Global arms sales increase after 5 years

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The sales of the world's 100 largest arms producing and military services companies totaled $374.8 billion in 2016, a 1.9 per cent increase compared with 2015, SIPRI says this is the first year of growth for these companies after five consecutive years of decline. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), the sales of arms registered increase in 2016 for the first time since 2010.

The global arms sales and military services, which had been witnessing a decline in last five years, rose 1.9 percent in the year 2016, according to an worldwide survey.

In Europe, SIPRI found "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", with eight British companies ranking in the top 20.

The U.S. -allied nation increased its defense spending by 7 percent to almost $40 billion in next year's budget.

American defence firm Lockheed Martin - the world's largest producer - saw sales surge 11 per cent in 2016, thanks to increased deliveries of its F-35 fighter and its acquisition of helicopter producer Sikorsky. "US military operations overseas, as well as acquisitions of large weapon systems by other countries, have driven this rise", the report says.

While consumer purchases are included in the sales figures, national governments are by far the largest purchasers of arms and weapons systems. But the pace of growth for Russian weapons manufacturers has slowed due to the country's economic problems, SIPRI found.

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SIPRI said Japan's largest arms companies - including Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Mitsubishi Electric Corp. - experienced sharp falls previous year. Thus the new SIPRI report not only provides information about who is selling and buying how many weapons: It also says something about how safe the world as a whole now feels. The highest growth in arms sales by a British company (43.2 per cent) was recorded by GKN, an aerospace components manufacturer. Russian Federation accounts for over seven per cent of total arms sale on the planet, according to the SIPRI analysis.

In the Top 100 companies, Hindustan Aeronautics, Indian Ordinance Factories, Bharat Electronics and Bharat Dynamics are four companies listed from India.

Once a mainly agricultural backwater devastated by war, South Korea has been one of the world's largest importers of military equipment and technology for decades - mostly from the United States - but in recent years its domestic sector has grown rapidly.

"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". "At the same time", Wezeman added, "South Korea is aiming to realize its goal of becoming a major arms exporter".

SIPRI's "other established producers" category covers companies based in Australia, Israel, Japan, Poland, Singapore and Ukraine.

U.S. companies dominate global arms sale with 58 per cent share.

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