Explosive growth for Swedish arms exports in 2008

Explosive growth for Swedish arms exports in 2008
Swedish arms exports jumped up 32 percent in 2008, with large purchases by five countries accounting for nearly 60 percent of total.

According to an annual report by the Swedish Inspectorate for Strategic Products (ISP) released on Tuesday, Swedish defence companies sold 12.7 billion kronor ($1.4 billion) worth of weapons in 2008.

The upswing in military sales last year more than wiped out a 7 percent decline in arms exports from 2007.

“As in previous years, several large deals had a real effect on statistics, like the sale of the JAS Gripen to South Africa and CV90 combat vehicles to the Netherlands and Denmark,” said ISP director general Andreas Ekman in a statement.

Other notable export deals included purchases by Greece and Pakistan of the Erieye airborne radar systems.

Swedish arms manufacturers sold goods totaling 1.9 billion kronor to South Africa in 2008, making it the single largest purchaser of Swedish defence equipment last year.

Exports to the Netherlands and Denmark each totaled 1.8 billion kronor, while sales to Greece came to 1.1 billion.

Pakistan meanwhile purchased 846.4 million kronor worth of Swedish military equipment, while Swedish arms exports to India totaled 506.2 million kronor in 2008.

The ISP reports that 59 percent of Sweden’s arms exports went to other countries in the European Union, Norway, and Switzerland, while 28 percent of sales were made to “established partners” such as the United States, Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, and South Africa.