Dec. 10 (UPI) -- Russia is now the world's second-largest arms producer, overtaking Britain and moving behind only the United States, researchers said Monday.
The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute said in a report sales of arms and military services totaled $398.2 billion in 2017. The figure, which excludes China because of a lack of available data, is 2.5 percent higher than it was the previous year and 44 percent higher than it was in 2002.
The United States remained the world's top producer of arms, with $226.6 billion in sales in 2017, the report said. U.S. equipment accounted for 57 percent of sales of the top 100 countries listed. Lockheed Martin had the highest amount of arms sales in the world, followed by U.S. companies Boeing and Raytheon and Britain's BAE Systems.
"The combined arms sales of Russian companies accounted for 9.5 percent of the top 100 total, making Russia the second largest arms producer in the Top 100 in 2017, a position that had been occupied by the United Kingdom since 2002," the SIPRI report said."The arms sales of the 10 Russian companies listed in the top 100 increased by 8.5 percent in 2017, to $37.7 billion."
After the United States, Russia and Britain, the leading arms producers are France, "Trans-European" consortiums of several countries and Italy, the report showed.
"Russian companies have experienced significant growth in their arms sales since 2011," SIPRI Senior Researcher Siemon Wezeman said. "This is in line with Russia's increased spending on arms procurement to modernize its armed forces."
Sales by Turkish companies increased by 24 percent in 2017, the report said, part of a plan to become less dependent on foreign suppliers of armaments.