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The top 15 companies that export arms to Saudi Arabia

·Senior Economics Correspondent at Yahoo Finance UK
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Saudi Arabia is the biggest military importer in the world, spending $7.6bn last year to bring in a range of military equipment and services, according to data from IHS Markit.

Here’s an overview of the top companies that have supplied military equipment and services to Saudi Arabia over the past five years, based on IHS figures. Most are American and European multinational firms.

  1. Boeing (BA) – The American aerospace company has been among the top military suppliers to Saudi Arabia over the past several years, with annual exports exceeding $1bn in each of the past four years. The company has delivered about $5.6bn in arms to the kingdom over five years. Boeing is traded on the New York Stock Exchange and has a market capitalisation of about $200bn.

  2. General Dynamics (GD) – The aerospace and defence company boasted the top military deliveries to Saudi Arabia in 2017, according to IHS data. Over the past five years, the value of its exports to the kingdom reached $4.5bn. General Dynamics is traded on the New York Stock Exchange and has a market capitalisation of about $56bn.

  3. Raytheon (RTN) – The New York-listed company, with a market capitalisation of $55bn, has built a business relationship with Saudi Arabia over the past 50 years. Sales over the past five years have exceeded $3.5bn.

  4. BAE Systems (BA.L)

  5. Eurofighter

  6. Lockheed Martin (LMT)

  7. Textron (TXT)

  8. Norinco

  9. KNDS

  10. Thales

  11. Airbus (AIR.PA)

  12. Pilatus

  13. Hensoldt

  14. General Electric (GE)

  15. MBDA

Saudi’s military purchases have come under scrutiny in recent days after the nation admitted that Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi embassy in Istanbul, Turkey.

German chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday vowed to halt German arms exports to Saudi Arabia until the case is cleared up.

But Germany exports far less to Saudi Arabia than the US, Canada and the UK.

Germany delivered just under $300m in military goods and services to Saudi Arabia last year, a figure dwarfed by the $4.1bn that the US sent to Saudi over the same period. Canada and the UK each delivered more than $1bn in military exports to the kingdom last year.

Saudi Arabia spends billions each year on military imports. Photo: Abdullah Al-Qadry/Getty Images
Saudi Arabia spends billions each year on military imports. Photo: Abdullah Al-Qadry/Getty Images

Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau said on Tuesday that it would be very hard to scrap an arms deal with Riyadh.

The 2014 agreement for light armoured vehicles, signed by Canada’s previous government and General Dynamics, was written in such a way that taxpayers would have to pay a large amount of money to end it, he said.

With files from Reuters

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