Sunday, June 22, 2008

UK tops world table of weapons sales

Controversial deal with Saudi Arabia catapults Britain to top of last year's world arms export league

Contributed by Blog reader

Rob Evans and Richard Norton-Taylor
The Guardian, Saturday June 21, 2008

"A controversial deal with Saudi Arabia catapulted Britain to the top of the world arms export league last year, as UK firms won a record £10bn in orders from overseas, official figures show.

The figure amounts to a third of all worldwide export orders for military equipment, ministers and arms companies reported. An essentially political, government-to-government contract - the sale of 72 Eurofighter/Typhoon aircraft, for £4.4bn, to the Saudis - accounted for Britain's number one position, the figures make clear......

The companies involved - chiefly BAE Systems and the VT Group - were praised by the trade minister, Digby Jones.

"As demonstrated by this outstanding export performance, the UK has a first-class defence industry, with some of the world's most technologically sophisticated companies," he said......."

Watch Saudi Prince Bandar, chief figure involved in the bribery scandal, defending Saudi corruption:

Bandar: We Are Corrupt; So What!

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