Saudi Arabia Ranks Among Top Five Military Spenders in 2023

A recent report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) has ranked Saudi Arabia among the world’s top five defense spenders in 2023, placing it alongside the United States, China, Russia, and India.

According to the institute, these countries collectively accounted for 61% of total global military spending during the same year.

The figures revealed a 4.3% increase in Saudi Arabia’s defense spending, reaching $75.8 billion, which represents 7.1% of the country’s GDP. This increase propelled the Kingdom’s share of global military spending to 3.1%, making it the top spender in the Arab world.

The increase in spending was not the only notable development. Saudi Arabia has also implemented an ambitious program to develop its domestic military industries over the past five years. This program has required significant investments aimed at enhancing the Kingdom’s self-reliance in defense and reducing its dependence on external sources.

On the international cooperation front, the US State Department approved the sale of $582 million worth of arms to Saudi Arabia in early December 2023. The sale included hardware and software for the Saudi RE-3A surveillance aircraft, in addition to a $1 billion military training program that was approved later in the same month.

Further strengthening this cooperation, France and Saudi Arabia signed a plan for cooperation in the military industry in December 2023. The Kingdom had previously signed an initial agreement to build warships in the Kingdom with the French Naval Group in 2019.

These developments underscore Saudi Arabia’s unwavering commitment to bolstering its defense capabilities in the face of growing regional security challenges. The Kingdom’s development programs and international cooperation embody its pursuit of building a strong military industry to ensure its long-term security and stability.

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