The spike was fueled by conflicts in the Middle East, tensions in the South China Sea and the perceived threat from Russian Federation to its neighbors, according to a study by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
"While China is increasingly able to substitute arms imports with indigenous products, India remains dependent on weapons technology from many willing suppliers, including Russian Federation, the USA, European states, Israel and South Korea", Wezeman added. A new report has revealed that sale of major weapons systems has seen a significant rise since 2012, which can be attributed to the rise of terrorism and civil unrest in various parts of the world. Although at lower rates, the majority of other states in the region also increased arms imports.
"While China is increasingly able to substitute arms imports with indigenous products, India remains dependent on weapons technology from many willing suppliers, including Russian Federation, the US, European states, Israel and South Korea", Wezeman said.
But its share of global exports pales in comparison with the U.S. and Russian Federation, which account for 33 percent and 23 percent of the market respectively.
The United States and Russian Federation remain the world's largest exporters of major weapons: their joint share in world exports accounts for 56 % in the period from 2012 to 2016. Its arms exports increased by 21 per cent compared with 2007-2011.
Of all the US exported weapons in the last five years, 47 percent ended up in the Middle East, with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Turkey becoming the top three major buyers.
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The Middle East and Asia remain the key markets for weapons, according to a report from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
SIPRI data reflects the volume of deliveries of arms, not the financial value of the deals. Aude Fleurant, the director of SIPRI's arms and military expenditure program said, "The US has delivered a lot of weapons in 2016, both very expensive weapons and strategically important weapons - missile systems, surveillance and navigation technology".
The Middle East nearly doubled its imports compared with the 2007-2011 period, taking a 29 percent share.
The volume of major weapons changing hands was the highest for any five-year period since the end of the Cold War, the independent institute said. It accounts for one-third of total global arms exports.
The rise of oil wealth in the past decade had made it possible for the countries in the Middle East to increase their military procurement. "It is now firmly a top-tier supplier, like France and Germany which accounted for 6 per cent and 5.6 per cent, respectively", said the think-tank.