In 2016 the world's 100 largest arms manufacturers sold $374.8bn of weapons and military services, according to the latest report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). Arms sales by Lockheed Martin-the world's largest arms producer-rose by 10.7 per cent in 2016, which was decisive to the increase in the USA's share of overall SIPRI Top 100 sales to 57.9 per cent.
Munitions, tanks, drones: The global trade in arms and military services increased again in 2016, for the first time in five years.
The total arm sales were equivalent to almost 0.5 percent of global Gross Domestic Product, up 38 percent since 2002, Anadolu Agency reported.
"The South Korean ministry of defense now procures its weapons from domestic producers, instead of importing them from foreign suppliers", noted Fleurant, director for SIPRI's arms and military expenditure program.
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"There were overall decreases in the arms sales of Trans-European, French and Italian companies, while companies in the United Kingdom and Germany recorded overall increases", according to the report.
The U.S. -allied nation increased its defense spending by 7 percent to almost $40 billion in next year's budget. Lockheed Martin saw a 10 percent increase in sales in 2016, according to data released today.
"The growth in arms sales was expected and was driven by the implementation of new national major weapon programmes, ongoing military operations in several countries and persistent regional tensions that are leading to an increased demand for weapons", the report said. And 2016 belonged to South Korea weapons companies as the country's government increased purchases.
Apart from weapon manufacturers, the military services companies in the United States enjoyed a considerable rise in their sales. The arms sales of BAE Systems, the fourth largest arms producer globally, remained stable (up by 0.4 per cent). Russian Federation accounts for over seven per cent of total arms sale on the planet, according to the SIPRI analysis.
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Sales by Russian firms increased 3.8 per cent to $26.6 billion, a slower expansion than in recent years, CNN quoted the report as saying.
The White House has made an emergency budget request for $4 billion to deal with North Korea, in addition to an annual budget of $8 billion already granted to the U.S. Missile Defence Agency.
South Korea, meanwhile, took a step toward its goal of becoming a major arms exporter, dominating arms sales by emerging producers that also includes Brazil, India and Turkey. 'Continuing and rising threat perceptions drive South Korea's acquisitions of military equipment, and it is increasingly turning to its own arms industry to supply its demand for weapons, ' says Siemon Wezeman. Based on current U.S. dollar values, the arms sales rose by 1.3 percent.
On the other hand, Japan reported negative increase of -6.4 per cent. Japan is clubbed with Australia, Israel, Poland, Singapore and Ukraine under other established producers' category by the SIPRI.
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