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The 10 countries that export the most major weapons

The global trade in heavy arms has skyrocketed to its highest level since the Cold War.

Ten countries are responsible for the vast majority of all major arms exports, accounting for 90 percent of global sales, according to  a report  by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

The new study said the global trade of heavy weapons systems has now reached its highest level since the end of the Cold War in 1991.

The world's top five major arms exporters are the United States, Russia, Germany, France and China. Together, they account for 74 percent of the total volume of exports.

In the Middle East, major arms imports have surged over the past few years, the SIPRI report said. 

Between 2012 and 2016, imports by countries in the region skyrocketed by 86 percent, accounting for 29 percent of global weapons purchases.

Globally, India, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were the most prolific importers of major weapons.

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