India was the number one arms importer in the period 2011-15, according to research.
A report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said the other countries in the top five importers were Saudi Arabia, China, the United Arab Emirates and Australia, accounting for 34% of all imports.
In the same period the top five arms exporters were the US, with a 33% market share, Russia, China, France and Germany, responsible for 74% of all exports. The UK was the sixth largest exporter.
The report said between the periods 2006-10 and 2011-15 international transfers of weapons increased by 14%.
Sales increased most in the Middle East between the periods (61%), followed by Asia and Oceania (26%) and Africa (19%). In Europe they fell 41% and in the US they dropped by 6%.
“As regional conflicts and tensions continue to mount, the USA remains the leading global arms supplier by a significant margin,’ said Aude Fleurant, director of the SIPRI Arms and Military Expenditure Programme.