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U.S. global arms sales tripled to record $66.3 bln in 2011

Washington , Mon, 27 Aug 2012 ANI

Washington, Aug. 27 (ANI): Weapons sales by the United States tripled in 2011 to a record high, a new study for Congress has revealed.

The surge in weapons sales is driven by major arms sales to Persian Gulf allies concerned about Iran's regional ambitions, the report prepared by the non-partisan Congressional Research Service, a division of the Library of Congress, revealed.

According to the New York Times, overseas weapons sales by the United States totaled 66.3 billion dollars last year, or more than three-quarters of the global arms market, valued at 85.3 billion dollars in 2011.

Russia came second in the arms sales, earning 4.8 billion dollars in deals.

The study found that American weapons sales total was an 'extraordinary increase' over the 21.4 billion dollars in deals for 2010, and was the largest single-year sales total in the history of United States arms exports, the report said.

The increasing tensions with Iran led a set of Persian Gulf nations, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Oman, to purchase American weapons at record levels.

Their arms purchases focused on buying expensive warplanes and complex missile defense systems.

The annual study, written by Richard F. Grimmett and Paul K. Kerr and delivered to Congress, is considered the most detailed collection of unclassified arms sales data available to the public.

The report said that agreements with Saudi Arabia included the purchase of 84 advanced F-15 fighters, a variety of ammunition, missiles and logistics support, and upgrades of 70 of the F-15 fighters in the current fleet.

Other significant weapons deals by the United States last year included a 4.1 billion dollars agreement with India for 10 C-17 transport planes and with Taiwan for Patriot antimissile batteries valued at 2 billion dollars, the report said. (ANI)

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