Global arms expenditure increased by almost 60% between 2002 and 2009, according to a Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) report.

The report also revealed that in 2009 the top 100 defence manufacturing companies increased their sales to $400bn, a rise of 8%.

Susan Jackson, SIPRI’s arms industry expert, said US government military spending was a key factor in sales increases for US and western-European companies with a foothold in the US arms and military services market.

Lockheed was named as the world’s biggest arms company in terms of sales, valued at $33.4bn in 2009, followed by Bae with sales valued at $33.3bn, according to the Guardian