STOCKHOLM — Surging global weapons transfers are raising concerns about arms races in tension-fraught areas of the globe, a leading peace research group warned today.

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute said transfers of major conventional weapons rose by 22 percent in 2005-2009, compared to the previous five-year period.

The United States remains the biggest arms supplier, accounting for 30 percent of weapons exports, while China and India are the biggest importers of conventional weapons, SIPRI said. It added that Singapore and Algeria both made the top-10 list of major weapons importers for the first time.

The institute, which uses five-year averages to spot trends in global arms transfers, said the latest data raise concerns about arms races brewing in volatile regions in the Middle East, North Africa, South America, South Asia and Southeast Asia.

Combat aircraft accounted for 27 percent of the volume of international arms transfers in 2005-2009, SIPRI said. U.S. deliveries included 72 F-16 fighter jets to the United Arab Emirates, 52 to Israel and 40 F-15 jets to South Korea.

Russia, the world’s No. 2 weapons exporter, delivered 82 Sukhoi fighters to India, 28 to Algeria and 18 to Malaysia, SIPRI said. This year Russia is competing with European and U.S. suppliers for an Indian order of 126 combat aircraft.

The SIPRI database includes conventional weapons such as aircraft, armored vehicles, artillery, sensors, missiles, ships and air defense systems.


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