Continuing the upward trend that began in the early 2000s, the volume of global transfers of major weapons in 2013-17 was 10 percent higher than in 2008-12, according to new data published by the Stockholm worldwide Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). India also held 12% of the world's total arms purchases from 2013 to 2017.
Russia, the world's second biggest exporter, saw a decrease of 7.1% in its overall volume of arms exports; USA exports were 58% higher than those of Russia. In fact, Indian arms imports have increased in the past five years, despite a continued push for indigenous production.
Arms exports by Russian Federation have decreased by 7.1 percent, and those of France have increased by 27 percent. The group took over a number of major cities in Iraq, seizing U.S. weapons supplied to Iraqi troops and also took capitalized on unrest in neighboring Syria by absorbing or overtaking various rebel groups, a number of which were trained and armed by the U.S., Turkey and Gulf Arab states.
China is the fifth biggest arms supplier in the world and also supplies the most weapons to India's neighbours, a study by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute has shown.
USA arms sales have surged significantly in the past four years as more weapons flowed to clients involved in violent conflicts in the Middle East, according to a conflict monitoring and disarmament analysis institute.
"The tensions between India, on the one side, and Pakistan and China, on the other, are fuelling India's growing demand for major weapons, which it remains unable to produce itself", said Wezeman.
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SIPRI, an independent institute, monitors arms deliveries by volume over periods of five years in order to iron out short-term fluctuations.
However, the rise in arms import from the U.S. has been significant during the 2013-17 period.
A SIPRI report on trends in global arms transfers also reflects the changing geopolitics of South Asia, with sales of weapons to Pakistan by the United States dropping by a significant 76 per cent in the past five years.
'China, by contrast, is becoming increasingly capable of producing its own weapons and continues to strengthen its relations with Pakistan, Bangladesh and Myanmar through arms supplies'. "These deals and further major contracts signed in 2017 will ensure that the United States of America remains the largest arms exporter in the coming years". Its arms exports increased by 25 per cent between 2008-12 and 2013-17.
"The flow of arms to the Asia and Oceania and the Middle East increased between 2008-2012 and 2013-2017, while there was a decrease in the flow to the Americas, Africa and Europe", the SIPRI said in its report - titled Trends in International Arms Transfers 2017.
India is the world's largest weapon importer with 12% over the period under review.
But who is the second largest importer of weapons after India?