According to IHS Jane's, Saudi Arabia has displaced India as the world's biggest importer of defense equipment. Saudi arms imports increased 54 percent between 2013 and 2014, reaching $6.46 billion. To put the scale of the Middle East's booming weapons trade into perspective, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates imported $8.6 billion of military equipment in 2014 - that's more than the defense imports of Western Europe combined.
With the Kingdom reinforcing its armed forces to counter regional threats such as Iran and the Islamic State, weapons shipments are set to increase even further in volume. Ongoing deliveries of advanced weapons systems including F-15 and Typhoon fighter jets are going to boost imports 52 percent in 2015 to $9.9 billion. Worldwide, India is in second place with defense imports in 2014 amounting to $5.57 billion. China completes the top three, spending $2.6 billion on arms imports in 2014.