Think tank: Russia emerges as world's No. 2 arms producer

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HELSINKI (AP) - A Swedish think tank says Russia has emerged as the world's second-largest arms producer after the U.S.

Russia surpassed Britain, which had held the spot since 2002 and remains Western Europe's No. 1 arms maker.

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, or SIPRI, said Monday in its report of the world's 100 biggest armaments groups that the combined arm sales of Russian companies amounted to $37.7 billion in 2017, or 9.5 percent of a total $398.2 billion, recording 8.5 percent year-on-year growth.

SIPRI researcher Siemon Wezeman said "this is in line with Russia's increased spending on arms procurement to modernize its armed forces."

The U.S. continued to dominate the list with 42 companies accounting for 57 percent of total sales, including the world's largest arms producer, Lockheed Martin Corp.

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