India leads the world in fighter aircraft buys: SIPRI

  • 12:00 AM, November 11, 2010
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India leads the world in fighter aircraft buys: SIPRI
India purchased 115 fighter planes during 2005-09, making it the world’s leading buyer of fighters during the last five years. India is followed by the U.A.E. with 87 and Israel with 83 fighter aircraft buys. Ironically, the world’s top fighter aircraft exporter, the U.S., bought only 33 fighters during the same period, according to a report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). In a report published Nov. 10, SIPRI said that the U.S. had sold 341 fighter jets, up from 286 planes sold during the previous five-year period, while Russia sold 219 planes, down from 331, and France sold 75, up from 58. Only 11 of the world's countries figure on the list of combat aircraft producers: the United States, Russia, China, France, Sweden, India and Japan on their own, and Germany, Italy, Spain and Britain as part of the Eurofighter consortium. Of these, India and China had no exports. During the five-year period, more than 50 countries, including Algeria (32), Bangladesh (16), Israel (82), Jordan (36), Pakistan (23), Syria (33), Venezuela (24), Chile (28), Poland (48), China (45) and Yemen (37), purchased a total of 995 new and second-hand fighter planes. For producer countries, the economic gains from the planes are significant: "the more advanced aircraft cost over 40 million dollars (29 million euros) each and often substantially more," according to SIPRI, adding however that the actual price of such a plane is difficult to estimate. For instance, the Eurofighter consortium cashed in between $6 billion and $7 billion by selling 72 planes to Saudi Arabia, while Australia paid the U.S. $4.8 billion for 24 F/A-18E planes and India dished out $1.5 billion-$1.6 billion for 40 Russian Su-30MKI planes. India looks well on its way to topping the fighter aircraft buyers big league as it is on track to purchase 126 medium multi role fighters, an estimated 75 naval carrier based jets and additional units of BAE Hawk trainer/fighter jets besides an Russian Sukhoi 30 fighters.
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