Arms sales rise for first time in five years

Arms sales rise for first time in five years

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, or SIPRI, reported that arms sales by South Korean companies included in its latest study of the world's 100 largest arms producers stood at $8.4 billion in 2016, up 21 percent from the previous year.

Based on sales by the world's 100 biggest arms producers, the report pointed at an increase of 1.9 percent (based on 2015 USA dollar values) from 2015 with $374.8 billion spent on arms and military services. Lockheed Martin's sales grew by 10.7 percent past year, which report co-author Aude Fleurant, who directs of SIPRI's Arms and Military Expenditures Program, attributed to "the acquisition of helicopter producer Sikorsky in late 2015 and higher delivery volumes of the F-35 combat aircraft".

The arms sale figure for 2016 is shows an increase of about 38 per cent since 2002.

Lockheed Martin, the world's largest arms producer, increased its arms sales by 10.7% to $40.8bn, driven largely by deliveries of its F-35 fighter jet.

American weapons companies accounted for 58 percent of all weapons sales, taking in $217.2 billion in 2016, a 4 percent increase from the year before.

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.

U.S. defence firm Lockheed Martin retained its position as the world's largest producer after sales surged by 11%. But, the SIPRI says that South Korea has dominated the emerging producers block with 20.6 per cent increase in sales of arms past year.

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The Brexit decision does not seem to have had an impact on the arms sales of British companies, which rose 2.0 percent in 2016, SIPRI said.

Russian firms rose by 3.8 per cent with United States dollars 26.6 billion arms sale in 2016. 'The major economic difficulties experienced by Russia in 2016 have contributed to a slowdown in the rate of increase in the arms sales of Russian companies, ' says SIPRI Senior Researcher Siemon Wezeman.

Aude Fleurant, director of the Arms and Military Expenditure Program at SIPRI, said that US growth was likely to continue. The highest ranked Russian company in the SIPRI Top 100 for 2016 is United Aircraft Corporation, which is placed 13th.

Brazil, India, South Korea and Turkey are categorized as "emerging producers" of weapons as they increase their output and share of the worldwide weapons dealing industry.

Wezeman said South Korea is "increasingly turning to its own arms industry to supply its demand for weapons" and is "aiming to realize its goal of becoming a major arms exporter".

Global arms sale rise for the first time since 2010.

Global arms industry trades in green.

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