Global arms industry: First rise in arms sales since 2010, says SIPRI

Lockheed F35

The Lockheed F35 Lightning of which the UK is buying 140

Sales of weapons and military services by the world's largest defense contractors totaled $374.8 billion in 2016, a 1.9 percent increase from the previous year, according to the most recent worldwide arms industry data from Stockholm global Peace Research Institute. Companies from the world largest economy increased their sales by 4 percent past year to $217.2 billion, making the United States account for 57.9 percent of the total top 100 arms sales.

Sipri said growth in arms sales was triggered by "military operations in several countries and persistent regional tensions that are leading to an increased demand for weapons". The figure represents a 38 percent increase from 2002, when SIPRI began recording corporate arms sales.

One of the report's authors, Aude Fleurant, also the director of SIPRI's Arms and Military Expenditures Program, attributed Lockheed Martin's status to "the acquisition of helicopter producer Sikorsky in late 2015 and higher delivery volumes of the F-35 combat aircraft".

USA companies' arms sales grew by 4% in 2016 at a combined total of $217.2bn and Germany saw a 6.6% rise in arms sales for the same year due to demands in Europe, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. The British companies reported 2 per cent increase in sales of arms while more variations were seen in other major exporters of weapons including France, Italy and Germany.

United States companies dominate global arms sale with 58 per cent share.

Relatively rich western European companies reported stable arms sales while Russian Federation showed declining growth.

BAE Typhoon jet
BAE has just announced the sale of 24 Typhoon fighters to the Gulf state of Qatar

Germany registered an increase of 6.6 per cent in sale of weapons primarily on the account of sales of armoured vehicle producer Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and land systems producer Rheinmetall. Russian Federation accounts for over seven per cent of total arms sale on the planet, according to the SIPRI analysis.

Companies from South Korea boosted their arms sales by 20.6 percent to $8.4 billion past year due to concerns over North Korea's missile and nuclear programs.

The SIPRI has placed South Korea among the emerging producers, which also covers Indian and Brazilian companies.

SIPRI's report, published Monday, said the world's 100 biggest armaments groups sold weapons and weapons systems worth $375 billion in 2016, up 2 percent from 2015. Japan is clubbed with Australia, Israel, Poland, Singapore and Ukraine under other established producers' category.

SIPRI said Japan's largest arms companies - including Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Mitsubishi Electric Corp. - experienced sharp falls a year ago.

Considering more than half of SIPRI's top 20 weapons sellers are based in the United States-including Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon, and Northrop Grumman in the top five-the report declares the US has a "decisive influence on the global trend". China has a sizeable market in Asia and Africa.

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