US Weapons Industry Lead Way As Global Arms Sales Surged in 2016

US Weapons Industry Lead Way As Global Arms Sales Surged in 2016

US Weapons Industry Lead Way As Global Arms Sales Surged in 2016

Among the top 100 companies, USA producers claimed the largest share of sales by a notable margin-nearly 58 percent. Although the researchers do not consider sales by Chinese companies due to lack of data, they note in the report that China's military spending "has increased nearly threefold between 2002 and 2016", and estimate that nine or 10 Chinese companies likely would be included in the top 100 list-with four to six in the top 20-if the data were publicly available.

Global arms manufacturers increased sales in 2016 - the first increase of worldwide weapon distribution since 2010, according to data released today by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. The figure represents a 38 percent increase from 2002, when SIPRI began recording corporate arms sales. SIPRI said last year's increase in weapons sales was the first time a rise occurred after five consecutive years of decline. Interestingly, Saudi Arabia, the fourth largest spender, is the largest client of American arms, accounting for 13 percent of arms sales by United States companies. However, SIPRI notes that the trends for arms sales in the largest arms-producing countries (the UK, France, Italy and Germany) showed clear divergences.

"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", said SIPRI senior researcher and report co-author Siemon Wezeman, pointing to the mounting nuclear tensions between North Korea and the United States, a long-time ally of South Korea. The USA's share in over arms sale past year stood at around 58 per cent (57.9).

Britain's decision to withdraw from the European Union seems to have had no impact on arms sale in the region. Russian companies accounted for 7.1 per cent of the overall total.

In the "emerging arms producers" category defense companies based out of Brazil and Turkey also reported a double digit growth in arms sales at 10.8 and 27.6 percent respectively.

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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.

'Germany's 6.6 per cent increase in arms sales for 2016 is mainly due to the growth in sales of armoured vehicle producer Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (12.8 per cent) and land systems producer Rheinmetall (13.3 per cent),' says SIPRI Senior Researcher Pieter Wezeman.

South Korea's arms sales hit record levels a year ago, pushed by the continuous military threat from North Korea, complicated relations with China and a government decision to increase domestic arms production, a Swedish think tank said Monday.

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

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