According to The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute's annual assessment of the global arms market, sales by the world's 100 biggest weapons companies rose to $374.8bn in 2016, an increase of 38% in 15 years.
The 2016 figure represents a 1.9 percent increase compared with 2015, and is the first year of growth in Top 100 arms sales after five consecutive years of decline.
Arm sales by global defense contractors have risen for the first time in five years, due in part to the mounting threat of North Korea's missile and nuclear ambitions, a Swedish think tank announced Monday.
The total arm sales were equivalent to almost 0.5 percent of global Gross Domestic Product, up 38 percent since 2002, Anadolu Agency reported.
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".
Russian arms manufacturers who are close third to the U.S. and European companies recorded combined sales of $26.6 billion in 2016, a 7 percent growth. Russian companies accounted for 7.1 per cent of the overall total.
The sharp growth in arms sales reported by the American companies is attributed to United States military operations overseas and acquisitions of large weapon systems by other countries have driven this rise.
The report noted that British defense contractor BAE Systems recorded a 0.4 percent increase in weapons sales.
'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.
The combined arms sales of Russian companies listed in the SIPRI Top 100 increased by 3.8 per cent, amounting to $26.6 billion in 2016.
South Korea's arms sales hit record levels previous year, 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. Japan is clubbed with Australia, Israel, Poland, Singapore and Ukraine under other established producers' category.
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 USA has a "decisive influence on the global trend".
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