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France beat Argentina 23-21 in Rugby World Cup

Israel takes world's fourth biggest arms exporter spot from France

media Dassault's Rafale fighter jet, ordered by the Indian Air Force, at Aero India 2013 in Bangalore. Reuters/Stringer

Israel has overtaken France in the world arms sales league. In 2012 French arms sales fell 26 per cent on the previous year, according to a parliamentary report published this week.

France fell from the world’s fourth biggest arms exporter to the fifth last year, with Israel taking its place, the report says.

Number one is the United States, whose export strategy has become more aggressive as domestic orders decline, followed by Russia, the UK, Israel and then France.

Several emerging countries, notably China, South Korea and Turkey, are breaking into the market.

French exports hit a record eight billion euros in 2009 but have fallen since, going below five billion euros in 2012.

France’s biggest markets in 2012 were:

  1. India, 1.2 billion euros;
  2. Saudi Arabia, 636 million euros;
  3. Malaysia, 461 euros;
  4. US, 208 million euros;
  5. Russia, 185 million euros.

Delhi signed the year’s biggest contract - for air-to-air missiles. Saudi Arabia bought equipment, while Malaysia bought six corvettes.

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