UK arms sales to the Middle East

Middle East arms sales graphic

22 February 2011 

UK arms sales to the Middle East and North Africa: who do we sell to, how much is military and how much just ‘controlled’?

UK sales of weapons and arms to the Middle East are in the news. So what is the market, run by the government’s Strategic Export Controls, worth?How big are arms sales to the Middle East and North Africa? The unrest in LibyaTunisiaEgypt and across the region has brought attention to one of the UK’s most successful export markets: military equipment.

It’s a world shrouded in secrecy, and centred on giant arms fairs, such as Idex, taking place in Abu Dhabi. In the UK the international arms trade is managed by Strategic Export Controls, which grant licenses. They’re not just for arms, but for a whole range of ‘controlled’ products. Here’s the official take from the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills:

Let’s look at Libya. The data shows that £215m worth of export licenses for controlled products were granted to companies selling stuff to Libya in the year to the end of September 2010. Of that amount, just under £8m were for equipment defined as military. Those products include riot control gear and tear gas.

Iran features on this list too, not for military equipment but for ‘other’ products – £424m of them. They include civil jet engines, chemicals and civilian aircraft.

What about the products classified under ‘other’? Campaigners such as the Campaign Against the Arms Trade point out that policing what happens to equipment once it gets to a country is impossible. How do you know that a navigation system is not being used in a military aircraft rather than a civil jet?

We have collected this data together, from 1 October 2009 to 1 October 2010 – the first time that this data has been collected on one spreadsheet. It includes:

• All categories of license by Middle East and North African countries
• All the military breakdowns, by category
• A complete breakdown of licenses by country

Data summary

Strategic export controls from the UK to the middle eastClick heading to sort table. Download this data
Country
All strategic export licenses
Total value of military & military/other licences
TOTAL MILITARY LICENSES
Examples of products sold Q4 2009 to End Q3 2010

SOURCE: FCO

Algeria 270,262,166 270,008,961 5 Combat helicopters
Bahrain 6,361,444 3,063,425 45 Aircraft parts; assault rifles; tear gas; ammunition
Egypt 16,804,843 4,007,966 31 Bombs, missiles, body armour,
Iran 424,174,977 0 0 Non-military such as civil aircraft components, imaging cameras
Iraq 476,555,614 4,772,784 31 Body armour, weapon sights, gun parts
Israel 26,733,874 4,639,459 91 Armoured plate, gas mask filters, signalling equipment, radar equipment
Jordan 20,972,889 11,994,142 51 Armoured vehicles, gun parts, gas mask filters
Kuwait 14,487,907 6,473,940 38 Anti-riot shields; patrol boats; military software
Lebanon 6,206,142 784,282 5 Body armour; shotguns
Libya 214,846,615 33,899,335 25 Ammunition; crowd-control equipment; tear gas
Morocco 2,165,881 1,149,102 18 Bomb-making parts; ‘swarming’ ropes; thermal imaging equipment
Oman 13,986,422 9,361,120 122 Combat aircraft parts; parts for unmanned ‘drones’; tank parts
Qatar 13,122,884 3,875,753 22 Crowd-control ammunition; military cargo vehicles; missile parts
Saudi Arabia 139,718,960 64,311,296 98 4-wheel drive vehicles; armoured personnel carriers, air surveillance equipment
Syria 2,676,460 30,000 1 Small arms ammunition
Tunisia 4,504,745 131,273 10 Radar equipment; gun parts
United Arab Emirates 210,415,462 15,890,384 152 Military software; heavy machine guns; weapon sights
Yemen 285,247 160,245 4 Body armour; ammunition
Total 1,864,282,532 434,553,467 749  
Photo: UK arms and controlled sales to the Middle East.
 

About kruitvat

I am working for the Belgian human rights association 'Werkgroep Morkhoven' which revealed the Zandvoort childporn case (88.539 victims). The case was covered up by the authorities. During the past years I have been really shocked by the way the rich countries of the western empire want to rule the world. One of my blogs: «Latest News Syria» (WordPress)/ Je travaille pour le 'Werkgroep Morkhoven', un groupe d'action qui a révélé le réseau pornographique d'enfants 'Zandvoort' (88.539 victims). Cette affaire a été couverte par les autorités. Au cours des dernières années, j'ai été vraiment choqué par la façon dont l'Occident et les pays riches veulent gouverner le monde. Un de mes blogs: «Latest News Syria» (WordPress)/ Ik werk voor de Werkgroep Morkhoven die destijds de kinderpornozaak Zandvoort onthulde (88.539 slachtoffers). Deze zaak werd door de overheid op een misdadige manier toegedekt. Gedurende de voorbije jaren was ik werkelijke geschokt door de manier waarop het rijke westen de wereld wil overheersen. Bezoek onze blog «Latest News Syria» (WordPress) ------- Photo: victims of the NATO-bombings on the Chinese embassy in Yougoslavia
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