms exports in the period, selling arms to some 100 countries including its allies in the 28-member NATO defence alliance.

About half of US sales were linked to combat aircraft and 'associated weapons and components,' SIPRI said.

Russia accounted for about a quarter of global arms sales and was the main supplier to China and India, the world's largest arms importers in the period.

Other main Russian export markets were Algeria and Malaysia, which both acquired Russian combat fighters.

Fighter jets accounted for roughly one fourth of the volume of international arms transfers, SIPRI said, adding that 'orders and deliveries of these potentially destabilizing weapon systems have led to arms race concerns' in the Middle East, North Africa and South America.

The world's third largest arms exporter was Germany, with 11 percent of total sales. Its position was boosted by sales of armoured vehicles.

France was the fourth largest exporter, with a global share of eight percent, thanks to the sale of combat fighters, frigates and helicopters. Britain's four-percent share included sales of Hawk trainer aircraft used by India, SIPRI said.

South Korea, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Greece, big buyers of combat aircraft, were among the top-five importers of conventional weapons systems, SIPRI said. report, which does not include small arms, is based on public sources ranging from national and regional newspapers to specialized international journals.

SIPRI used a five-year cycle to even out fluctuations caused by a big order during any specific year.

The SIPRI database reflects volumes and is not designed to specify the financial value of sales, partly due to the constraints of using and comparing data, the institute said.


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