Saudi Arabia has trumped India as the largest defense market for the United States.
The country became the top trading partner for the United States in 2014 after it spent $6.4 billion on weapons and logistics, while India only spent $5.57 billion on defense purchases, according to an IHS Global Defense Trade report made public Sunday. The report projects that Saudi Arabia will increase those defense purchases by 52 percent in 2015.
“Growth in Saudi Arabia has been dramatic and, based on previous orders, these numbers are not going to slow down,” IHS defense analyst Ben Moores said.
An expanding demand from emerging economies for military aircraft and rising tensions in the Middle East and Asia Pacific contributed to that growth, Reuters reported. Saudi Arabia — as well as China, India, the United Arab Emirates and Taiwan — are among the top 10 importers of weapons in 2014, according to the report.
Saudi Arabia is one of five nation states who has been dropping bombs over Syria in support of a multinational war against Islamic State militants. Those militants have been feeding their extremist goals to wage a war against the West by recruiting new members, grabbing territory and snatching lucrative oil resources in Syria and neighboring nation Iraq.