These US companies dominated global arms sales in 2017

American defense companies ruled the $398.2 billion global arms sales industry in 2017, according to a new report published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

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In total, sales of arms and military services by U.S. companies totaled more than $226 billion in 2017, accounting for about 57 percent of the top 100 arms sales that year. That’s a 2 percent increase from the year-ago period, according to the report.

“U.S. companies directly benefit from the U.S. Department of Defense’s ongoing demand for weapons,” said Aude Fleurant, the director of SIPRI’s Arms and Military Expenditure program.

Lockheed Martin indisputably remained the world’s largest weapons manufacturer, selling more than $44.9 billion.

The gap, meanwhile, between one of Lockheed’s biggest American competitors -- Boeing, which sold the second-most amount of arms at $26.9 billion -- grew by nearly $7 billion, from $11 billion in 2016 to $18 billion in 2017, according to Fleurant. This year alone, Lockheed nabbed two extremely lucrative contracts with the U.S. military for its F-35 fighter jets.

Other U.S. companies that made the top 10 defense contractors in 2017 include Raytheon (No. 3), Northrop Grumman (No. 5) and General Dynamics (No. 6).

Russia trailed U.S. companies as the second-largest arms manufacturer, accounting for about 9.5 percent, or about $37.7 billion, of the biggest defense sales in 2017. It’s a relatively significant leap from the year prior, according to SIPRI, which found that Russian arms sales increased by 8.5 percent from the year prior.

“Russian companies have experienced significant growth in their arms sales since 2011,” said Siemon Wezeman, a senior researcher with SIPRI’s Arms and Military Expenditure program. “This is in line with Russia’s increased spending on arms procurement to modernize its armed forces.”