• Sweden edition
 
Warplane sales 'destabilising': Swedish think tank
Sweden produces and exports the Saab Gripen

Warplane sales 'destabilising': Swedish think tank

Published: 10 Nov 2010 08:10 GMT+01:00
Updated: 10 Nov 2010 08:10 GMT+01:00

Combat planes account for one third of all global arms transfers, with the United States topping the list of sellers and India, the United Arab Emirates and Israel the biggest buyers, according to the think tank.

In a report published Wednesday, just a week before China opens its massive

airshow in Zhuhai, the independent Swedish institute cautioned that increased sales of combat aircraft could have a destabilising effect in many parts of the world.

Between 2005 and 2009, according to the report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, the United States 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.

However, the list of buyers is far longer.

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.

Not to mention the producer countries themselves, with India buying most combat aircraft during the period with 115 planes and the United States purchasing 33.

On their own, India, the United Arab Emirates and Israel accounted for nearly a third of all fighter jet purchases, and SIPRI cautions, "many other importers of combat aircraft lie in regions of serious international tensions."

"While combat aircraft are often presented as one of the most important weapons needed for defence, these same aircraft give countries possessing them the potential to easily and with little warning strike deep into neighbouring countries," said Siemon Wezeman, a senior fellow at the SIPRI Arms Transfers Programme and the author of the study.

Clear examples of this, according to SIPRI, were the Israeli air attack on Syria in September 2007 and the Russian air strike on Georgia in August 2008.

"Acquisitions of combat aircraft thus clearly can have a major destabilising effect on regions," Wezeman said.

Ironically, the report stressed, "while the transfer of ballistic and cruise missiles and their technology has been high on the arms control and export control agendas in part because of their capability to carry nuclear and other mass destruction weapons, the transfer of advanced combat aircraft and air-to-ground missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads is not."

For producer countries, the economic gains from the planes are significant: "the more advanced aircraft cost over $40 million dollars each and often substantially more," according to SIPRI, adding however that the actual price of such a plane is difficult to estimate.

In fact, the Swedish institute quoted the September 16, 2009 edition of Jane's Defence Weekly showing that while Norway calculated it paid $54 million for each of its American F35 fighters, the Pentagon estimates it pulled in $97 million for the exact same planes.

In any case, "producers promote sales because they lead to substantial income and employment," said SIPRI.

For instance, the Eurofighter consortium cashed in six and seven billion dollars by selling 72 planes to Saudi Arabia, while Australia paid the United States $4.8 billion for 24 F/A-18E planes and India dished out $1.5-1.6 billion for 40 Russian Su-30MKI planes.

The astronomical sums help explain the cut-throat competition to win deals like Brasilia's long-running tender to buy 36 new fighter jets.

France's Rafale by Dassault, Sweden's Gripen NG by Saa, and the US-made F/A-18 Super Hornet by Boeing are all vying for the lucrative contract, estimated to be worth up to seven billion dollars.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

10:31 November 10, 2010 by jbat
Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can!

God Bless America! (only America!)
10:39 November 10, 2010 by Keith #5083
The sales of combat aircraft in Europe have had a...destabilising effect? As with guns, alcohol and so many other things in life, it is not the thing but the user. I don't think the word 'combat' is defined as defensive or offensive, it can be either.

The SIPRI report, as reported in the media, is stating a fairly obvious fact. I prefer SMHI reports that clearly state that adverse weather conditions WILL have a destabilising effect upon our lifestyle.
11:21 November 10, 2010 by jbat
@Keith...

What happen to you man.. can you distinguish between weapon and non weapon..

If not.. better you suggest that the sale of burger from Burger King too can have destabilising effect on human societies... same effect as the sale of weapons that USA, USA, USA like to do (and at the same time this country act as the World Police too!)
14:05 November 10, 2010 by KungsholmenGuy
Such a report would only be convincing if it can make a strong case that conflicting natons that have not bought foregin combat aircraft would have engaged in no other form of military or terrorist activity at land or at sea, or between domestically produced combat aircraft,..
16:07 November 10, 2010 by millionmileman
Of course there are more buying countries than manufacturing countries and those producing countries provide good paying jobs. Thank God Israel destroyed the Iraqi nuclear reactor in 1981 which was the day the saved the world, hardly destabilizing.

The AK-47 is probably the most dangerous weapon since WWII. Used by communist insurgents who destabilized so many nations and works every time it's tried, requiring practically no maintenance from the revolutionaries.

Gripen Up
18:13 November 10, 2010 by maxbrando
What is this article saying?? Of course weapons destabilize places where people want and use them!! And if Sweden stops selling them outside the country, that is GREAT news for the rest of the manufacturers. Go for it, Sweden. Stop selling them!!
20:46 November 10, 2010 by rizzzq
they should stop selling them to the 3rd world countries. imagine a world without al-qaeda, OBL captured/killed, taliban defeated, kashmir issue resolved.. will the war based economies like US (sweden??) survive?... no way

al-qaeda and taliban and kashmir were never so profitable
00:17 November 11, 2010 by Keith #5083
@jbat

even religious books can be used as weapons and have destabilising effects in society.

A knife can be a weapon, it can also be a means of service when used by a chef, or a life saver when used by a surgeon.

It is not the item, per se, that defines it as a weapon - but the intention of the user. Thus, 'combat aircraft' are not necessarily offensive but can also be defensive.

As for your choice of the USA as a 'weapons seller' you have somewhat narrow vision - or have you forgotten about China and Russia?

Of course, if the Palestinians had the same level of weaponry as Israel then it could potentially be destabilising (like it's stable there now?) It could also, conceivably, be stabilising as then neither side would be unequal and sensible negotiations would have to happen to resolve the issues.
00:30 November 11, 2010 by Swedesmith
If you want peace, prepare for war - Flavius Vegetius
08:54 November 11, 2010 by jbat
But USA is the World Police while China and Russia not!

China and Russia not attacking other country (at least Russia not do it openly, directly i case of Afghan)...

If you want peace, prepare for war.. then when your "opponent" do it.. you label them as evil power.. GOOD American!
11:08 November 11, 2010 by Keith #5083
@jbat

I totally agree with what you have written when you say "not do it openly". That is the fundamental difference. Chinese and Russian weaponry can be, and is, found in almost every 'destabilised area' in the world.

I am not American, and have no wish to be, but simply seek balance in the current 'let's blame everything on America' fashion. Which country was donating the most food and medical aid to Saddam Hussein's Iraq? It's as bad as saying every Muslim is a jihadist, the great majority of which are absolutely not!

The old system of seeking to unite a nation and camouflage it's own bad government by picking on or creating a common enemy is no longer credible in the internet 'free flow of information' age.
Today's headlines
New coalition
New coalition reveals 'compromise' budget
Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and Green Party leader Åsa Romson. Photo: TT

New coalition reveals 'compromise' budget

UPDATED: Prime Minister Stefan Löfven's Social Democrat-led coalition has revealed its first budget proposal, listing plans to spend more than 20 billion kronor. READ  

Royal family
Swedish royal couple set wedding date
The couple pictured in the summer. Photo: TT

Swedish royal couple set wedding date

Sweden's Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist, who got engaged earlier this year, have announced they will marry next June. READ  

Analysis
Sweden Democrat threats 'just a show'
Sweden Democrat leader Jimmie Åkesson. Photo: TT

Sweden Democrat threats 'just a show'

There is talk that the nationalist Sweden Democrats could trigger a fresh election, by rejecting the new coalition's budget. But leading Political Scientist Li Bennich Björkman tells The Local that the party is just game-playing and should be focusing on getting its fatigued leader back. READ  

Lifestyle
What's On in Sweden: October 24th - 31st
Chocolate and liquorice are on the menu in Gothenburg this weekend. Photo: Shutterstock

What's On in Sweden: October 24th - 31st

A secret gig in Stockholm, a short film festival in Uppsala and a gastronomy event in Gothenburg have caught our eye this week. READ  

Science
Astronaut helps launch first student satellite
Christer Fuglesang on a previous space mission. Photo: TT

Astronaut helps launch first student satellite

Sweden's debut astronaut Christer Fuglesang is helping students at KTH Royal Institute of Technology to become the first in the country to make their own satellite and send it into space. READ  

Weather
Sweden braces for ten centimetres of snow
Kiruna, in far northern Sweden, has already been hit by snow this season. Photo: TT

Sweden braces for ten centimetres of snow

Sweden's weather agency has warned that up to ten centimetres of snow are on the way for Sweden. READ  

Business and Money
Global profit boost for Handelsbanken
Handelsbanken is Sweden's second largest bank. Photo: Bertil Eriksson/TT

Global profit boost for Handelsbanken

Sweden's second-largest bank, Handelsbanken, has reported a rise in third-quarter profits, boosted by higher income from its loan book as it continues its expansion overseas. READ  

Stockholm 'sub hunt'
Sweden pulls back 'submarine' search
Navy vessels remain in the archipelago. Photo: Lars Pehrson/TT

Sweden pulls back 'submarine' search

Sweden is pulling back part of the naval operation which has been searching for a suspected Russian submarine off the coast of Stockholm for nearly a week. READ  

Julian Assange
Assange prepares for court ruling in Sweden
Julian Assange at Ecuador's embassy in the UK. Photo: Anthony Devlin

Assange prepares for court ruling in Sweden

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says he is "confident" his asylum status will be resolved, as he awaits an imminent ruling on his case by a Swedish court. READ  

Opinion
'Why were we kept in the dark for years?'
The submarine hunt is now in it's sixth day. Photo: TT

'Why were we kept in the dark for years?'

Military expert Johanne Hildebrandt tells The Local that the biggest question in the Stockholm submarine hunt hasn't been answered yet - why don't we know more about the "other operations" from the last few years? READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
People-watching: October 22nd
Gallery
In Pictures: Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist
Lifestyle
Eight things to love about renting a Swedish apartment
National
Vasa ship cannon blasted in Sweden
National
Sub hunt: Day-by-day
Blog updates

21 October

Denna & den här (The Swedish Teacher) »

"?Denna? or ?den hr?? Swedish language students often ask question about different pronouns. One pronoun that especially..." READ »

 

19 October

Getting it (Blogweiser) »

"Follow Joel Sherwood on FB Few watch baseball in Sweden. This is excellent when your team loses..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Sub hunt: Stockholm islanders share their fears with The Local
Sponsored Article
The best options for oversea transfers
National
Get 20% off unique Swedish homeware
National
Dentist gives free care to Roma beggars
Business & Money
Get your own office in Gothenburg or Stockholm - free for a day
Gallery
Property of the week: Malmö
Gallery
PHOTOS: 'Foreign activity' in Swedish waters
Gallery
People-watching: October 19th
TT
Society
QUIZ: How good is your Swedish?
Lifestyle
What's on in Sweden: October 17th - 24th
Society
The nudity... and nine other things expat men notice in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 15th
Gallery
Your views: Should outdoor smoking be banned in Sweden?
Business & Money
Sweden has 'large hole' in finances
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Finding a job in Stockholm
Society
Monster salmon caught in northern Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week: Lorensberg
National
Scandinavia's child bride
National
Ebola crisis: How is Sweden preparing?
Business & Money
How Sweden is becoming a cashless society
Gallery
Stockholm Burlesque Festival 2014
National
How a little red horse became a symbol for Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 12th
Business & Money
The hottest start-ups from southern Sweden
National
What's on in Sweden: October 10th - 17th
National
Stockholm is 'best' region for well-being
Gallery
People-watching: October 8th
National
Five facts to know about Patrick Modiano
Society
My Swedish Career: A French fashionista in Sweden
Society
Swede's anti-bully Facebook tale goes viral
Society
Have you seen Sweden's viral subway cancer campaign?
National
Isis: Swedes linked to Turkish prisoner swap
National
Should Swedes be banned from buying sex abroad?
Gallery
Fredrik Reinfeldt's leaving presents
National
Five Swedish TV shows you shouldn't miss
Gallery
A tool belt, a casserole, and a book. Fredrik Reinfeldt's parliament gifts
TT
Lifestyle
Top five winter festivals in Sweden
TT
National
Sami reindeer herders win mine reprieve
Gallery
Property of the Week: Gamla Enskede
Sponsored Article
How to catch the first lobster of the year
Politics
Ten new minister faces you should know
Team SCA
Sponsored Article
All-female SCA team takes off on Volvo Ocean Race
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

978
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN