MADRID, May 23 (Xinhua) -- Spain received arms sale income of over 4 billion euros (4.47 U.S. dollars) for the first time ever in 2016, online newspaper The Diplomat reported Tuesday.
The Spanish government authorized the export of defense material that was up 8.9 percent year on year from 2015.
Last year saw the Spanish Foreign Ministry authorize a total of 550 different operations for the sale of arms.
Britain was the principal market, with 33.2 percent of all of the sales, followed by Germany, France and Italy with 19, 4.6 and 3.4 percent respectively.
As well as sales to NATO countries, Spain also sold to the Persian Gulf, where Saudi Arabia purchased weapons technology to the value of 116.2 million euros, the UAE paid Spain 26.7 million euros and Bahrain spent 19.1 million on Spanish weaponry.
Spain also earned 219.3 million euros from weapons sales to Egypt and 52.7 million from Iraq and despite diplomatic tension between the two nations. Venezuela paid Spain 2.6 million euros to modernize vehicles, a light aircraft and software for radar.
The report adds that the sale of products and technology of so-called double use, which can be adapted for military purposes, had a value of 265.9 million euros with the United States as the main destination, followed by Iran.