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    Israel becomes world's fourth largest weapons exporter

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    With arms sales of over $4 billion in 2007, Israel has moved up to fourth place on the list of the world's largest weapons exporters, overtaking the U.K., the Israeli defense ministry said on Tuesday.

    TEL AVIV, December 11 (RIA Novosti) - With arms sales of over $4 billion in 2007, Israel has moved up to fourth place on the list of the world's largest weapons exporters, overtaking the U.K., the Israeli defense ministry said on Tuesday.

    Israel has been showing a steady increase in arms exports since the early 1990s, and has averaged $3-4 billion in arms deals annually for the past five years, accounting for 10-12% of global arms sales.

    The Israeli defense industry employs up to 40,000 workers and exports a broad variety of conventional weaponry, from Phalcon airborne early warning radar systems to Tavor assault rifles, artillery shells, fortification systems, missiles, drones and space equipment.

    Among the key buyers of Israeli weaponry are the U.S., India, the European Union and Latin American countries.

    According to the U.S. Congressional Research Service annual arms transfer report, released on September 26, 2007, the United States remains the world's largest arms exporter with nearly 52 percent of global arms deliveries in 2006, worth some $14 billion.

    Russia is second with over $6 billion and France is third with about $5.9 billion in arms sales last year.

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