Egypt ranked first among developing nations for importing arms in 2015, bringing in weaponry that amounted to $5.3bn, according to a new US congressional report titled “Conventional arms transfers to developing nations, 2008-2015”.
In that same list, Egypt is followed by Iraq and Saudi Arabia, with $5bn and $4.5bn, respectively.
Egypt occupied second place on the list for developing countries that acquired most arms deals in 2015, only being outranked by Qatar.
In 2015, Qatar signed arms deals worth $17.5bn, whereas Egypt signed agreements worth $11.9bn.
Developing countries continued to be the biggest purchaser of arms in 2015, according to the report. The study made a comparison between deals made by Qatar and Egypt based on the financial cost of the arms transfer agreements.
Saudi Arabia ranked third on the list with arms deals worth $8.6bn.
Egypt has finalised several arms deals with different countries, despite the country’s precarious financial situation that has plagued the government since the 25 January Revolution.
However, according to data compiled by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), an international think-tank based in Sweden that tracks arms based on production price rather than the price at the time of purchase, the value of arms transfers to Egypt in 2015 reached $1.475bn, compared to $686m in 2010 and $368m in 2014.
In July 2015, Egypt received three high-tech French Rafale jet fighters, as the first batch of 24 jets financed by a French government loan.
The delivery of the jets came as part of a military agreement between Egypt and France which includes, alongside the jets, a FREMM frigate, according to a statement by the military spokesperson issued then.
The Egypt-France defense deal is worth €5.2bn, and has been financed with the help of a €3.2bn loan by the French government.
In 2012, Egypt held an arms deal with Germany through which it agreed to provide Egypt with four state-of-the-art military submarines.
The cost of the first two ships was around €900m, while the other two submarine contracts are estimated at well over €500m, according to Germany’s Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA) news agency.
The US congressional report was prepared by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, a division of the Library of Congress, and delivered to legislators last week.
It ranked the US first in selling arms, as the country signed deals worth $40bn. The US was followed by France as the second biggest dealer, with $15bn in sales.
The study listed the largest purchaser of arms in the developing world in 2015 as the following: Qatar, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Pakistan, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and Iraq.
The major sellers were listed as the US, France, Russia, China, Sweden, Italy, Germany, Turkey, Britain, and Israel.